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Attention: Hiring Managers, Candidates Want Straight Answers

September 10th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Talent Management - (Comments Off on Attention: Hiring Managers, Candidates Want Straight Answers)

We have all, at some point in time, left an interview confident that we had aced it and thought that in all likelihood secured a second interview was imminent. Sometimes, this over confidence could have been as result of the cues, we got (or so, we thought at the time) from the hiring manager that made us believe we had shot at eventually landing the job.

Attention: Hiring Managers, Candidates Want Straight Answers

Prospective employees, according to John Hollon, from his article Hey Recruiters: Here’s How You Can Be Frank and Honest With Candidates want the truth.

If you are an HR or hiring professional, here are 7 tips from the article that you will find useful:

  1. Communicate early and often: The best organizations respond and communicate with candidates quickly when they first apply, and then as often as they can during the entire application and selection process. More is always best, and the more you keep them informed, the better they will feel about the process.
  2. Help candidates manage their expectations: I applied to a blind ad that turned out to be from a company that I used to work for and had been happy with me. When I was contacted about the job, I went through a whirlwind three days of interviews. Then, nothing for a week except a text on Day 8 saying they were far down the road with another candidate but hadn’t hired anyone yet. Well, they eventually did hire someone, but not me. My expectation was that they would at least tell me I wasn’t going to get the job. I’m still waiting.
  3. Communicate the outcome, no matter what it is: This past year, I’ve had two companies that said they wanted to hire me, then suddenly fell off the face of the Earth and would not respond to any of my communications asking what happened. Yes, it’s hard to give bad news and say that a situation has changed, but that’s what good companies do. Leaving people hanging isn’t being frank and honest; it’s never a smart approach.
  4. Don’t give false hope:Has anyone ever been contacted again by a company that tells them, “We’ll keep your application on file”? I’m sure it happens, but broken clocks are right twice a day too. Telling a candidate something like this gives false hope — and that’s wrong.
  5. Remember Tim Sackett’s rule for multiple rounds of interviews: How many interviews do you need to have to decide to hire someone? Well my friend Tim Sackett has this rule, and it’s pretty simple: “No one needs four rounds of interviews to decide if a candidate is the right candidate for your organization. A fifth round, or any number higher, is just adding insult to injury.” 
  6. Be completely clear with someone who really MIGHT be good candidate later. My son had a job interview for a position he didn’t get, but one of the executives at the firm told him, “We like you a lot. We’ll be in touch again because we have job opening up all the time.” THAT’S how to keep a rejected candidate engaged and do it right.
  7. At the end of it all, remember the Golden Rule. Yes, at the end of it all the Golden Rule still applies —treat others as you would like to be treated. If more companies handled candidates with that in mind, nobody would ever be talking and writing about how bad the candidate experience is.

Bottom-line: Treat all candidates with dignity and respect, even if you know you are not going to not hire them. Anything less says more about you and your company, not prospective employees.

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How To Handle Odd Ball Questions At A Job Interview

March 28th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Leave Management | Talent Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on How To Handle Odd Ball Questions At A Job Interview)

Odd ball questions at interviews have become the norm over the last several years, so much so, that job candidates almost expect them at some interviews. Of course no two companies are alike and while some recruiters like to think up clever ways to trip up candidates, other companies might simply have a set of questions (that’s devoid of trickery) that randomly use to help them determine if job candidates are a fit.

How To Handle Odd Ball Questions At A Job Interview

Now just imagine as a job candidate, you have aced an interview by proving your technical and educational proficiency, and have effectively (or so, you thought) answered how you can make an individual contribution to the company as a valued member of the team if you were hired. Then, all of a sudden the recruiter ask; “so where do you see yourself in 5 years?” The recruiter is likely trying to assess how serious you are about your career and how your ambitions fit within the scope of their plans. To some job candidates, this might seem like a natural question. Now image the same question being asked of a second year, university student who is interviewing for a job at a fast food restaurant. The university student know that they are the job in question is simply to help pay for tuition and so, this question might seem downright idiotic and would likely be followed by rolling their eyes, once the recruiter turns their back.

Here is a list of odd ball questions, written by Peter Jones for the Job Network that’s designed with the express purpose of catching an unsuspecting candidate off guard. Job hunters should be careful, not to come off as being snarky with their response, if they are faced with those questions during a job interview.

  1. “Why do you want this job?”

It is possible to have a good answer to this that talks about your passion for the company and the position and the field, but it’s also a pretty stupid way to phrase it—and not particularly nuanced. Get your revenge by quickly explaining your keen interest and then deflecting by ending your answer with another question. Such as: “I’d really love to hear more about what you’re currently working on here…”

  1. “Tell me a little bit about yourself”

Keep your response here short and sweet. Don’t actually talk about your life story. Instead, have an elevator pitch ready to encapsulate your career story—where you’re coming from and why you’re a perfect fit. Focus on the professional and finish it off painlessly and quickly.

  1. “Why should we hire you over all our other applicants?”

You can’t compare yourself to the other qualified applicants. You have no idea who they are or what their resumes look like. All you can do with this question is sell yourself. I.e. “I don’t know about the others, but I can tell you why you should hire me.” And then just pivot to your talents and value.

  1. “What should we know that isn’t on your resume?”

This is a curveball, and there are a lot of stupid ways to answer it, but it can also be a gift. Here’s your opportunity to explain gaps in employment, or to emphasize skills or experiences that would be relevant to this job but maybe didn’t make the cut on your documents. Frame your answer to show how you’d be great at this job.

  1. “How honest are you?”

This one is a real doozy. Who in their right mind would say: “Not at all; I’m a total liar.”? Get out of this one by giving a short and straightforward statement about your high ethical standards and remind your interviewer about your available references.

You can read the read the rest of the questions and answers from the blog Smart Answers to 10 Stupid Interview Questions

Bottom Line:
There is an art and the science to a job interview, try not to let (and be very delicate with that approach) the interviewer get carried away and become too artistic during the job interview process.

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