Your office isn’t the only location option for interviewing potential employees. When it’s time to hire a new team member, an alternate setting can be preferable in terms of space, scheduling, and a way to see each candidate in a more casual setting. Some possible interview settings to consider are coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, parks, golf courses, or hotel lobbies. To hold effective offsite interviews, follow these tips.
Choose the Right Place
Arrange to meet applicants in locations where both of you will feel comfortable. Inviting applicants to hotel rooms, for example, should be avoided because they are too private and could send the wrong message. Interview settings should also align with the career position being interviewed for. You don’t want to meet candidates for executive positions in fast food restaurants, for example. The spot you arrange to meet job applicants reflects your company culture. Meeting at a picnic table under a shady tree at a park will project a more casual image than interviewing in a formal conference room at a prestigious hotel.
Let Them Know Who You Are
When you plan meetings with job applicants at offsite interview settings, it is a good idea to let them know who you are ahead of time. Pass on information about yourself, such as: – What You Look Like: Send a photo of yourself ahead of time or refer applicants to a picture of you on your social media site or a company webpage. Having an image of you in their mind as they seek you out in a public place will allow them to feel more comfortable and keep them from walking around searching for you. Giving details such as ïI’ll be wearing a blue suit and red tieï can help, as well. – What Your Position Is: Whether you are the owner of your small company, an interviewer who screens for human resources, or the supervisor of a department, it helps to pass this information on to interviewees. You should definitely let them know whether you are the person responsible for hiring, because this will engage them gain their full attention.
Mind Your Manners
How you conduct yourself socially speaks volumes about your organization. In offsite interview settings, especially those that are extremely casual, it may be tempting to let down your guard, but that is a bad idea. Remain polite and professional at all times, no matter how casual the interview settings are. For example: – Remember Your Table Manners: If you will be dining with candidates, use your best table manners. Say ïplease,ï ïthank you,ï and put your napkin in your lap. – Be Kind to Wait Staff: The way you treat waiters and waitresses will give insight to those you are interviewing into how you treat people, especially subordinates. – Skip the Alcohol: It might seem like a good idea to have a beer or two with an applicant to build camaraderie and relax the two of you during the interview, but it’s not. Cocktails with potential team members can lead to incoherence, sloppiness, or worse. – Order Easy-to-Eat Food: Dining on messy food such as chicken wings dripping with barbecue sauce is a bad idea. Order foods that are simple to consume.
Schedule Enough Time Between Interviews
Even if you only have your interview location reserved for a limited amount of time, it’s important that you schedule enough time between meetings. You don’t want to rush through an interview because you have another one coming up, or have a line of applicants outside your door. Too tight of scheduling can lower the quality of the time you spend with each applicant. There is also a confidentiality factor, as some of the applicants who are waiting their turns may run into people they know. No one wants to meet a coworker from his or her current place of employment at a job interview.
Know Career-Fair Etiquette
If you have a booth at a career fair, make sure you connect well with potential applicants in this arena. Stand up and shake hands with those who enter your space. Introduce yourself and give some basics about your company, the job you’re interviewing for, and what makes your organization unique. You not only want to stand out from the crowd as an employer, but you also want candidates to feel comfortable enough to show who they truly are. There are many pluses for holding interviews offsite, and if you know how to conduct them to your advantage, you will be able to attract the talented team players you’re looking for. For more tips and information about hiring topnotch employees, take a look at all the resources on Mighty Recruiter.