Etiquette Tips for the Interview


Part 2 of 3 – The Interviewer

This is the 2nd part of our 3 part series discussing interview etiquette…this time, we’re focusing on the interviewer or hiring manager…

I recently read an eye-opening article,  The 7 Deadly Sins of Good Hiring, which has some insightful commentary on how an interviewer should behave and since not all hiring managers are naturally great interviewers, thought this would be a relevant article.

Interviewing a potential candidate for a position as a hiring manager may seem pretty logical.  But for some hiring managers, the interviewing process can be overwhelming, and if not done properly, can make the wrong impression on your candidate, and in some cases quite possibly tarnish the reputation of the company or even put your employer in a sticky legal situation.

So just as you expect certain etiquette from a job seeker, the same is expected of you, the hiring manager.   You’re setting the tone for a possible long-term relationship.

The Resume – The process has started, your in basket begins piling up with resume upon resume.  It will take time to sift through the resumes to begin your candidate selection process, ensuring that the information on the resume meets your qualification criteria.

Be Prepared – Before you reach out to the candidate you should have a clear map of your interview process.  If your department and/or HR hasn’t established interview guidelines, it’s time to do so now.  Consistency in the process allows all of the candidates a fair shot at being considered for the position and provides you and your team an “apples-to-apples” comparison.  There are enough variables in interviewing each candidate such as personality, background, etc., and you don’t need to complicate matters further by not having a process.

Your Team – Your team should consist of key players in your department and those who will have direct interaction with the prospective candidate once hired.  So if you’re hiring a graphic designer and you’re the Art Director, it would be a good idea to have the Creative Director, a Sr. Graphic Designer, and perhaps your VP of Marketing or Creative as well.   Have your interview team prepped with the job description, the candidate’s resume and portfolio and provide a clear interview itinerary to all involved.

Treat the Interview as a Meeting – This is an important business meeting, treat it as such.  Publish a schedule and agenda and be sure each team member, including the candidate, has a copy of it.  Stick to the schedule – 5-10 minutes of going over schedule for say, 4 people, amounts to 40 minutes added to the interview.  Stay on track – it’s not fair to the candidate and it’s not fair to your colleagues.

Next Steps – Have next steps defined at the end of the interview.  Let each candidate know when they can expect to hear from you.  Please be sure to phone each candidate regardless of your interest in them.  It’s not ok to leave someone hanging because you’re not interested in hiring them.

In the end, your etiquette is an important factor in representing your company to your prospective employees.

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