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SkillStudio offers expert advice and thought leadership developed from over 45 years of Talent Acquisition experience.

Are interviews conveying your desired recruitment brand?

Today’s job interviews are becoming so comprehensive that they amount to working for free, seven rounds of interviews culminating in an impersonal rejection email, forgetting to even inform a finalist candidate that they didn’t get the job.

That’s not to say that managers don’t have the right to be selective when hiring a new employee. But these kinds of experiences send some very clear signals to candidates—that many employers aren’t clear on what they’re looking for, they’re not confident in their hiring decisions, and they don’t really care about candidates.

Think about it this way. The person you eventually bring on board will experience your hiring process, good or bad, as the first impression of your company. Some people may chalk it up to the cost of getting a new job these days. Others, particularly the most in-demand talent, may bow out of the hiring process or even decline an offer if their experience was negative.

Making your interview process a positive one isn’t necessarily difficult. It just takes a bit of planning and thoughtfulness to get it right. Here’s how:

Get clear on what you’re looking for and how to assess it. Be reasonable about the required skills and experience for the position. Include the soft skills that are critical to success in the role. Understand the competencies your company prioritizes and make sure they are reflected in the job description as well.

Design your interviews to vet candidates against that job description. Create a structured interview guide around the job description that evaluates the skills, experience, and competencies of each candidate. Use specific interview questions to help you predict a candidate’s future performance.

Be respectful of the candidates’ time and efforts. Before interviews begin, get commitment from those on the hiring committee that they’ll be flexible and move other meetings to accommodate the candidates’ schedules. Use scheduling tools like to minimize back-and-forth coordination of multiple calendars. Don’t reschedule interviews unless absolutely necessary. Try scheduling multiple rounds of interviews with promising candidates over a short timeframe—say one to two weeks—so you can make a hiring decision quickly and let other candidates move on. Don’t continue to interview someone if you are not serious about their candidacy. Promptly inform candidates when you’ve decided not to move forward. And make your outreach appreciative and personal. No form emails! Time box any skills assessments or assignments and keep them hypothetical when possible.

So next time you’re hiring for your team, ask yourself: Am I clear on who I’m looking for? Is my interview process actually helping me find them? And am I prioritizing the candidates along the way? Reflecting on these questions and being intentional about how you interview helps create a great experience for your candidates.


Connect to decrease turnover.

Today’s employees require more than just a job description and compensation. They want to belong somewhere and be part of a mission to do something great. As priorities shifted to core business activities during a pandemic, leaders have struggled to keep their staff connected to one another, much less connected to an evolving vision for the organization. Start by intentionally solidifying those connections.

Leverage an Onboarding Buddy for new hires, ideally one with a broad internal network who can explicitly teach team norms and company vision. For workers who started during the pandemic and got left behind, onboard them again.

Encourage WFH Clusters where staff meet in-person in small groups in their homes. Or if they can’t be together physically, offer a shared virtual office experience where staff work independently in a shared Zoom room.

Create space for human connections in meetings with playful ideas like meeting themes and wellness moments. One leader’s team hosted an underwater theme and kicked off meetings with breath and stretch work as a warm-up.

Host a Creative Share where siloed groups show and tell their work and celebrate successes to connect staff across, not just within, teams. The more relationships they develop, the more likely they will stay.