“You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue in their actions. You can only change how you react to them.” -Unknown
You call and call, and finally speak with a candidate who sent in a great resume. You spend 15 minutes on the phone with them and it’s a great conversation. You tell them about the great culture, benefits and other positives about the company. They sound genuinely interested and ask a couple of questions, to which you have positive responses for, and this seems to pique their interest even more.
You schedule an interview for Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., send a confirmation email with all the details for the meeting and have high hopes that this one is the one.
Ten a.m. rolls around. No show. No call. No email. No anything.
The first thoughts to roll through your head are, “What is wrong with this person? How could they do this to me? And after such a great conversation?”
Guess what? It’s not just you. Every interviewer will deal with this. Regardless of the level of experience, type of role, or salary range, this happens with hiring managers for doctors, laborers, engineers, IT professionals and salespeople. It truly doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. This is a part of the hiring process that we all can struggle with.
However, there are some things that you, the interviewer, can change to reduce the percentage of no-shows and interview ghosts.
Idea #1: Update your interview “script”.
How long have you been using the same script? The same spiel? It’s probably time to change it up. So-called “scripts” are valuable, but there are many things during interview calls that should flow naturally.
- Trying to keep the call short? Don’t! Spend some genuine time listening to this individual.
- Trying to give them every detail up-front? Don’t! Give them the basic information and if they’re truly interested, they’ll show. And that’s when you can “wow” them with the additional perks!
- Trying to negotiate pay on the first call? Don’t! If someone only cares about the 50-cent-higher pay rate at the terrible company down the road, don’t pursue.
- Keeping the call to strictly business? Don’t! Connect with them on a personal level.
Remember, you are speaking with a person. It’s been proven time and time again that personal opinion can overrule the facts and figures when it comes to decision making. Think of your vendors, and think of your own sales team. They probably don’t talk like robots, but rather go with the natural flow of the conversation while also covering all the points necessary. Do the same, and your candidates will be more likely to show up for their interview.
Idea #2: Be genuine.
As an interviewer, it’s just as important for you to be yourself as it is for the candidate. If you show your true personality, it creates a quicker connection with the job seeker and builds trust organically.
Be vulnerable and talk about mistakes you’ve made. Joke about a funny interview story that they won’t forget. Ask them about a crazy work story.
Do your best to help them remember you. Then they’ll actually want to meet you. Nothing’s better than being genuine.
Idea #3: Build the bridge.
One tactic we use in training here at ROLINC is “building the bridge.” Regarding hard skills, there is usually one main question: can your work history translate to this open role? There are checkmarks next to the skills needed that can be marked off. And that’s great. But how can we build a personal connection with the candidate regarding their skill set?
Building the bridge requires knowing what they have done or are doing at work and directly connecting that to the existing job opportunity. This immediately makes them feel like they’ll be successful in this role. Who doesn’t want to be successful at what they’re doing?
It also helps you explain to the other hiring managers exactly how you see this individual working in this role. We need to consistently build the bridge to make those human connections and encourage interest in an in-person interview.
- Here’s an example using an interview for a department lead position: “I’ve never actually been a lead, but I’ve made improvements to my department, such as creating spreadsheets to track materials and order changes, which actually shortened lead time.”
- A no-no response: “OK, cool.”
- A woo-hoo response: “That’s fantastic. We are looking for someone who can do the same here. That department needs your style of ingenuity, like what you’ve brought to your current position with those spreadsheets. And they are really needing help shortening lead times but are having trouble locating the areas for improvement. You would probably be a big help to them!”
How often do you schedule an in-person interview during the first call? You’ve given the candidate a lot of information to process and consider.
Give them 24 hours to think if this role would really be right for them. Ask them to call you by a certain time. If you hear from them, great! You gave them the main information they needed to make a decision to come in and meet. Schedule that in-person interview.
If you don’t hear from them, try calling them once. It’s a good sign if they answer. Either way, you’ll get their answer without putting the pressure on yourself and them of scheduling an interview too quickly.
Idea #5: Listen.
Yes, listen. Listen to what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. People constantly drop little hints at what they’re really trying to say.
This one does take time and practice to learn and understand. But once you start catching on, it makes you that much better at your job. Here is an example using a department lead interview:
- “I’ve never actually been a lead, but I’ve made improvements to my department…”
- What they’re really saying is, “I haven’t had the title of lead, but I’m telling you how I’ve shown leadership and made a positive impact. I want to be a lead; otherwise, I wouldn’t be telling you how good I am.”
- “…I created spreadsheets to track materials and order changes, which actually shortened lead time.”
- What they’re really saying is, “I know what I’m doing. I work with other departments and I’m kind of a big deal, but I don’t have an ego. I just love making improvements and want to continue doing so. Also, I know a lot more about our manufacturing process than only what goes on in my department.”
- Tell them what you actually “heard.” They’ll love that you can read through the lines for them so they don’t have to do any of the leg work.
Again, build that connection organically by listening. This will, obviously, make them feel heard, but they’ll want that feeling again. That means they’ll show up to the interview with you.
Need a partner to improve your interview success rate?
While there is no silver bullet with interview no-shows, there are many great ways to improve your interview processes to reduce this issue. These are just a few ideas that have proven successful for ROLINC in the past and still today.
Want more guidance? Call ROLINC today to see how we can help increase your positive interview rate. We target our search for your particular niche industry and build the human connection to match the right candidates with the right job opportunity.