The Recruiters’ Essential Checklist for Onsite Interviews

April 20, 2016

Interview day is critical. Our research shows that 83% of candidates say a negative interview experience would make them not want to take the offered job, even if they were previously interested. Conversely, 87% of candidates say a great interview experience would make them want to take the job, even if they had doubts about it before.

That means the interview itself is the make-or-break experience for candidates and the key to closing top talent. And one of the best ways to make a good impression on candidates is to have everything flow smoothly during the interview process.

As the recruiter, making that happen means ensuring that both the interviewers and candidates are well prepared.

To help, we’ve come up with a simple checklist for all the things you need to do to prepare everyone for an onsite interview. By following this, you can help ensure that every candidate has an excellent experience.

A checklist for preparing interviewers for the onsite interview

Often, interviewers don’t have very much time to prepare prior to interviewing a candidate. So, you have to give them everything they need to know about who they are interviewing in a quick, easily digestable format.

The first thing you should provide them with is the basic info about the candidate:

Next comes the interview details, as well as your contact information:

And lastly, be sure to send them the following:

  • Candidate resume
  • Work examples
  • Candidate headshot
  • Job description

Want to download this entire checklist? Here’s a Google doc for you to do exactly that, which you can also modify for your own needs.

A checklist for preparing the candidate for an onsite interview

To ensure a good candidate experience, it's important to communicate all the interview details promptly and accurately. Candidates are likely already nervous, so don’t add to that by waiting until the last minute to give them details.

Specifically, you should send them a pre-interview email that includes:

  • A note thanking them for interviewing
  • The position title
  • The job description
  • The interview location, with directions   
  • The contact name upon arrival
  • The interviewers’ LinkedIn profiles and titles
  • Any materials the candidate should bring, such as a resume, references or work samples
  • The appropriate attire to wear

When the candidate actually comes to the interview, make them feel welcome and special by preparing:

  • A welcome card in the interview room
  • Interview snack kit
  • Printed interview agenda and schedule
  • Any promotional materials

Again, the key here is to make the candidate feel comfortable and wanted. And, if you really want to make the interview experience stand out, try these 12 things you can do to delight candidates.

Want to download the above checklist as well? Here’s a Google doc for you to do exactly that, which you can also modify for your own needs.

The takeaway

Making sure that both the interviewers and candidates are prepared is one of the best ways to provide a great candidate experience, and get potential hires as excited as possible to work for your company. And, throwing in little benefits like some cool swag or an interview snack kit can really make a person feel wanted, and only help to boost your employer brand.

To further help you organize the entire hiring and onboarding process, download our free ebook The Ultimate Hiring Toolbox

*Image from Death to the Stock Photo

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