How Your Interview Process Supports (or Hurts) Your Brand

In the current competitive hiring landscape, companies need a cohesive and well-defined brand to help them stand out from other organizations that are also hoping to attract top talent.

Companies spend considerable resources developing a corporate website and social media presence to reflect their brand. However, what some organizations don’t realize is that a company’s brand can be observed as early as the interview process. If your interview process reflects and strengthens your company’s brand – instead of detracting from it – you can gain a competitive edge in recruitment.

Here are some ways that companies can strengthen their branding through the interview process:

Use technology to make scheduling and follow-up easier

If the interview scheduling process is too complicated or it takes a long time for a hiring manager to contact applicants to set up an interview, candidates can develop a negative perception of your business. To prevent this, some companies are speeding up the process by using technology to make interview scheduling easier.

For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers started using a new online platform that enables candidates to select a time for their interviews, as a LinkedIn Pulse article explained. The platform features a calendar that notes the availability of internal interviewers and then auto-updates after candidates choose their time. Before the process, it took an average of six days to schedule an interview. The online tool, however, has shortened it to just one day.

An efficient, streamlined interview process that engages candidates and keeps them in the loop on the status of their application can help companies create a more positive applicant experience and, in turn, a more positive company brand.

Ask more relevant interview questions 

Scrap the cookie-cutter questions during interviews and instead see the conversation as a way to share insight with the candidate on your company’s culture. Ask questions that require critical thinking and that relate to your company’s mission and values to gain a better sense of whether the candidate is a good fit for the role. For example, you can ask interviewees to describe a time they overcame a work challenge that is relevant to your company’s ethics. Or, if collaboration is important to your organization, you can ask them about whether they prefer to solve problems on their own or with the help of others.

Revamp your careers page 

Nearly every company has a careers/jobs page on its website, or even a separate careers site, but few take the time to create one that spotlights their brand. Don’t miss this important opportunity to reflect your organization’s mission and values through the copy, voice and design of the page. This can be further demonstrated by highlighting top performers within the organization, allowing jobs seekers to learn about the featured employees’ career growth and overall experience working for the company. Ultimately, every element of the careers page/site and its linked job descriptions should mesh with your company’s brand.

Create a positive interview environment 

When candidates come into your office for an interview, be sure they’re entering an environment that’s indicative of a positive work culture. Ensure hiring managers or HR professionals start the interview on time and have already reviewed the candidate’s’ resume and drafted pertinent questions before the interview begins. Leave ample time for the interview, to avoid a rushed experience, and be sure to promptly follow up with the candidate after their interview is completed.

The interview process is a critical opportunity for companies to present a strong, unified brand identity. The ideas above can help ensure you make a positive impression on prospective hires.

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