In-Person Interviews: A Checklist for Employers

6.30.2021 | As more employees return to long-abandoned cubicles and offices, more employers are conducting interviews face to face.

If it’s been a while, you may need a refresher and there are some COVID-related considerations, so we’ve made a list to help you prepare for a great candidate experience.

    • Communicate your mask policy

When it comes to wearing masks, policies vary as do the comfort levels among the general population. When scheduling the interview, let your candidate know about your company’s mask policy. During the interview, it would be ideal to space seating six feet apart and forgo masks, but only if both parties are comfortable. Doing so will help everyone read facial expressions more accurately. Regardless, set expectations ahead of the interview.

    • Think about logistics

Is your office easy to find? What about parking? Will the candidate be screened prior to entering your building or office? Put yourself in the recruit’s shoes and literally walk through the process step by step. Let them know what they can expect and what they need to do before the interview takes place.

    • Refresh the office

Your candidate does not want to walk into a workspace that has outdated calendars on the wall. Many offices have not seen much action in more than a year and even if you had a few employees coming in and out, your space is probably stale. Show that you’re ready to go. Update wall signage and decor, put some fresh flowers at the front desk, and start a pot of coffee.

    • Offer a warm welcome

It was a good idea before the pandemic and an even better one now – greet your candidate at the door. The greeter does not have to be you, but someone should be available to welcome your potential employee to the office. No one wants to wander into an empty lobby. Offer them a beverage, show them where the restrooms are located, and give them an overview of the interview schedule.

    • Build a rapport

Pleasant and engaging banter helps ease interview tensions, lays the groundwork for a more productive interview, and leads to better insights for the employer and the candidate. Take advantage of a technology-free conversation. You’ll quickly remember why nothing matches a face-to-face interaction.

    • Give a tour, make introductions

You can tell a candidate about your culture, or you can show them. An onsite interview allows a prospective employee to tour the office space and meet potential colleagues. If you’ve adapted your space to provide a safer post-pandemic environment, be sure to show and tell.

It may have been a while since you’ve walked a candidate to a conference room, but it’ll feel familiar very quickly. Just make sure you take the time to set the stage for a smooth candidate experience.

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