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The war for talent is an ongoing one, but what seems to be the trend these days is that candidates are no longer willing to wait long for interviews. Many are simultaneously interviewing at multiple places and if they get hired somewhere else, they cancel your interview. Some don’t even show up or call. It can be very frustrating. So what can you do to avoid this? In the next few posts, we take a closer look at interview etiquette, and in this post in particular, what to do to avoid cancellations.

Rapport

The best candidates are usually busy people. If they are currently employed, their time for interviewing is limited. They have multiple organisations vying for their attention. You are just one of many. On the other hand, fresh out of college candidates may be fearful and intimidated. They are focused on their own schedules and assume you have plenty of people to consider. So they assume, you wouldn’t care if they didn’t show up, you’d just move onto the next person on your list, right?

Whether experienced professionals or newbies to the workforce, job candidates today are focused on one thing: finding an organisation that gives them the best feeling and makes getting hired easy. One of the best ways to prevent cancellation and no shows is to invest time in building rapport with a candidate, selling the job opportunity to the candidate, and gaining a firm buy-in from them regarding their interest in working at the company. By building rapport with a candidate, you can earn their trust, learn about their career goals and how those goals align with the current opportunity.

Tip for candidates: Honestly need to cancel with obligations you can’t move around? Do your best to avoid leaving a cancellation voice mail message or sending a cancellation text message or e-mail. Whenever possible, phone the person responsible for scheduling your interview and speak with him directly. This approach will identify you as a responsible professional.

Reduce interview waiting time

Schedule interviews as soon as possible. Try not to go beyond two weeks. Don’t let someone else be faster than you. The easier you can make the hiring process and the more you understand the candidate, the greater the chances are that you’ll build a reputation for providing a great hiring experience and reduce the number of cancellations and no shows. Take each application seriously and commit only to go through the process when you are sure a candidate makes the time and has interest in the opportunity,

Tip for candidates: Need to re-schedule? Make sure to contact the hiring person of the organisation you are interviewing for asap! Don’t leave it til the last minute or not show up at all and then ask for a re-schedule. If you let them know as soon as possible and with valid reason, then that’s manageable, if you just flake out then that just gives the interviewed the impression that you don’t respect their time and that you’re not truly interested in the position. Those in the habit of rescheduling at the last minute leave the impression that they do not value other people’s time.  Nobody wants to employ someone who breaks commitments or cannot seem to get their calendar in order.

Vet candidates

What are the candidate’s expectations? For example salary and how that relates to the position being offered. If the candidate’s request is too far out of range, do they still want to interview for a job that offers less money? If so, it needs to be vetted with the candidate, otherwise you risk having them decide at the last minute that the pay cut won’t work. The same thing is true of relocation. Are they truly willing to relocate? How committed are they to that decision? Learn as much as you can about what are deal-breakers for candidates to ensure that only candidates who are truly willing to work the job, where it’s located, for the salary offered, are the ones who interview.

Tip for candidates: Need to cancel the day of the meeting? Make sure it’s a valid reason like travel problems, you’re sick or there’s some burning issue you can’t avoid (family-related issues perhaps) in this case it warrants a personal call from you, apologies and your most sincere effort to re-schedule.

Communicate

Create an email campaign, so that candidates hear from your organisation with interesting information every few days before the interview. Also, provide candidates with answers to questions, interview prep, what to expect at the interview, etc. And reinforce why your culture is a great place to spend their careers.

Tip for candidates: Not cancelling but late? Don’t assume that showing up late doesn’t matter – it’s already part of your interview and proof that you respect timeliness and deadlines. Anticipate getting lost, getting stuck in traffic, spending 10 minutes looking for parking.

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