Say goodbye to hours-long interviews. Leave behind the clammy handshakes. No more no-shows. No more unconscious bias. 

We’re talking about the interview of the future. Which changes would you love to see?

If the forced transition to remote interviewing shows us anything, it’s that processes can flex when necessary. But now, as we consider the ‘new normal’, that change needs to go much, much further…

That’s not just because everyone has an interview horror story. The facts point to an experience that’s often both unpleasant and inefficient:

  • 53% of candidates have been put off from pursuing an opportunity by a poor interview experience
  • Nearly half of those departing within 12 months of starting a role cite a mismatch between expectations set out at interview and the reality
  • 39% of candidates encounter unprepared interviewees, while a third rankle at overlong, “cumbersome” processes and a lack of communication around next steps.

This isn’t even to mention the obvious spectre of hiring bias at the interview stage.

But there’s a better way. One where the “new normal” really is new, rather than a reversion to old, unhelpful habits. This post looks at two changes organisations can make to finally turn interviewing into the driver for hiring success, rather than the roadblock:

Standardise, standardise, standardise

It might sound boring, but standardised interview processes get results.

Not only do they create a platform for every candidate to be assessed fairly and consistently, but they also make it easier to separate and compare responses between candidates. No more comparing apples to oranges.

Methodology

At Arctic Shores, we’re big fans of the ORCE methodology. That is, Observe, Record, Classify & Evaluate. This approach means that you make no judgements during the interview, and instead leave all interpretation until after it’s finished. This lets you focus on objectively capturing data when you’re with the candidate.

Questions

We’d also recommend standardising your questions. This has three benefits:

  • Gives candidates of all ages, genders, ethnicities and social backgrounds the same opportunity to impress.
  • Makes sure every question you ask is job-relevant and gives you the actionable data you need.
  • Helps prevent overlong, stressful and inefficient interview processes.

The key here is tailoring questions to the role. This means you’ll need to spend time beforehand getting to the heart of your roles’ success criteria (we can help you with that).

Scoring

Lastly, standardise how you score responses. There are a few ways to do this – one of which is our Interview Guide framework (which we’ll touch on later).

Standardised scoring means that, once again, every candidate is assessed fairly on the merit of their responses. This helps you prevent unconscious bias, while finding valid ways to turn responses into number scores also supports more data-driven hiring.

Consider the candidate

Make no mistake: while you’re assessing the candidate, the candidate will also be assessing you. Competition for talent is fiercer than ever, and so a positive interview experience can be the difference between good candidates and great ones.

But interviews are rarely devised with candidates in mind. We think that much of the changes needed here come down to communication before, during and after the interview:

Pre-interview

Uncertainty is never pleasant. This means that there’s an opportunity for employers to elevate the interview experience, by clearly setting out the steps and expected timescales. 

Candidates may need to arrange travel, or even accommodation in the case of full assessment days or early starts. This means that prior notice of what to expect can have material benefits and measurably reduce stress.

During

This is where setting expectations is crucial. Candidates need to know what to expect if they get the job. What is it like to work at your organisation? What are the specifics of the role? As we’ve seen, any misunderstanding here will quickly lead to turnover, and you’ll be interviewing all over again.

Instead, make a point of detailing your expectations for the role (even the not-so-glamorous bits). A warts-and-all picture might not seem your best bet to filling the role, but it’s definitely going to help you fill it with someone who will stay

Post-interview

We understand that it’s not always easy to give specific, valuable feedback (especially if you’re conducting hundreds of interviews). You’re not alone here – just 2.6% of employers give such a parting gift to unsuccessful candidates. 

But feedback is also an opportunity for you to set your employer brand apart. To make that candidate want to reapply in future, taking all your suggestions onboard. 

Even if you can’t stretch to feedback, the new normal of interviewing needs to include faster responses as standard. The only thing worse than uncertainty before an interview is the kind that comes afterwards. Only 37% of applicants get a response within a week, but they’ll be looking for other opportunities after just a few days. There’s room here for a system that allows for faster communication and better outcomes. 

Interview Guides: for a better ‘normal’

As we’ve said, now is the time to create a new standard of interviewing that works for everyone. With that in mind, we’re launching Interview Guides

What do they do?

  • Support fairer, standardised interviewing, by turning your unique role requirements into a list of tailored probing questions
  • Provide a framework for you to turn candidate responses into actionable data, which can be layered onto the results of our assessment.
  • Create an intuitive, user-friendly process that improves both your experience and the candidates’.

Want your interviews to work harder for you? Click here to discover more.