Even if a candidate has been in the industry for quite some time and feels like they’ve interviewed successfully before, or even if a candidate has been interviewing recently, slow down and walk them through what to expect and how to put their best foot forward. A solid candidate interview prep should include a preface that allows the candidate to fully understand the benefit to them for taking the time to prepare for this initial meeting. It is encouraged for the candidate to do some pre-work prior to the interview, conducting research on the specific company and hiring manager and to read through any interview preparation materials that you send. Make sure to educate the candidate on the hiring manager’s background, any common ground they may have, and the personality and style of the interviewer.
Additionally, it shouldn’t be assumed that the position this candidate currently has is the exact position they are interviewing for at your client organization, go through the exact hot buttons the client is looking for. Make sure your candidate is prepared to market their skills and experience as it relates to the job itself. Coach your candidate to prepare questions to ask the hiring manager, and to be prepared for the most commonly asked questions in an initial interview. Finally, remind your candidate to close for next steps – how this interviewer perceives them fitting within the organization, and if there are any areas that haven’t been covered that are important to the hiring decision.
Keep in mind that the interview prep conversation can make huge strides in how you are perceived and valued by your candidate – if you simply read, bullet for bullet, the list of things that they read for themselves, you will be viewed as an administrative resource that confirms interviews and coordinates schedules. If you instead help your candidate think about issues that they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise and prepare them in a way that makes them feel confident going into the meeting, you will be perceived as a true partner in the interviewing process.