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Get Candidates to Say Yes: Solve These Common Interview Problems

September 8, 2022
Linzi Nield
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With engineering talent scarce, it’s important to ensure that you aren’t inadvertently repelling job candidates during your interview process. It’s easier to do than you think: According to Terminal’s State of Remote Engineering Report, 97% of engineers cite at least one issue with the interview process. What’s more, 65% of job candidates say that a bad interview experience makes them lose interest in the job. Engineers specified frustrations like too many interview rounds, long delays, generic interview questions, and traveling long distances to meet hiring managers in person.

Luckily all of these issues can be remedied. Below we outline four of the biggest irritations that engineers face during the interview process and what you can do to address them.

Frustration #1: Disorganization

The problem

Remember that the interview process goes both ways: Job candidates are evaluating your company just as much as you are evaluating them. If your company comes off as disorganized during the interview process, that’s a bad sign and can send job candidates off to work for other companies that come off as more coordinated. It’s worth noting that disorganization was the most common frustration that engineers specified, with 52% citing it as a pain point. If you can make your interview process more efficient, it could give you a competitive advantage.

The solution

You can stay organized by documenting everything in the interview process. Keep interview notes in a shared, centralized place and give interviewers strict deadlines for submitting feedback. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be helpful if available, but if not, you can use a tool like Asana, Trello, or even a Google sheet to keep everything organized. Make sure to clearly define who will be involved in the interview process and that everyone is aligned on what the ideal candidate looks like. Set clear expectations and focus areas for each person involved so interview questions don’t get missed or repeated.

Frustration #2: Long delays and too many interviews

The problem

Choosing your next employee requires you to make a big decision, and it’s understandable to want to do many rounds of interviews to make sure a candidate is a good fit. But 49% of engineers cite an overabundance of interview rounds as a big pain point, and 50% say that long delays can indicate that the opportunity isn’t right for them. Latin American and Canadian job candidates in particular aren’t used to the drawn-out interview processes that are common at many American companies.

The solution

Try to keep the number of interviews low and be intentional about what you’re trying to figure out at each stage. At Terminal, we follow a three-round interview process to keep the process moving. In the first round, a recruiter conducts a high-level screening for technical skills and company culture fit. In the second round, the hiring manager does a deep dive into the candidate’s experience. In the third round, we coordinate a panel interview for a half day of meetings with multiple members of the team. It significantly improves the candidate experience and reduces the average time from initial screen to 12-15 days – considerably faster than the 23.8 day average in the United States. 

Frustration #3: ​​Generic interview questions

The problem

Nonspecific interview questions not only will hinder your ability to assess a candidate; they’ll also leave candidates with very little to help them understand the role. Customized interview questions help job candidates evaluate their duties based on what you’re asking them and can help them gauge if the role will suit them. It also helps your company appear more organized when interview questions are tailored to a candidate’s experience, and, as we already said, organization goes a long way with job candidates. A whopping 48% of candidates say that non-customized interview questions can turn them off to a role. 

The solution

A structured interview process can help remedy that. It can keep conversations focused on asking the right questions related to the requirements for the job, instead of allowing the conversation to unfold organically and potentially waste the candidate’s time. You can strategically tailor questions to uncover both technical and non-technical skills, and you can also get a sense of whether a candidate is able to meet the unique demands of remote work. Creating a structured interview process can take a lot of skill and expertise – working with a partner can help you ensure that your interviews are customized and efficient. 

Frustration #4: In-person interviews

The problem

Even in the era of remote work, some companies require candidates to come in to interview in person, which is an expensive and time-intensive practice that frustrates job candidates. Thirty-three percent of engineers bemoan that they are sometimes required to voyage long distances for in-person interviews, and when job candidates are already frustrated with lengthy interviews, forcing candidates to disrupt their lives for several days to travel will only compound their irritation.

The solution

Luckily, it’s easy to conduct an effective interview without requiring that candidates trek to headquarters. Use video conferencing software like Zoom or Google Hangouts to establish a face-to-face connection with candidates and invest in remote-friendly tools to keep your interactions intentional. Remember that you don’t need to sacrifice a great interview experience just because candidates aren’t coming into the office. If taking final round candidates out to dinner is part of your standard interview process, send them a gift certificate to a local restaurant in their town, or have each person involved in the interview record a short introduction video of their home office space to give the candidate a more personal feel for the culture of the company. 

The value of an efficient interview process 

Your interview process is when job candidates get their first impressions of the inner workings of your company, which is why it’s important to design your interviews to be as painless and efficient as possible. Not only will it help you find the right person for your team, but it will also improve your chances that candidates will accept the offers you extend. If you want to be sure that your interview process is optimized for hiring fast, qualified candidates, you can use a hiring partner to create a customized and organized process that will do more than simply find a person to do a job; you’ll be able to build a dream team that will make your company stronger, happier, and more productive.

Get in touch with our team to learn more.

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