John HarringtonSeptember 29, 2023
Topics: Recruiter Experience

How to Streamline the Interview Experience For Candidates

Does your hiring process focus on the candidate and creating a phenomenal experience for all job seekers? This is an aspiration for many, but time and again organizations are falling short in their execution, ultimately suffering the consequence of losing out on the best available talent on the market.

Let’s dive into how to best streamline the interview experience so organizations can improve collaboration, communication, and efficiency — and so candidates, even if they don’t end up with the job, still leave with a positive view of your company.

Walk in Your Applicant’s Shoes

Many candidates are either looking for a change of scenery or pursuing more growth opportunities — 76% to be exact. This is why getting off on the right foot is crucial. In today’s market, candidates have plenty of organizations to choose from. In selecting their next landing spot, they’ll want transparency as it relates to:

  • What the interview experience and process will look like from application to offer

  • Who they’ll be meeting with (recruiters, interviewers, hiring managers, etc.) and what to expect from each interaction

  • How to adequately prepare for each engagement in order to put their best foot forward

  • Feedback on how to improve their interviewing skills

Furthermore, a candidate’s time is valuable. The best talent may only be on the market for days, versus weeks or months. This means the process should not only be clearly laid out, but should flow seamlessly — and this is where AI and automation can help. Course-correcting measures to address the unexpected (e.g., interview scheduling conflicts) should be streamlined and minimally disruptive to all stakeholders.

Remember: Often, the fastest hiring process will win the war for talent; the competition will gladly capitalize if you’re taking a clunky, sluggish approach.

3 Ways to Reflect On and Optimize Your Current Interview Process

Now that we’ve looked at things from the candidate’s side, let's dive into the elements that make an interview process suboptimal. This will make it easy to pinpoint the areas that need the most improvement in order to create a better interview experience for candidates.

1. Centralize Your Communications

Most candidates expect instant updates and a streamlined communication process, yet they’re often forced to bounce between phone calls, emails, their voicemail box, text threads or messaging apps to get updates. This can be exhausting to keep up with, especially if they’re interviewing at more than one company.

If you don’t have open and organized communication channels, it’s time for an upgrade.

By introducing a Candidate Hub, you can provide applicants with a one-stop-shop that provides real-time updates on interview progress and eliminates the ambiguity that exists between an application being submitted and an offer being extended. Centralizing all communication in one place eliminates the need for candidates to bounce back and forth between different communication streams to know where they currently stand.

And because Candidate Hub is powered by AI, it allows for personalized communications to be delivered to candidates, providing them with contextually-relevant information that sets appropriate expectations, outlines the next steps, specifies the interviewers they’ll be speaking with, and more — ultimately enhancing their interview experience.

2. Automate Interview Scheduling

All too often, recruiters serve as a conduit between candidates and the hiring team to manually schedule interviews — juggling constantly changing availability from multiple stakeholders. Not only is this a time-consuming process that reduces recruiting team efficiency, it results in a lackluster experience for candidates, especially when meetings need to be rescheduled, adding delays to the interview process.

If your interview scheduling process is primarily manual, adding AI and automation to your toolkit will change the game.

When automation is put into practice for interview scheduling, organizations can drastically improve how they arrange time to evaluate potential hires — whether for one-to-one interactions or panel discussions. With AI Scheduling, advanced algorithms match recruiter, interviewer, and hiring manager availability with candidate preferences, ensuring efficient scheduling while eliminating the need for prolonged email exchanges that slow down an already complex and multifaceted process.

3. Fine-tune How You Provide Feedback

Everyone who commits to submitting an application and interviewing with a company is taking a risk by spending time preparing for events that could amount to nothing. At the very least, organizations should recognize the time and effort being expended, and return the favor with the courtesy of feedback in cases where an interview or offer won’t be extended.

However, many organizations fail to communicate at all. In fact, 0% of Fortune 500 companies communicated application status to candidates after the initial confirmation that their application was received. Companies that do communicate often relay feedback after the final interview, doing so with varying degrees of detail and consistency. At the end of the day, candidates should be able to walk away with concrete takeaways to be accounted for the next time they’re being considered for a similar position.

When a single platform is being used for screening, scheduling, interview exchanges, and hiring decisions, it makes it possible for data and context to be gathered and enriched as a candidate moves from one stage to the next. This holistic approach makes it easier for your hiring team to be on the same page about the candidates you’re considering. Because all evaluations, notes, and takeaways are consolidated into one view, and are attached to each candidate’s profile, it’s easy to make better decisions, faster. Plus, it’s effortless for hiring teams to communicate updates to silver medalists as well as applicants who did not get the job.

By introducing intelligence and automation into your interview process, you can reduce manual steps, speed up processes, and create better outcomes for your business and the talent it’s trying to attract.

Incorporate Intelligence into Your Interview Process

No matter which aspect of the interview experience you have plans to improve for candidates — communication, scheduling, or feedback — you won’t be able to do it as effectively without incorporating AI and automation into your approach. In combination, AI and automation:

  • Streamline how you schedule interviews

  • Improve transparency by recording the conversation

  • Enable your team to share personalized feedback

  • Reduce the number of interview rounds

  • Decrease time-to-hire

Interview Intelligence is part of a holistic hiring intelligence solution that was designed to optimize the way organizations interact with candidates during the hiring process — creating better experiences while improving hiring outcomes.

Request a personalized demo today to see how Interview Intelligence can transform the way you interact with candidates at the most critical stage of the hiring process.

This blog is the final installment part of a five-part series that is dedicated to improving the way organizations approach the overall interview process to create better candidate experiences, improve hiring team collaboration, and reduce total time and cost to hire. Click here to catch up on the previous blogs:

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