What Does a Candidates’ “Interview Experience” Say About Your Organization?

Interviews are tough – both for the interviewer and the interviewee. I’ve had the pleasure of facilitating both in-person and phone interviews and frequently coach clients to prepare them for interviews.

Thinking back to my personal experiences in interviewing for jobs, two in particular stand out. One was with a large organization that was quite intimidating. In the waiting room, I sat along with several other candidates interviewing for the same position. When called into the conference room, I sat on one side of the table while 5 individuals in suits sat on the other. I was in my early twenties and recall how overwhelmed I felt fielding questions from all directions.

Thinking ahead a few years, I recall interviewing with one person, the person who would become my boss and mentor. He made me feel at home. He noted my achievements and qualifications and quickly made me feel like a could easily become a beneficial team member for the organization. I listened more than I talked. It was a great interview experience. And, I received an information packet about the organization before I left the interview.

By the way, I got both of those jobs and learned so much from each. I will say the interview experience was closely connected with my mindset going into each job and leaving each job.

So, what does your interview experience say about your organization. Here are three questions to think about:

1. Is your organization welcoming? (offer a drink; in team interviews, allow for a circle setting as opposed to the first example I provided)

2. Do you allow the individual the opportunity to listen and ask questions? (share the company mission and why you love to work there; allow for back and forth dialogue)

3. Do you provide the candidate with a takeaway? (company brochure, pen, etc.)

Regardless of whether or not you hire the candidate, you certainly want them to be able to say, “that’s a great company, even if I didn’t get the job. I want to do business there and will share my experience with family and friends.”


Taylor Simmons