Interview scheduling ideas

13 April 2018 | Business

Scheduling job interviews can be a logistics nightmare for recruiters who work for companies with a steady stream of applicants and new hires.

Ingenuity and organisation can turn the most hectic interview schedules into business-as-usual, provided you have good communication lines between recruiters and applicants, as well as between recruiters and hiring managers. Interview schedules for telephone screenings, in-person interviews and panel interviews must be carefully planned or they prevent recruiters and hiring managers from devoting enough time to their other job responsibilities.

Phone interviews

Employers that use a three-step selection process generally begin with a preliminary telephone screening where recruiters confirm the applicant’s continued interest in the job and verify work history. Roughly 30 minutes should be reserved for phone interviews. The actual interview may not take the full 30-minute slot, however, preparation time, actual questioning and summarizing interview notes can take recruiters about 30 minutes to complete.

Face-to-face interviews

An interview with the hiring manager typically is the first face-to-face interview for applicants as they move into being a candidate for the job vacancy. Depending on the position, a face-to-face interview could take anywhere from one hour to several hours. When an organization is conducting an extensive search, the best way to handle scheduling is through constant communication with hiring managers, as well as any other interviewers, such as interview panel members.

Panel Interviews

Panel interviews are among the most challenging to schedule because they can involve up to five or seven participants. Coordinating the schedules for several people can be as difficult as solving a logic puzzle. The easiest way to overcome the challenge of sending numerous emails and making call after call to confirm availability is to set aside a day and time during which participation on a panel interview is pre-scheduled. This means panel members know in advance when they are expected to participate in interviews and they can plan their departmental responsibilities accordingly.

Interviewee availability

Job seekers who are already employed appreciate it when employers schedule interviews outside normal business hours. It conveys two messages: that the company respects the loyalty the job seeker has to his current employer and that the company is genuinely interested in exploring the possibilities with qualified candidates. Both messages work to the advantage of the company because job seekers perceive the company as flexible and mindful of job seekers’ standing obligations.

Consideration

Interviewing takes time, but it should not consume so much time that it takes away from the other responsibilities that interviewers have. The goal is to make recruitment and selection a welcome responsibility for those who play a role in building the company’s workforce instead of a chore that recruiters and hiring manager’s dread.

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