One of the most important parts of the recruitment process—whether in the real estate industry or otherwise—is the interview. It’s not only one of the best ways to determine if the candidate is a good culture fit/add. It’s also a great way to mold the recruitment experience so that, even if the candidate doesn’t get hired, they will still have a positive impression of both the recruiter and the company.
Here are some simple ways to help you conduct better interviews:
Checking out every resume you receive can be time-consuming, especially if you’re fortunate enough to receive a steady stream of applicants. There are tools available that can speed up the process (e.g., a resume screening software), but this can end up with you missing out on some important details. This can result in a lot of unfavorable situations, including interviewing an unqualified candidate.
Besides, not reading a resume is doing a candidate a disservice. It’s a poor show of respect, and it also leaves you unprepared. On the other hand, taking your time with a resume will enable you to craft more insightful questions that can then help you better gauge a candidate’s suitability. This level of preparedness shines through, and the interviewee will thank you for it.
Ask the Right Questions
Speaking of insightful questions, you should prepare open-ended ones so that the candidate has more room to elaborate. It’s also ideal to tailor-fit your questionnaire per candidate; it’s good to follow a script so you don’t get lost, but you should be able to make adjustments so you can steer the interview towards the direction you want. This is especially important when hiring for different role hierarchies; you wouldn’t ask a newbie real estate agent the same questions as you would a 20-year industry veteran.
Fortunately, there are many tools that can help you in creating the right interview questions for candidates. For real estate recruiters, Getbrokerkit so you can also access Wizehire. It’s an online recruiting service that provides interview guidance and other valuable recruiting solutions. Through this kind of tool, you can incorporate behavioral science and data so you can optimize your questions to acquire real insights from candidates.
Communicate Often With the Candidate
It doesn’t matter if you’re an in-house or a third-party recruiter for a company. You should always keep in touch with the candidate from the screening interview until they get hired (or declined the position). Don’t just submit resumes to the hiring manager; instead, keep the candidate updated and follow up with them at every stage.
Remember that candidates appreciate transparency and honesty. They’re probably already worried, so don’t add to their stress by not keeping in touch. If you want and if the candidate is receptive, provide some helpful feedback on their resume and interview. Maintaining communication may also increase the possibility of a top candidate accepting your offer. They may be entertaining a couple of opportunities, and the difference might very well be their experience with the recruitment process.
Let the Candidate Do the Talking
As a recruiter, it’s possible to be carried away, especially if you’ve built an excellent rapport with the candidate. Still, keep in mind that it’s the candidate who should be doing the talking. If you had to divide up talking time, about 35% should be a good share. Make sure to keep track of all the questions you need to ask and find strategic ways to weave them in.
Finally, remember that it’s an interview and not an interrogation. Don’t grill the candidate; give them a polite nudge, if you must, but make an effort to create a conversational atmosphere.
Don’t Forget Your Professional Courtesies
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget your professional courtesies when conducting an interview. Be punctual and, if time and permits, give the candidate a tour of the office. Offer refreshments, too, and ask about their trip. If you’re conducting a virtual interview, inquire politely about the situation where they are. Make them feel comfortable but at the same time maintain your professionalism.
What you have to keep in mind is that in the past few years, recruitment has largely become a candidate’s market. This means that if they have a bad experience and are treated poorly, a potential hire will likely let others know. This can turn away job applicants and result in a longer and costlier recruitment process.
Assess and Improve
To become a better interviewer and recruiter, you must be willing to accept critique. You should also have ways to benchmark your performance, so you can measure and improve. If you want, you can have a fellow recruiter shadow you and make notes about your interview questions and techniques. It’s often difficult to self-evaluate, so having an objective third party can definitely open your eyes to points of improvement.
Ultimately, becoming better at interviews will not only improve the candidate experience but also improve the quality of hires overall. This is a win-win situation that every recruiter should aspire to.