I've been asked to help out at some local interviews that are taking part over two days in May.

My role is to simply meet the candidates at the security gate, escort to the correct location and take some general information before the interview.

Is there any general guidelines to follow? What I should say, what I shouldn't?

The handshake 'cast is already on my re-listen list!

trandell's picture

I'd stick with keeping it light. Here's my typical routine. I am usually the greeter and first interviewer but I think this works fine for greeter.

[*] Introduce yourself. No need to say you are only greeting them.
[*] Give a good handshake.
[*] Offer them a chance to use the restroom or grab a cup of water. 99% of the time they decline.
[*] Ask if they found their way to the office OK or make a little small talk about the weather while you walk.
[*] Sometimes I will point out "Department X is in this area", "In that area we have the Y group". Just killing time.

That should cover the walk to the interview location in most cases.

I don't see a need to say any more than that. Just polite conversation to get them to feel comfortable should be fine.[/list][/list]

Mark's picture
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Ahh, a future cast.

1. Greet each at the same place. (In general, standardize.)

2. Talk with them for a minute where you meet them. This will allow their heart rate to normalize. Chit chat.

3. Chit chat continues as you take them to wherever you will get your info.

4. Once there, explain what is going to happen.

a. I'm going to ask you for some general information.
b. I'm going to explain what will happen the rest of the day.
c. Then I'll take you to your first interview.
d. Ask if they have any questions on the process.
e. Take the general info.
f. Explain the process. Include timing, interviewers, types of interviews, roles and titles when you know it, lunch schedule, rest rooms, what to take, what to leave where you are.
h. Escort them...


Gareth's picture

Thank you Trandell & Mark,

They will be in the same position that I was 2 years ago, so I will be able to understand how they feel.

I look forward to the future 'cast.

Gareth's picture

Hi All,

Just wanted to take 5 minutes to report back on the last two days.

I feel that both days have been very rewarding and I learnt a great deal.

I never really understood how much hard works goes on 'back stage' during the interview days. I can only remember one occasion on each day that I managed to sit down and have 10 minutes to myself. Running around between the Ground, 4th, 5th & 6th all day surely has worn me out!

I think the main points I've learnt is how important it is to be over organised , be nice and early, smile as much as possible and talk your heart out.

One thing I found difficult is having the sense of guilt knowing if they have not got the job. One lady during the morning interview, which I had a good 20 minutes chatting too, came across very well but failed to shine in the interview. Knowing how much she wanted to job I feel sorry for her.

Saying that however, the last but one interview (from speaking to the people who interviewed her) went very well. I know, like the last person, how much she wanted the job. To think that within two weeks she will receive a phone call offering her the jobs has made me very happy.

The other bonus from the two days is that I got to work closely with my new level 2 manager. Based on her feedback I've made a very good impression and I do plan on contacting her again to thank her for giving me the opportunity to take part in the interview process.

My next step is to help with the actual interview itself!

Oh and Mark, thank you very much for the tips you posted. I printed them out, remembered them and used them when meeting every one of the 14 candidates. I found they flowed very nicely and helped relax everyone.

What a very pleasant two days :D

Mark's picture
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Well done!

Bolt that on to the front of your own interviewing of candidates, and you increase your hiring percentages every time.


wendii's picture
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Hey Gareth

Good job! Interviewing is often exhausting - especially if you are the one taking the stairs! - I always feel like I've been 'on' all day instead of a normal work day where I do get some time to be introverted.

I also feel the guilt about candidates. Well, not the ones who are really bad, but the ones who are nice, or who are very nervous or who have been made redundant. I make sure to thank them for their time and say how nice it was to meet them (and mean it!). I also try and give very specific positive and negative feedback as soon as I can.

It's partly about assuaging my guilt by trying to make it into a positive experience for them, and partly because they might apply for a different role they are more suitable for, or they might know someone who works for us, will work for us or who buys our product.

I understand that's not necessarily useful to you now, but I hope it makes you feel less alone.


Mark's picture
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I don't feel guilty, perhaps to my discredit.

I do stay in touch with those folks, though. Religiously.

As my second favorite baseballl announcer once said about a spring training game. "Well, the Orioles lost a close one today. But come back tomorrow, folks. After all, it's spring, and it's baseball, and you never know."


juliahhavener's picture
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Thanks for the update!

I have to agree that I feel wiped for about 10 minutes after an interview. I also find that I'm disappointed when the interviewee doesn't bring the same level of energy to the interview itself. Yes, it's hard, but if you want the job I'm hiring for at least LOOK like it!

I'll avoid the "Mark, you'll never believe it," but in my first round of interviews (two months ago) to hire someone (rather than be hired), I was much more impressed with 'attitude' than paper qualifications. Yes, interview content mattered, but not quite as much as the attitude and energy brought to the table.

Mark's picture
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You don't say.



juliahhavener's picture
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No, no, I never would...