How to Win Over a Candidate

Right now, we are very much in a talent-driven market, one where many companies are competing for the same talented candidates. So how do you set your company apart and win over the candidate you really like?

Here are 5 tips that will set you apart.


1. Be prepared

Unless you get pulled into the interview last minute, be prepared before going into the meeting. Sounds simple enough, but unfortunately this is a common misstep. Read the candidates resume and be armed with specific questions regarding their experience. Know the role the candidate is interviewing for and tell them why this role is open and inform them about the growth opportunities it offers.
All great candidates aren’t just looking for a good place to work; they are looking for a good place to work where they can actively contribute and grow. If you can paint a picture of the potential within the role, you can help them align the position with their career aspirations.

2. Be on time

Being punctual is an easy way to show how much you care about the meeting. Keep in mind that candidates usually arrive 20-30 minutes before the interview to ensure they’re on time and make a good impression. So please try your best to show the same respect to them by being on time.
If your previous meeting runs longer than expected or an issue that required your attention made you late, try to message them and let them know.

3. Ask good questions

If you’re interviewing for a technical role, don’t ask super textbook/theoretical questions like “what is the Fibonacci sequence?” or “Can you please tell me the ten digits of Pi after the decimal?”. Unless you’re hiring a Mathematician, or the role requires them to know the Fibonacci sequence or Pi on a regular basis, these types of questions are designed to stress the candidate out!
We’ve been on the receiving end of the phone when candidates go on ranting for 10 minutes about questions like this (from other interviews they’ve attended, not of our clients!). Most of the time it has nothing to do with the job itself, and it throws the candidate off. One candidate even overheard the interviewers making fun of them for not being able to answer a question as they were leaving the interview. Goodbye, positive Glassdoor ratings!

4. Excite your candidate about the company

Why did you join the company? What are the things that set your company apart? Is it superior training? Benefits? Vacation? Team building outings? Hackathons? Is your company open to all good ideas regardless of who makes the suggestion? Does your company often promote internally? Do you offer flexible hours?
All the little things that make your company unique makes a difference so why not share them in the interview.

5. Be human

What I mean by this is be nice. Unless you are interviewing for a very senior role or a role that does a lot of presentations, the candidates are typically not used to talking about themselves or what problems they’ve solved with their previous companies.
Smile, ask questions to break the ice, rephrase the question if you see them struggle, and help them relax. You’ll get a better sense of who they are and what their skill set is.

Bonus tip:
Please get back to candidates and offer some feedback or a reason as to why they did not get the job. This tip will leave the door open if they do become someone you’d like to employ in the future.

These 5 tips are simple and straightforward. Put them in practice when recruiting a potential candidate and it will not only improve the candidate’s experience but will also help in winning over your top talent and may garner positive reviews of your company.

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