When it comes to interviews, it’s good to ‘be prepared.’ Just like candidates spend time to research the company, interviewers should be ready to evaluate candidates properly and promote their employer brand. Good preparation takes time but it pays off: you’ll evaluate candidate skills more effectively and create a positive candidate experience. In addition, you’re more likely to win over the candidate you’ll eventually want to hire.
Here are a few steps to take to prepare before an interview with candidates:
Prepare your questions
Interviewers who don’t prepare their questions beforehand are missing out on the chance to evaluate candidates effectively. To decide what you’re going to ask, first use the job description to determine which skills are most important and should be assessed during the interview (if you’re not the hiring manager, ask for help from the hiring manager or a recruiter). Then, build your questions around those skills. Here are two examples to evaluate communication skills and leadership ability:
Communication: “How would you reply to a negative online review about our company?”
Leadership: “In what specific ways do you motivate your team?”
Keep in mind that generic, overused questions like “what’s your greatest weakness” probably won’t help you evaluate candidates; they’re so widely used that it’s easy to find good sample responses online. Behavioral or situational questions are more effective because they encourage candidates to think on their feet and tell their story.
If you have enough time, ask more than one question to evaluate each skill. This will help you gain a better understanding of the skill level of each candidate. Make sure all your interview questions to candidates are appropriate and legal.
Want an easy and effective way to score candidates’ answers to your interview questions? Get a demo to see how Workable’s interview scorecards can help you.
Know your candidates
When interviewing candidates, it’s best to avoid asking for information they have already provided (e.g. with their application or during a screening call); you’ll lose valuable time and risk appearing indifferent or unprepared to the candidates’ eyes.
Instead, take some time to read candidate resumes, profiles or applications and make notes of key points concerning their skills and past experience. Then, you can use interview time to elaborate on these points or ask for the new information you need to help with your evaluation. When looking through candidate resumes, keep your interview questions in mind and ask yourself:
Am I planning to ask for information the candidate has already shared?
Is there anything strange or interesting in their past experience I’d like to explore during the interview?
Are there any work samples available I could use to drive the discussion on their skills?
Do I need to check the validity of what they claim?
Make some notes for each candidate, so you’ll remember who they are when you meet them.
Be ready to answer questions
Remember, interviewers and candidates are evaluating each other during interviews. On their part, candidates will try to determine whether the job can fulfil their aspirations and whether the company is a good place for them to work. So they might ask relevant questions which you should be able to answer. If you give pertinent, transparent answers, you’ll be able to create a better candidate experience and sell your company in a way that helps candidates decide if they’re a good fit. Preparing for these questions in advance may take some time, but you’ll need to do this only once before the interview phase begins.
Ensure you can talk to candidates about:
The company’s strategy, mission and structure
The team’s projects, direction and goals
The perks and benefits tied to the position you’re hiring for
The next steps of the hiring process
What you like about your job and the team or company
For some of these questions, you may need to consult HR. For example, are you allowed to divulge the pay range of the position? Which future projects can you mention if a candidate asks and which are confidential? If candidates ask something you don’t know the answer to, or aren’t allowed to disclose, prepare to say so tactfully.
Coordinate with other interviewers
If you’re conducting panel interviews, determine who will ask which question and in what order. Also, it’s good to know who will answer questions about which topic. For example, the hiring manager will be more suitable to talk about pay or the team’s direction, while team members can talk about culture and what they like about the team.
If there are several hiring team members who will interview candidates in a series of 1:1s, arrange a meeting to share the questions you plan to ask. Here’s how to interview candidates effectively as part of a team:
All interviewers should assess the same skills. This means that you’ll be able to consider related feedback from multiple perspectives, making your eventual decision more objective and reliable.
Interviewers should avoid asking the same questions to evaluate each skill. This means you’ll avoid tiring candidates or giving them the impression that the interviewing team isn’t well-coordinated.
Plan your time and agenda
If possible, clear your schedule at least 15 minutes before and after each interview. It’s best not to leave candidates waiting while you finish up a meeting, or having to rush them out if you have a meeting right after the interview. Giving them time and your full attention is more likely to earn their respect. If you’re doing a video interview, check your laptop, camera and microphone a few minutes before the interview so you’ll have time to correct any possible issues.
Also, plan a rough agenda for the interview. Completely unstructured interviews, where the interviewer improvises, are not effective. By having an agenda, you’ll be able to guide the discussion more efficiently and make sure you won’t forget to cover any important topics.
Determine how you’ll open the discussion and how you’ll close. Many interviewers make small talk at the beginning but this may introduce bias that will affect how you rate candidates’ answers. It could be useful to standardize the opening “small talk” questions as an effort to make your hiring more effective. Another approach would be to begin by introducing yourself and talking about a test or assessment candidates took as part of your hiring process. For example, if your candidates for an Editor role were given an editing exercise, ask them what they thought of it and discuss their performance.
Sharpen your selling skills
While you assess whether candidates are right for the job, candidates try to determine whether they want to work with you. If they’re convinced, they’re more likely to accept your job offer. Or they’ll still think well of your company, even if you don’t hire them in the end.
Prepare a checklist to sell your company and the position you’re hiring for. Here’s what you could go over:
The main characteristics of your company culture.
Any new developments or exciting plans (like new products, new offices etc.)
Practices or techniques your company employs to keep employees happy and motivated.
Challenges someone who works in the role you’re hiring for may face and how your company supports its employees (e.g. training, mentoring.)
The place that this particular position has into your organizational structure and its contribution to your company’s success.
Also, listen to what candidates say that they’re looking for in their job to personalize your pitch.
All these tips will help you step into interviews well-prepared, but they don’t guarantee you’ll interview candidates effectively. Striving to become a better interviewer in the long run can involve more challenging tasks, like educating yourself on biases, finding ways to overcome them and practicing your interviewing skills in mock environments. These take time but that’s how you can ultimately improve your decision-making (and candidate experience).
Post this Head of Marketing job description template to job boards and careers pages to attract senior-level Marketing professionals. Feel free to customize duties and requirements to your specific needs.
Head of Marketing responsibilities include:
Crafting strategies for all Marketing teams, including Digital, Advertising, Communications and Creative
Preparing and managing monthly, quarterly and annual budgets for the Marketing department
Twitter is ideal for sharing short and sweet job ads with your network. Due to the character limit, mention only what’s absolutely necessary to catch qualified candidates’ attention. Then, link to the full job description, your careers page or an application form.
Here’s what to include in a Twitter job post:
Call to action
Optionally, you could include an image or mention perks that play up your company culture. To bring your Twitter job posts in front of job seekers, whether they’re followers or not, add recruiting-related, hyperlocal or industry-specific hashtags like #jobs #Hiring #LondonJobs and #QAjobs.
Here’s a Twitter job posting template you can customize for your open roles:
Sample Twitter job posting template for recruiters
Text: Are you an expert in [spotting typos and proofreading articles]? If so, come join our [marketing team in Chicago] as our new [editor].
Virtual assistants are remote employees who take up administrative tasks and – no matter the distance – ensure they run like clockwork. Since you trust these employees with important and sensitive job duties, like managing your calendar or customer relationships, it makes sense to be extra careful when recruiting them.
Here’s how to design a hiring process so that you attract, evaluate and hire the best virtual assistant:
Define the position
When you decide to hire a virtual assistant, first clarify details regarding:
Employment type. Do you need to hire a permanent team member or a freelancer who can help with a specific project? And is this going to be a full-time or part-time position?
Compensation plan. What’s more cost-effective: paying per hour (for small, independent tasks), paying per project (when there’s a specific deadline) or offering monthly/annual contracts (when you’re hiring long-term employees to handle various duties)?
Skill requirements. What skills are necessary for this position? For example, should you hire a generalist who can perform a wide range of administrative tasks or is it best to look for candidates with expertise in tasks like bookkeeping or online research?
Provide your company’s details. Since there are no location boundaries, your job ad may be seen by people from all over the world who might not be familiar with your company. Make sure to include useful information, like your mission and values or a quick description of your teams and key clients.
Describe the profile of your ideal candidate. Considering your new hire will work remotely, think what skills they need to be productive, beyond the typical job requirements. For example, it’ll be useful if they’re familiar with collaboration and task-management tools, like Slack and Trello. Also, mention essential soft skills, like communication skills and the ability to work independently.
Explain your way of working. Encourage job seekers to apply by sharing important job details and any information that’ll help them determine if they’re a good fit. Be clear about expectations, compensation and work schedule. Also, be transparent about trial periods, if there are any.
Highlight your selling points. Are you providing remote employees with cutting-edge tech stack? Are you paying for coworking spaces at their location? Are you offering fully flexible, customizable working hours? Mention any perks and benefits that’ll capture potential candidates’ attention.
Post your jobs and find Virtual Assistants online
To hire virtual assistants, go where they are. Maybe not physically, but virtually, by advertising on job boards dedicated to remote work. There are also websites that aim to connect employers with virtual assistants, remote workers and freelancers. In this case, you usually pay a fee to get access to a candidate database or share your requirements so you can be matched with qualified job seekers.
Here are some of the best places to look for virtual assistants:
Looking to get your job advertisement in front of the right candidates? Try Workable for free to quickly post to all of the top job boards and social media and manage the full hiring process.
Evaluate Virtual Assistant candidates
Hiring remote employees can be challenging, as you don’t get to meet and interact with candidates in-person. Instead, you can use video software like Jobma and Spark Hire or simpler tools like Hangouts and Skype. Here’s how to get the most out of your interviews with virtual assistants:
Assess communication skills. Communication is a big part of a virtual assistant’s job. They need to communicate well on your behalf (for example when they contact clients or make travel arrangements), but they should also be able to touch base with their remote team quickly and effectively. During the hiring stages keep an eye out for candidates who:
Grasp your guidelines quickly
Ask follow up questions when they’re unsure
Express themselves clearly both verbally and in writing
Use job-related assignments. A good way to evaluate soft skills, like organizational abilities or attention to detail, is to use assignments that simulate real job duties. For example, ask candidates to research options for a software type you consider buying:
Qualified candidates should analyze and present different products considering prices and features.
The best candidates will create a detailed list where you can easily compare options.
Give extra points to candidates who go one step further and recommend the top products based on characteristics and requirements.
If you need help creating assignments for your candidates, use recruitment assessment tools that offer a wide range of pre-employment tests to help you make better hiring decisions.
After you’ve attracted and evaluated a pool of candidates successfully, you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant. The next step is to onboard and train them for the position. To make this process easier, use tools like HelloSign or DocuSign to manage employment documents. Videos and digital manuals are also useful when you want to explain your company’s procedures from a distance. Once your virtual assistant is fully on board, they’ll take a lot of important administrative tasks off your shoulders, helping you focus on other aspects of your job.
Customize this workplace romance policy based on your company’s attitude toward employee dating. Add or delete parts to communicate applicable rules regarding romantic relationships in the workplace and preserve harmony and fairness among all employees.
Post this Customer Support Specialist job description template on job boards and careers pages to attract qualified candidates. Feel free to customize job duties and requirements based on your company’s needs.
Customer Support Specialist responsibilities include:
Responding to customer queries in a timely and accurate way, via phone, email or chat
Identifying customer needs and helping customers use specific features
Depending on the reports you’re reading, between 80 to 97 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to source and make first contact with candidates. Combined, LinkedIn Recruiter and a robust applicant tracking system have become the mainstay for many recruiters. And yet, toggling back and forth between the two can be cumbersome. Manually copying data from one system to another can mean lost, duplicate or incorrect data.
As a member of LinkedIn’s Preferred Partner Program, Workable provides the option to enable the LinkedIn Recruiter System Connect integration and gain access to enhancements across both platforms.
What is the LinkedIn Recruiter System Connect integration?
This integration allows Workable and LinkedIn Recruiter to ‘speak’ to each other. The communication you’ve had with a candidate via InMail is viewable inside Workable. The application status and latest comments on a candidate inside Workable are now viewable within LinkedIn Recruiter. No matter how you like to start a candidate relationship, you can make the communication and details available to everyone on your hiring team.
When you’re browsing in LinkedIn Recruiter, you can:
Export candidate profiles to Workable with one click. When you find a great candidate in LinkedIn Recruiter, click ‘Export to Workable’. Select the appropriate job you’re hiring for and a new candidate profile will be created automatically in your Workable account. This profile will contain basic information from the candidate’s public LinkedIn profile such as name, headline, and current company. Once the profile information is in Workable, it’s easy to share with your team to request and gather feedback. If you send an InMail to a LinkedIn member, they will have the option to share their contact information with the recruiter. If they choose to, the LinkedIn member’s contact information will also be sent into Workable.
Identify past applicants. When candidates are already in Workable, LinkedIn Recruiter will display these candidates within the “Past Applicant” spotlight. When you see ‘In Workable’ on a candidate’s profile, within the LinkedIn Recruiter search page, simply roll over the link to see the latest feedback from interviewers, or to open their profile in Workable.
Here’s an example from a Project Manager search on LinkedIn Recruiter:
Knowing which candidates are already in your recruiting pipelines or your candidate database means you:
Not using Workable yet? Request a demo to learn how you can optimize your hiring efforts with our all-in-one recruitment software.
When you’re in Workable, you can:
Access communication and notes from LinkedIn Recruiter on the candidate’s profile. During the hiring process, you’ll likely send InMails to candidates and leave notes on LinkedIn Recruiter profiles. But this information isn’t accessible to everyone on your hiring team.
To keep the complete candidate communication history in one place, InMails and notes from LinkedIn Recruiter will be synced to your Workable account. This means, your entire hiring team is up-to-date on the last recruiter interaction.
View up-to-date LinkedIn candidate profiles. While you’re still in Workable, you have the option to view profiles as they appear on LinkedIn Recruiter. If, however, you do want to visit a candidate’s LinkedIn profile, a link in Workable will route you to the member’s profile on your LinkedIn Recruiter account.
In addition, when a candidate updates their profile on LinkedIn, changes will be reflected immediately inside Workable. This means that you’ll always have the latest candidate information in hand, without having to switch between systems.
As a LinkedIn Preferred Partner, LinkedIn Recruiter System Connect is one of the three integrations we offer to our customers. Here are the other two features that aim to improve candidate experience and bring you more applicants:
1. Apply with LinkedIn
Improve applicant conversion: Enable candidates to complete an application faster, by using their LinkedIn profile data. Once a candidate clicks the ‘Apply with LinkedIn’ button on any open job on your careers page, all relevant information will be entered in their application form automatically. They can add or edit information and upload files before they submit their final application.
Improve InMail response rates: Reach out to warm leads. Anyone who begins the application process using Apply with LinkedIn will be surfaced as ‘Apply Starters’ in both LinkedIn Recruiter and a weekly email digest. Apply Starters are four times more likely to respond to an InMail.
2. Easy Apply
Reduce candidate drop off: Simplify the application process across desktop and mobile. The ‘Easy Apply’ button is visible on your premium LinkedIn job postings, enabling candidates to apply directly using their LinkedIn profile data. With no switching between sites, you’ll capture as many as two times more applicants. Every application from LinkedIn is visible directly inside Workable. This feature is particularly useful for people who use their mobile devices to look for job opportunities, because they don’t have to complete forms and manually enter their personal details.
Singapore has a vast selection of job boards, from mainstream to specialized and from international to local. Whether you’re a Singapore-based or multinational company hiring in Singapore, you’ll benefit from using a mix of job boards to advertise your openings and reach qualified candidates.
Here’s a list of some of the best job posting sites in Singapore to use for hiring:
Beam is an online professional hub where people connect to find jobs, post jobs, create partnerships and meet investors. You can also proactively source candidates by searching for profiles that mention specific keywords like skills and location.
Careerbuilder is a global job board with a large network of local branches at various countries. Post your job on Careerbuilder Singapore to have it appear on job boards like JobCentral (which is powered by Careerbuilder) and JobStreet, as well as on social media.
Looking to get your job advertisement in front of the right candidates? Try Workable for free to quickly post to all of the top job boards and manage the full hiring process.
Freelance Zone is a site for posting freelance jobs. You can have only one free job ad live at any given time. To be able to have more than one active job ads simultaneously, choose a paid plan. Freelance Zone also partners with sites like Indeed and recruit.net to maximize your ad’s visibility.
Gumtree Singapore is a local branch of the popular UK classified ads site Gumtree. Classifieds are popular with people who are looking for administrative jobs, entry-level roles and part-time or temporary positions. Post on Gumtree for free to reach these candidates.
Indeed Singapore is part of the global search engine and mega-aggregator Indeed. Employers can post jobs for free or sponsor job ads using a pay-per-click option. Indeed also has a vast resume database that helps you source candidates.
Jobiness, much like Glassdoor, is a job posting and review site where employees share information on jobs, companies and salaries. Use this platform to post jobs and enhance your employer brand by responding to reviews and promoting your culture to this community of candidates.
JobisJob India is the India-based site of the global job board JobisJob. You are able to post jobs for candidates who are currently, or want to relocate, in Singapore. This is a good option if you want to broaden your candidate search to other countries in Asia.
JobStreet is one of the most popular Singapore job boards, with presence in five South East Asia countries. JobStreet offers job posting options (including classifieds) and a large resume database. Also, JobStreet is partnering with JobsDB, another popular job board, so employers can benefit from the services of both.
Monster Singapore is the local branch of the popular global job boards. It has job posting options and a resume database with millions of registered users. Monster has a variety of pricing options including both job postings and resume views to match any company’s needs.
STJobs offers paid options based on the number of jobs you want to post. This job board also hosts career fairs where you can meet candidates in-person and has a vast number of employer resources to help you hire faster and better.
Singapore’s recruit.net is a job board that boasts a million active job seekers, according to its website. Use recruit.net to post jobs in Singapore and in the 15+ countries where recruit.net is present.
To increase your chances of finding the most qualified candidates, post your jobs on multiple job posting sites in Singapore to reach a wider audience. An Applicant Tracking System like Workable will help you post job ads faster and keep applications organized in one place. And, to aid you in formulating your recruiting budget, Workable will keep track of your candidate sources so you know which job boards or other recruiting channels to invest in.