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10 Tips for Efficient Candidate Interview Scheduling

Interview Scheduling

Candidate interviews are not just about identifying fit candidates, it is a two way interaction between two parties aiming for a mutually beneficial partnership. According to Forbes, the top polled candidate complaint is insensitivity during the interview process. 

If you are reading this article, you may feel that it is not right to subject future partners with low levels of respect. Which is why we want to help you with some tips on how to schedule candidate interviews well and nurture a great applicant experience.

How can great interviews benefit your company?

Here is a list of advantages great interviews can bring to your company:

  • Develop a holistic understanding of your applicants: From the company‚Äôs perspective, knowing who is being hired is the single most important objective to interviewing. Well prepared interviews can tactfully extract crucial information such as technical capabilities, past experience, personality profiles, etc. 
  • Prevent bias in hiring: While it is human nature to favor certain characteristics over others, keeping an objective approach to hiring will generally result in long term positive business outcome. Usage of unbiased consistent metrics in your interview process can minimize instances of bias.
  • Create a strong employer branding: You may be surprised at how much information applicants share with each other. Being in a highly connected era, positive applicant experiences can boost your image to prospective applicants. However, the reverse is also true, bad experiences can leave a bitter taste in the talent pool you source from. 

Read our take on Steps to Build a Strong Recruitment Plan

Now that you are aware of the benefits, let us dive straight to 7 top tips to schedule successful interviews.  

  1. Contact Applicant via Telephone

Before getting deep into the topic of the interview schedule, you should contact the applicant via telephone to confirm his/her appearance. In terms of scheduling, this is very important because the time wasted during the interview process will greatly slow down the recruitment process.

  1. Add Interview Schedule to Calendar

After confirming the interview schedule, the next step that needs to be done is to arrange the plan according to the schedule that has been prepared. To make this process easier, it never hurts to enter the applicant’s interview schedule into your Google Calendar. If you happen to use the integrated job board, directly input the interview date into the existing sharing calendar.

  1. Employ Alarm System

Even if you have added the interview schedule into your working calendar, preparing the last safety net by setting the alarm on the day the interview takes place is a right thing to do. By doing this, the interview process will take place on time. This last particular safety net is also an indicator of your level of professionalism as a recruiter.

  1. Understand the role you are hiring for

Strong understanding of the role you are hiring, will guide you on what to look for in a candidate. A good way to start is to list out the qualifications necessary and align it with the hiring managers.

  1. Know your applicant beforehand

Before the interview, make sure you read through all the details on the candidates’ CVs. To expand on this process further, you can also do a quick research on their social links (e.g. LinkedIn) and company sites of their past experience.

With the information you have at hand, you can start to prepare a tailored set of interview questions. Categorize your questions into general and role-specific questions. Be sure to attach an objective in mind for each question. This will allow you to dig deeper in areas that you should without overwhelming applicants. 

Scheduling interviews for candidates
  1. Anticipate questions that might be asked

It is best practice to prepare a list of answers to possible questions asked by applicants. Being unable to provide a direct answer can build a sense of unease in them and cast doubt on joining your firm. 

  1. Prepare logistical needs

First impressions tend to last forever. This makes it all the more critical that you not only plan the conversation but also the logistical factors: 

  • In which room does the conversation take place? 
  • Is there a pleasant atmosphere without noise (e.g. telephone ringing or printer noise)? 
  • Do you have the conversation alone or with colleagues? 
  • Who takes over which part? 
  • Who sits where?  
  • What do you want to offer (drinks, snacks)? 
  • Who picks up the person at the entrance? 
  • How long should the interview last? 
  1. Conduct post-interview discussions

Give the conversation a pleasant conclusion. Inform the candidate about the next step of the application process and when he/she can expect feedback. 

Afterwards, organize your notes and, if necessary, talk to your team members: What did you like? What did you notice? What was the mood like? How do you rate the person compared to other applicants? It is best to use a uniform evaluation form for the interview.

  1. Follow Up Interview: ASAP

Given the high level of competition in finding the best talent, it is better for you to immediately confirm the follow-up interview schedule for candidates who have passed the initial interview stage. 

This needs to be done to increase the positive impact on your employer branding and ensure that you will be able to acquire the best talent available. Allowing the best candidate to wait too long will hurt the candidate’s likelihood of choosing your organization.

In preparing for a follow-up interview, make sure not to put too much pressure on the candidate. Sometimes, notices and announcements that are too close will confuse candidates, so it never hurts to be more flexible in providing a schedule for the follow-up phase.

  1. Treat unsuccessful applicants with respect and dignity

Be sure to send the unsuccessful applicants rejection letters, because after all, every candidate wants to know where they stand. 

When sending out rejection letters, offer sympathy and let them down gently. For a better applicant experience, you can also offer to give them interview feedback.

Final thoughts

Interviews are the first real interaction between you as a representative of your company and the candidate. By ensuring that you follow all the steps necessary to show that you care about them will set up a strong foundation for your future relationship with them. But to have a smooth and progressive recruitment process and interview, it is imperative to already have the best potential candidate in hand.

To cut through the compass, employing a AI-based recruitment platform like Shortlyst is the most likely solution. Not only can the app select the most prominent profile through AI Technology, but it also can manage the communication pattern between you as the recruiter and the candidate. Try it now!

Written by

Shortlyst Team

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