I recently left my full-time corporate job and was back in the job market, for the first time in almost three years. What surprised me is how inconsistent and inconsiderate HR managers can be.
One would think that something as simple as getting back to a candidate to give them feedback on an interview, is a very pedestrian part of the job that should be both habitual and instinctual. Believe me when I say it’s not.
Here are a few gentle reminders for HR managers on interview etiquette (given by an interviewee who is speaking from recent experience)
1. Be prepared
The person coming for an interview has spent time and money to get to the interview. They’ve also likely done research on the company and they’ve had to get into the right frame of mind to prepare for the interview.
Please read over my CV at least once before the interview. The amount of times I’ve walked into an interview excited and ready, only to be asked to wait while the interviewer reads over my CV as they haven’t had a chance to yet. It’s unprofessional and shows that you are ill prepared.
2. Honesty is the best policy
If at any point in the interview or interview process you realise that the interviewee is not the right person for the job, give them feedback and stop the process.
Don’t let them do a writing test /IQ test /Psych evaluation and come in for additional interviews when you know they’re not the one.
This is not fair on the interviewee, who is now investing time in your company. They’re also mentally thinking that they are progressing along the interview process, when in fact you’ve already made up your mind that they are not the person for the job.
3. Respect the people you interview
The interview process is an emotionally taxing process for any interviewee. Don’t keep them waiting for long periods of time. If the interview is for 2pm, interview the candidate at 2pm. Candidates have usually left the office to come through for the interview and need to get back to the office.
I’ve also once been in the unfortunate position where I was made an offer telephonically and when I asked if I could see the offer in writing before making my decision, I was told that I should already know if I want the job or not and it’s now a very laborious process for the organisation to draw up an offer, only to have me think about it.
Here I thought receiving an offer in writing was common practice: apparently not. I told the HR manager that I felt disrespected and would not like to continue the process any further.
Please have a heart. Once an interviewee has given up their time and come in for an interview, they deserve feedback and timorously.
I’ve attended interviews, thought they went well, done writing tests, met with the MD and haven’t heard anything back from the company. I’ve followed up after a week, been told they will get back to me, and then never hearing back from them.
Let the person know that they were not hired because their salary was out of your budget, or that you had concerns around their skill set, etc. Don’t just leave them hanging.
5. Know your clients
It’s going to sound bizarre. But I’ve walked into interviews and asked which account I’m looking at being hired to join and who their current clients are. Only for the person interviewing me to say they’ve been caught off guard and can’t remember who the clients are.
This is scary for an interviewee. If you can’t remember where your bread is buttered, how am I, or what I think, ever going to appear on your radar?