By: TONI ROSARIO Recruiting Manager BIC Recruiting

Hiring managers often think the main purpose of the interview process is to vet candidates for the company. While this is true, it’s important to remember that candidates are also vetting your company. Job seekers have better access to information than ever before, and they are savvy. The bottom line: if your interview process stinks, it will not only turn great candidates off — it could also damage your company’s reputation online. At BIC Recruiting, we work hard to find and appraise the best talent. But what happens after a candidate is passed to the hiring manager?

A good interview process is aware of several key dos and don’ts:

• Familiarize yourself with the candidate’s resume and profile first.

Remember the student in school who would try to complete a book report without reading the novel? Similarly, you would be unhappy if a candidate walked in and asked, “What does your company do? I’ve never heard of you before.” It’s insulting to a job seeker to gloss over their resume and ask redundant questions.

• Don’t stall on scheduling.

If the candidate appears to be a good possible fit, do not delay in scheduling an interview. Even in a sluggish job market, great talent has options that C-level candidates don’t have. If your initial outreach is slow, you risk losing the interest of the candidate and communicating to job seekers that your company is inefficient and uncommitted.

• Eliminate unnecessary steps.

Are you asking for five interviews for an entry-level role? Are you asking candidates for nerve-wracking, group-style interviews with people they will never work with in your company? Sometimes hiring managers believe that multiple interviews will help determine who would be the most dedicated to the company. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Candidates will assume you’re not serious and move on to greener pastures.

• No ghosting allowed.

We all know how irritating it is when a job seeker simply doesn’t show up for the interview and doesn’t bother to call and cancel either. The same is true in reverse — bad behavior is bad behavior whether it happens on the applicant side or the hiring side. Try to keep your scheduled appointments with candidates. If an emergency happens, make sure someone contacts the candidate to reschedule the interview as soon as possible.

• State your expectations clearly.

Candidates deserve to know what you truly expect in terms of job performance, metrics, salary range and goals. Disregarding important requirements or pulling any sort of bait-and-switch routine will cause excellent candidates to bow out — and they may even take to social media to expose what they experienced at your firm.

• Showcase the environment in its best, but truthful light.

Is there upward mobility? Do you offer flexible scheduling? Does management prize diversity and differences of opinion? Candidates should not lie or exaggerate on a resume and your company should not present inaccurate information to job seekers either. But you should highlight the reasons why people choose to work with you and why they stay.

• Give the candidate space for questions.

In a bad interview, the interviewer dominates the conversation and allows no room for questions or comments from the candidate. A successful interview should feel more like a normal conversation with a good flow for both individuals to listen and speak in turn. Always be willing to pause for candidate questions and, before the job seeker leaves, be sure to ask if they have any additional questions you can answer. It’s not only polite and shows you truly care.

• Use empathy.

Job interviews can be tough. Even the most seasoned professional can get butterflies on the day of a job interview. If the candidate seems a little nervous at first, use empathy and help them feel welcome.