A recruitment agency can refer the highest calibre of applicants to you, but in the end it is down to your own interviewers to decide which candidates are the best fit for the vacancies you have available – so how do you go about making that distinction?
Here are five tips to keep in mind when planning your next interview, whether it is for a direct sales and marketing role, or for any other position within your company.
1 – Do your research
A recruitment agency will often know their best candidates in quite a lot of detail, so take full advantage of this to find out things that might not be obvious from their CV, such as what motivates them in their job hunt, or how long they have really been looking for work.
By finding out this information beforehand, you can make more efficient use of the time you have together face to face in the interview, for a more complete picture of each candidate.
2 – Have they done theirs?
If you’ve gone to the trouble of learning about the candidate, it’s only fair to expect them to do the same, so find out what they know about your company and the role they have applied for.
Remember to keep in mind what information is easily available, for example on your company website’s ‘About Us’ page, as this in a sense carries less currency in an interview than if the candidate has really gone out of their way to speak to existing employees or research your company in more depth.
3 – Be personal
Some questions are off-limits, so be very cautious about discriminating – however well-meaning it may be – during an interview on grounds like age, personal life and so on.
But there’s nothing wrong with asking more probing questions about an individual’s motivation, self-discipline, or examples from their personal life of why they think they are suited to a role, rather than solely relying on past professional experiences.
4 – Be persistent
If you feel like the interviewee’s first answer is too vague, deliberately evasive or has just missed the point of what you were asking, ask it again in a slightly different way.
This not only improves your chances of finding out what you want to know about the candidate, but also gives you the chance to see how they perform under pressure when they realise their first answer wasn’t good enough – something that will stand the best candidates in good stead in many roles, including in direct sales and marketing positions where they will often be required to think on their feet.
5 – Follow up
You might expect a committed applicant to follow up with you even if they were unsuccessful, but if there were candidates who impressed but narrowly missed out on a limited number of vacancies, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take the initiative to follow up too.
Let your recruitment agency know if there’s anyone you’d especially like to see again when a future role becomes available, and they can pass that feedback on to the applicant – which at the very least could help to make sure their CV lands on your desk again next time you’re recruiting.