put at ease

You think you’ve found a candidate who might just be the perfect fit and you’re looking forward to a great interview. However, your candidate could have a flight delay on the way, or perhaps is an anxious traveler. An uncomfortable interview often makes it difficult to assess a candidate’s true fit with your organization. Here are a few logistical things you can do to help put a candidate at ease before, during, and after the interview.

Communicate Every Travel Detail

Be sure to communicate every aspect of the travel and interview schedule in advance. This includes travel reservations, hotel booking, and other plans that may be included, such as tours or dinner. Knowing the plan is an important element in having a meaningful interview experience. 

Pick Them Up from the Airport

If they are flying, arrange to have someone meet the candidate at the airport to alleviate the potential for difficulties in transit. While you may elect to have a car sent or have one of your staff greet the candidate, it is best NOT to meet them yourself. Allow them to check into his or her hotel if the schedule allows. 

Prep the Interview Area

Make sure that the area of your office in which they are being interviewed is checked prior to your candidate’s arrival. Pay attention not just to cleanliness, but also temperature and lighting. We heard of an incident where a hiring manager had planned to have an interview in a conference room, but, unknown to the interviewer, a vendor had delivered a staff lunch to the conference room where the meeting was scheduled to take place. 

Ensure a Welcoming Environment

Make sure they are greeted properly as they arrive and escorted to the interview area when they arrive. As with any guest, ask if they would like water or to freshen up prior to going in the interview. Also be sure they are escorted to meet you promptly. It is worth mentioning that proper preparation means COMPLETELY clearing your schedule and making staff aware that you will be in an interview and that it is a priority. Have any other staff that is meeting the candidate make a similar commitment. 

Allow for Down-Time

If you are planning to have dinner or an evening meeting, try to allow time for the candidate to check into the hotel to decompress it he or she has not yet done so.

Ultimately, the purpose of carefully planning logistics for an interview is to reduce the anxiety of the visit. Proper planning will lead to a more productive meeting, a better experience for both parties, and a much higher likelihood of you finding your next great hire.

ETS Tech-Ops screens candidates to make sure you are spending your valuable time talking only to qualified professionals who are a good fit for your organization. We also help with travel arrangements to make sure every interview is productive for both the hiring company and the candidate. If you’re looking for your next great Materials Science professional, chances are we may already have a perfect fit for your business!

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