Interviewing? Avoid telling Them The ‘Website’ Clichés!

With the ever-increasing number of vacancies out there and the 'post-pandemic' rush to hire its pretty certain that you are interviewing applicants now or will be soon!

I was reading a poll that highlighted 60% of HR teams as declining to give applicants comprehensive post-interview feedback! This is not a surprising figure to me - we find it difficult to just say things as they are and always feel the need to descend into corporate-speak and 'big fluffy words' and clichés which leave the candidate still pretty much in the dark. 'Not the right fit', 'not strategic enough', 'could be more corporate' etc etc.

In our 'Recruitment Interviewing 3.0' workshops, an interesting debate always comes up around 'selling the organisation'. It's that part in interviews where hiring managers tell the candidate a bit about the Company. This should be the opportunity to really ‘sell’ the organisation and make it memorable for the other person so they have it ringing in their ears when they interview with your competitor!

The problem is that all too often the interviewer again rattles off dull, corporate-speak descriptions and well-worn statements that all too often can also found on the Company website. This often goes along the lines of: ‘We operate in ten countries’, ‘We have 500 employees’, ‘We offer a competitive benefits package’, 'we engage our people' and ‘There are always great career opportunities for good people’. All a bit blah blah, not particularly powerful and all you are really doing is giving me the PR branding line I have already read on your social media.

The key thing is to make an emotional connection with the candidate. You need to tell them something that they can’t be sure they will hear/get at the other place they will be interviewing at tomorrow.

It is normally something ‘cultural’ and unique within the organisation. I call these the 'emotional connectors'. For example: ‘You will find here that people can walk into the CEO’s office and give her an idea and it will be put into play quickly if it's good’. ‘People here are genuinely helpful to each other and those who aren’t like that just don’t last long’. ‘We have a real family feel here and look out for each other - I've not seen that myself elsewhere’. It's normally going to be those very specific things that are part of what makes the interviewer stick around for so long.

When I go round the room and ask for these 'connectors' it often takes people quite a long time to come up with something truthful, powerful, personal and specific. So why are you still working for your organisation? Think about it, and get it down to a memorable sentence or two and start to regularly use it in your recruitment process.

It often sounds different, can hook a good candidate in and sometimes be the clincher for them – even over a higher salary elsewhere!