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Let’s talk about the interview process for a minute. A recruiter scours the internet for the right candidates. They call the competition. They look through all of the applications. They work very hard to make sure they are identifying the right talent.

Once the recruiter identifies the talent they spend 30 minutes to an hour talking to the candidate. They go deep into their work history, find out about gaps of employment and find out if they are a cultural fit for the organization. If the recruiter is good, they will talk in detail about the role, let them know how the recruitment process works and prepare them the best they can for the next part in the interview process.

What should be the next step in the interview process? Should it be with the hiring manager? Should it be with another recruiter?

It depends.

I would say more often than not though, it is with the hiring manager. Should the hiring manager agree to take an interview, then how long should their interview be? Should it be 30 minutes? 45 minutes? An hour?

Okay- here is where I have an issue. The next stage in the interview process is critical. A recruiter is the one who gets the candidate excited about the company, the product or service they are offering, and what they will be doing in a role.

If you are the hiring manager, you are representing the organization. You are the name and face of the organization. If you are busy, everyone understands. Everyone. Especially the candidate.

What I have seen a lot lately is organizations setting up 30 minute calls with candidates. Is that enough?

It can be. Most of the time though, it is not enough time.

If a hiring manager uses the 30 minutes to build rapport, tell the candidate about the company, the role and the direction of the organization to see if the candidate is interested, then yes. It is completely warranted to have a 30 minute conversation. I have seen this tactic followed up with another interview to really interview the candidate. Hiring managers can usually tell in those 30 minutes if after building rapport if they would work well together.

It works. Trust me. I use this tactic all the time as a recruiter.

IF, on the other hand, a hiring manager uses the 30 minutes to drill the candidate on the skills of the candidate, then it is not enough time. The candidate gets a sour taste in their mouth. They don’t get a good feeling about who they would be potentially working for at all. If the candidate is good, all of the good things they learned from the recruiter will go out the window. Truthfully, how can you fairly evaluate a candidate in their career in 30 minutes. You can’t. There are a lot of questions the candidate has and you need to be fair to answer them appropriately.

So, how do you expedite the time without giving the candidate a bad experience?

If a hiring manager has some concerns after reviewing a resume, they will usually go into the interview with those same reservations. My suggestion is for the recruiter to ask for specific feedback when the candidates are submitted to the hiring manager. The hiring manager should say “I’m concerned about” and the recruiter can address them prior to the call with the hiring manager. If the hiring manager is still has concerns, don’t interview them! Don’t waste your time, or the candidates!

If the hiring manager wants to talk further, then have someone else involved in the interview process before you speak to them. It could be a great “second screen”. Maybe, just maybe, the unbiased third party sees past some of the concerns and can alleviate them when the hiring manager has the conversation.

The point here is the last thing you want to do is to have one of your candidates go and say something negative on Facebook, Twitter or Glassdoor. Don’t think for a second that people don’t read poor reviews on the interview process or that people don’t talk.

Recruiting is a partnership. As I was taught 22 years ago, recruiters don’t just deliver resumes, they narrow it down to the top 3-5 and then it makes your job so much easier as a hiring manager. If the 3-5 are not what you are looking for, then re-calibrate with your recruiter. If you are working with someone you don’t trust, find someone you do trust.

Think about this the next time you schedule an interview. A good candidate experience brings great employees. Let’s flip the table. How would you feel if someone drilled you for half an hour about a job without covering thing that you felt were important.

Lastly, food for thought. Don’t ever forget, it is a candidates market! Candidates are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them. What if you take 30 minutes and fall in love with the candidate and you want to move forward with next steps and they are so disturbed by your interview style that they aren’t interested in moving forward with you.

It happens. Trust me.

What are your thoughts?

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