Where you conduct an interview can have a direct effect on how a candidate is going to feel and behave during the recruitment process. Therefore, considering where the interview is to take place is important.
As we know the purpose of an interview is to draw out a candidate’s best qualities to discover appropriateness for a role. Whether they have applied for a job in architecture or a property job, ensuring the interviewee is in a suitable environment to best deliver their case is crucial.
We’ve got a number of suggestions with pros and cons for you to consider for your interview locations and the effect they may have on your candidate.
1.) Enclosed meeting room
The traditional choice for interviews is a private, quiet enclosed meeting room at the company office.
Pros – Private and formal. This is what most candidates will expect from an interview and keeps the atmosphere professional, focused and work-centric.
Cons – The rigidity and “quiet” may not help to put the candidate at ease and could lead to nervousness. Moreover, while you may get all the work-related information you may not bring out much “personality” to assess cultural fit for the company.
2.) Glass meeting room
Similar to the traditional setting but more open and exposed. This is usually office dependant in terms of style over function.
Pros – Similar to enclosed, a meeting room is the typical setting for interviews which your candidate will have prepared for. An transparent room will feel more inviting which in turn will give them an idea of the company’s culture.
Cons – The candidate may feel exposed in a “fish bowl” setting which could effect confidence and performance during the interview. It would be worth considering how to put your candidate at ease during an interview in both an open and enclosed meeting room more so than other settings.
3.) Staff Room
An office staff room may be used actively or because a meeting room is not available. A staff room is a common place to conduct interviews.
Pros – Less formal than an official meeting room which may help put the candidate at ease and draw out both professional and personal qualities.
Cons – Less easy to control the movements of other staff (especially in large organisations) so could get interrupted or noisy. You may also be restricted to certain times due to staff breaks.
4.) Coffee Shop
If you have a coffee shop nearby this is your opportunity to get out of the office.
Pros – Meeting on mutual ground can be a relaxing, informal way to get a good idea of how this personal will fit into your business culturally. You can use evidence-based questions for interviews to keep it professional and draw out key competencies.
Cons – A busy coffee shop may be too distracting or informal and may detract from gauging the professionalism of the candidate. It may make them too relaxed and “familiar” as well as give the wrong impression of your company.
5.) Skype (or other online meeting software)
As we covered in a previous blog, are digital interviews the way forward? Digital interviews are growing in popularity.
Pros – Digital interviews can be a cost and time effective tool, especially if the candidate lives far away (relocating) or a remote worker. The background can be very telling of personality and still have a face-to-face vibe.
Cons – Technical problems are the main issue of this type of interview. Also, like the telephone people act differently on video calls so mannerisms will be more difficult to gauge.
Your choice of interview setting ultimately comes down to the type of company you are positioned as and how you want to come across as an employer. There is no “one size fits all” after all. Whether it is first or second interview can also impact your choice and who they are meeting with. For example, you could have an initial “chat” for an Architecture job over coffee but enclosed meeting room with the MD.
Having your recruitment agency first whittle down who best suits your company based on our initial conversation, through to choosing the right setting for the suitability of your company and role, we’re sure you will secure the right person for your role and your business.
Find out how to speed up your recruitment initiatives to secure valuable candidates here