Rules For Managers When They Are Interviewing Candidates

Managers want to make sure that they don't show poor behavior
Managers want to make sure that they don’t show poor behavior
Image Credit: Free Images

I’m pretty sure that most of us have spent some time learning how to interview candidates to join our team. However, there is one area that our manager skills may not have covered: how to follow up after an interview well. In fact, very few of us probably have any manager skills when it comes to following up with the people that we interview. It turns out that this is actually a very, very important team building skill.

The Problem With Ghosting

Look, currently the job market is tight. There are more jobs out there than there are skilled people to fill them. Even if you can find the right person, there is a good chance that they will be talking with other companies that also want to hire them. What this means for you as a manager is that you are going to want to take the time to court your potential hires and woo them with consideration.

All of this sounds great, but all too often we drop the ball. What can happen is that a job candidate shows up for an interview. The interview is conducted and then the job candidate goes away and waits to hear from the manager. They never get contacted. When you don’t get a follow-up response from somebody that you have interviewed with it is called “being ghosted” – a phrase that comes from the world of dating when somebody schedules a date with you and then vanishes.

This can be even worse. There are situations where the job candidate feels that the manager was dismissive in handling their job application or how they handled the interview ended up leaving them cold. When a company does not get back in touch with somebody that they have interviewed with, the candidate is likely to view this as being a sign of how the company treats its employees. The thinking is that although it may be a disappointment to be ghosted, it may actually save the candidate heartache further down the road.

Why The Follow Up Matters So Much

So why are managers doing such a bad job of following up when people interview with them? There have been changes made to how companies hire people and this has contributed to our doing a poorer job of follow ups. Companies are taking twice as long to hire people as they did 10 years ago. It takes so long to select a candidate and then negotiate an offer with them that it can be all too easy to forget to notify the other candidates that they didn’t get the job.

Managers need to realize that the hiring process is hard to do correctly. Managers find it hard to say “no” to a candidate that has good skills that that you genuinely like when you have picked someone else for a position. Sadly, in many cases it’s just easier to not return a phone call to them. What managers need to understand is that candidates are looking for closure when it comes to an interview – they don’t want to be left in limbo.

One key reason that managers may not want to follow up with candidate that were not selected for a job is because they have been trained on how to avoid charges of illegal discrimination. They don’t want the person that they are informing that they didn’t get the job to think that it was because of gender, race, age or some other bias. Other things that can cause a company to come across as looking poorly to a job candidate is when they change their hiring goals midstream. When this happens, the candidate who was told that they were a good fit for a job may end up not getting the position and won’t understand why things changed.

What All Of This Means For You

Managers are the front lines for their company when it comes to hiring new staff. What this means is that we have to know how to go about doing this correctly. We have all probably received a great deal of training on how to conduct the actual interview process. However, what a lot of us don’t fully understand is how we need to follow up after the interview is over.

Since the current job market is tight, it’s going to be up to managers to find the right candidates and convince them to join your company. Managers can screw things up by interviewing a candidate and then forgetting to follow up with them after the interview is over. When this happens it is called “ghosting”. When a company does not get back in touch with a candidate or handles the interview poorly, the candidate may come away with a poor view of the company. These problems come about because companies are taking longer to hire people these days. Managers don’t like to tell people that they didn’t get the job and so sometimes they just don’t return calls. Managers also don’t like to tell people that they weren’t hired because they may look like they are discriminating against them.

Managers need to understand that they are the face of the company to job candidates. In order to make sure that the company comes across as looking professional, they need to take the time to do a good job of following up with all job candidates after the interview. This means contacting both the people who get the job and the ones who don’t. Managers who close the loop for everyone will be seen as good managers that everyone would want to work for.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How soon after an interview should a manager get back in touch with a candidate?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So just exactly what makes someone a good manager? I think that we could all create a list of the manager skills that we think that a good manager has to have. However, it turns out that a manager is only going to be as effective as their team is. What this means for us is that we have a responsibility to use our manager training find ways to enable our teams so that they will produce more. One way to make this happen is for a manager to build a creative workplace