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The Right Way to Schedule Interviews

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Managing candidates can be a real headache. Besides everything that’s on your plate normally, throwing in resumes, dozens of interviews to schedule, references and backgrounds to check can throw things out of whack. When business conflicts do arise with the interviews that you’ve scheduled with candidates, it’s of the utmost importance to give candidates enough notice to make their own scheduling changes.

Many of the candidates that come through your door already have jobs and, as you know, it can be hard to make time for things outside of one’s core responsibilities. If you’re springing interview date changes on candidates with just a day’s advanced notice, you run the risk of them being unable to re-schedule. This can unnecessarily eliminate completely qualified candidates from the application process. In order to interview in a way that’s fair to both you and the candidates that you’re evaluating, make sure that you’ve got your scheduling down pat.

For something of an interviewing horror story, here’s an article from Ask A Manager discussing the potential pitfalls of interview scheduling. The article features the story of one of their readers, a young man who’s interview at a magazine never occurred because of poor scheduling practices by the hiring manager in question. After being told that he was being seriously considered for the position, it took the magazine a full month to get back to the candidate and set up the interview. Here’s what happened:

The person in charge apologized for not getting back, said they were very busy, and said on Saturday to come in on the following Tuesday. I agreed. She said she would get back to me soon to give me directions, as it was a new location. Well, she didn’t give me the directions until THURSDAY and asked me to come in on that Friday. I told her I unfortunately had plans that day (I did, I had a dentist appointment) and asked to reschedule. She never replied.”

Though this a pretty extreme case of professional flakiness, it’s still a great “what not to do” example. In order to maintain a public image of being candidate friendly, you need to make sure that nothing close to this scenario is happening in your hiring. By exercising good organizational skills with your scheduling and working with candidates around their own schedules, you’ll maintain your employer brand and will ultimately be able to make a better hire.

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