When recently discussing previous interviews with a candidate, they informed me about choosing their next role. They wanted to choose the organisation that knew most about them. This raised an interesting point of discussion. Who do we expect to prepare for the interview? Is it just the candidate or are the interviewers also expected to prepare? There seems to be a perception that the preparation should land with the candidate and the candidate should do all the research into the organisation they are applying for. If they fail to prepare then they will not get the position. This puts all the power in the hands of the organisation.
Understanding the Need of Being Prepared
There may be a clear understanding that the candidate needs to sell themselves to the client. Does it also however not make sense that the client should be checking they are recruiting the correct fit for their organisation? Yes, admittedly a lot of this will come down to the interview and discussion within. However, with the time and money that goes into recruiting and screening candidates, imagine going through the interview process and wanting to offer the candidate position to find they have accepted a position elsewhere. How can this be avoided?
As recruiters, we have all heard the horror stories of candidates in interviews and have plenty of tips on the appropriate preparation for interviews. From what to wear to how to answer questions in a structured way. Recently, I have also had to educate a client on the best way to perform in an interview as well. Feedback from a candidate showed that they had not taken on a position they were offered due to how the interview was conducted. As an employer, what impression would you get if the candidate took a call during an interview? What would you do if a candidate got up during a Teams interview and wandered out of the room? What would you do if a candidate was late or not appropriately dressed for the interview? Surprisingly, over the past couple of months, I have been given examples from Agresso/Unit4 candidates where clients have done all the above situations and have withdrawn their application as a result.
Importance of the Candidate
Everybody knows that a candidate needs to impress the client to be offered the position. However, as an employer, remember that it is a competitive market and the candidate in front of you is likely to also have applied to your competitors. Whether they admit this to you or not, they are looking for the best opportunity for themselves moving forward. It is important to remember the interview is as much for them to see if you are the right organisation for them, as it is for you to see if they are the right candidate for you.
In the permanent Agresso/Unit4 market, it is likely that the candidate is already in a role and is looking for future development or expansion on their current skills. It is going to take something special about your organisation for them to believe in you and take that leap of faith. This could potentially completely change their life. The interview is your short space of time where you can really sell your organisation and the culture of your working environment. If you are unprepared to interview the candidate or unprepared to answer their questions, what impression do you think that gives the candidate?
Why Choose Your Organisation?
When preparing for an interview, it is good to consider why you are interviewing this candidate. On average, hiring managers review a CV for 11 seconds before deciding whether to discard the candidate or move forward. What was it in those 11 seconds that made you want to investigate further? What experience do they have with Unit4 that fits what you are looking for? Is it crucial that they have completed a full lifecycle of a Unit4 project, or is it more important that they can provide user support on the ERP? What is special about your organisation which distinguishes you from your support to the users? What has the background of Unit4 been in your organisation? Are you using the most up-to-date milestone of Unit4 BW? Are you planning on implementing the new Unit4 ERPX? What does the future of your Unit4 systems team look like moving forward?
The best candidates are the most likely to have multiple interviews/offers on the table. You want the candidate leaving your interview in a position where they are even more motivated and engaged with the role. You want the candidate wanting more and in the position that if they are offered the position, there is no hesitation in accepting your offer. When they have other offers on the table, the way the interview was conducted could be the deciding factor for whether they join you or a competitor.
Overall advice for candidates and clients going into interviews; BE PREPARED!
I’d be interested to hear success and failure stories of previous interviews from candidates and clients alike. What has worked for you, what has been a disaster and what has the biggest impact for you?