Most interviewers think about the candidate giving a pitch to sell why they are the most qualified person and best fit for the job. But, the interview is also a time for the company to pitch the candidate. Are you selling the job in the interview or are you just sitting on your company’s laurels that every candidate you offer a job to is going to accept it?
The interview has, over time, become more and more of a two-way dialogue–a chance for both sides to ask questions, give answers, and gain a better understanding of one another. In many cases, it’s more of a courtship than a one-sided testing environment.
Even with a tough job market, landing the most highly qualified applicants requires companies to do their part in the interview process to woo their top candidates.
There are two main times you should be ‘selling’ your open position to a job seeker. The first is in the initial job posting. This is often a job seeker’s first impression of a position and where they start to set and define their expectations of a role and decide if it’s worth their time to apply to.
Make sure you have a clearly defined posting that also reflects your company’s culture and energy. No one will know what a great, fun work environment you have if your job posting is dry, and boring.
Also make sure you are posting the position where your target audience is likely to see it.
The second time you should be selling your position is in the interview itself. But, whether it’s a phone interview or face to face, when you sell the position can often be critical.
Excited interviewers might want to sell the job up front in the interview, and get it over with, but this can end up wasting lots of time for both you and the interviewee.
Take time up front in the interview to learn about the applicant, assess their qualifications for the role, and their fit before you sell the position to them.
Why? For several reasons. If you’ve already determined the applicant isn’t a fit for the role, you don’t need to waste time trying to convince them why they should work for your company. You can wrap up the interview early and move on.
Second, selling the position up front can set false expectations with the candidate. They may leave overly excited at your efforts to plug the company and the position and think that they have the offer in the bag.
Third, if you wait until the end of the interview to sell the position, you have the opportunity to take what you’ve learned in the interview about the applicant and modify your approach to address what’s important to them in their next career move.
You can be more strategic with your approach versus jumping in blind and talking about things that are not essential to their decision.
If you think it’s not necessary to plug your company and promote the highlights of a position to a prospective new employee, it could be the difference between making a mediocre hire and letting your competition hire the superstar candidate you wanted.
So ask yourself if your interview process is one-sided, or if you’re doing your part to sell the opportunity to job seekers during the interview process. It can make all the difference.
Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Interviewing.com. Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog, RestlessPillow.com, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.