Captivating Candidates in the Interview
Updated: Mar 27
Interviews are like professional dates that start on a dating app. You find each other online, share a little about yourself and what it would be like to spend time together, and then decide if you want to meet up. If you agree to "link-up," the sussing begins. Interviews have always been a two-way street, but more than ever, attracting talent is a must-have skill for a hiring team.
We've talked a lot about behavior-based interviews and how to answer the interview questions that come with them. (see our blog on STAR-based answers). But what if you are a company that is struggling to attract talent? The interview slightly turns toward you, and your interview panel needs to be prepared with captivating stories, situations, and insight into what a future together could look like.
Figure out what that candidate's "I'M IN" button is and highlight how this opportunity has it. However, don't be that person on a date who is like, "OMG, you love sailing?! I love sailing!" when really you sailed once at summer camp 20 years ago, and it terrified you.
Listen for clues about what motivates these applicants or what they report makes them happy to go to work every day. They are applying for jobs because something about their current employer doesn't meet their needs. If you can listen for the magic "I'M IN" button and have it (don't fib if you don't), then you have a long-term hire.
Candidates also have an "I'M OUT" button that you need to listen for in the interview. If they will not endure something at work, figure it out in the interview. For example, if they hate being siloed and you know that is where leadership is taking the tax team, find it out in the interview and save yourself a short-term hire.
Here are more tips to attract new talent to your tax team:
Write a fresh job description: Your job description should stand out from the crowd! Use catchy phrases, engaging language, and highlight the unique perks and benefits of working for your company. Make it clear that this is a great opportunity and that they won't want to miss out!
Advertise like a pro: Use social media platforms to showcase your job openings creatively. You can use graphics and videos to make your job posting stand out from the rest. Use hashtags relevant to your industry and add some humor to your posts.
Offer rewards to current employees: Encourage your current employees to refer their network for job openings by offering exciting rewards like a day off, gift cards, or bonuses. Ensure that their referrals are valued and that you appreciate their help.
Keep it simple: Make your application process easy and straightforward. Cut out unnecessary questions, make sure your online application system is user-friendly, and provide clear instructions for applicants. Please don't make candidates manually enter their resumes.
Be engaging right away: Be prompt and friendly when responding to applicants. Answer their questions and give them feedback about their application. Show that you are interested in them and their success.
Show off your company culture: Make your company culture known! Highlight the unique benefits of working for your company. Show that your company is not just another tedious corporate job.
Be a great host: Finally, make the interview process a fun and engaging experience. Get to know the applicant and make them feel comfortable. Take them to lunch, show them around the office, or give them a tour of the area. Be the host with the most and leave them with a positive impression of your company.
Do reference checks before the interview to get ahead of conversations about strengths and weaknesses, goals, etc.--this information can help the interview panel be prepared!
Interview prep is in the best interest of the client too! We can't set our candidates up for success if you don't set your interviewers up for success.