Candidate Experience During the Interview Process Matters More Than Ever

interviewing military veteran

The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) recently published an article on their website regarding the latest interviewing strategies. Among them, the article points out that avoiding interviewing pitfalls is especially important in the age of social media. Candidates are now able to immediately “review” their interviewing experience on websites such as Glassdoor and others. An unsatisfactory experience shared on such platforms can generate bad word-of-mouth and impact an employer’s brand.

Therefore, a heightened awareness of how a job candidate experiences each facet of the interviewing process is critical. The leading cause of negative reviews on social media is a “black hole” experience, wherein a candidate receives little to no contact with the company for weeks or months after an interview takes place. Smart companies are those that continuously evaluate their interview processes and remedy any communication gaps that may exist.

Military veterans can pose a unique challenge when it comes to interviews, especially if they are seeking their first civilian job after separating from the service. Trained to work as a team, many veterans find it difficult to tout their individual accomplishments. Drawing them out is key. One recruiter finds it helpful to ask about a veteran’s unique story to make them comfortable. “I want a veteran to tell me about what they’ve done while in the service, and why they joined the military in the first place,” he urged. “Someone in the administrative or clerical field who may not have seen any action in combat was still drawn to the military and was compelled to serve their country. That’s a powerful story and can tell me a lot about them,” he said.

SHRM cautions against these interview strategies:

  • Don’t go with your gut. Discourage hiring managers from making hiring decisions based simply on a “gut feeling.” Such decisions are often rooted in personal biases and lead to the wrong hire, with associated costs in lost productivity and the need to revamp the hiring process.

  • Don’t ask different questions of various applicants. This practice prevents an apples-to-apples comparison of candidates and could invite litigation on charges of discrimination.

  • Don’t rely on cognitive and personality testing. Although there may be specific instances where such assessments can be helpful, they are often unnecessary and could be viewed by some as discriminatory or an invasion of privacy. It’s better to focus on what the candidate can do on the job.

  • Don’t ask personal questions. Pleasant chitchat is fine, but stay away from questions about family, marital status, religion or even irrelevant hobbies, which can raise the specter of bias.

If you’d like to know more, you can access the full SHRM article here.

Tuesday June 28, 2016

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Hiring, Employer Blog