Interview Efficiency: 5 Questions to Keep in My Mind

One of the tougher hurdles hiring managers have to address every year is preparing for an efficient hiring, interviewing, and onboarding process. In fact, according to a 2020 survey of nationwide recruiters, 60% say they regularly lose candidates before even being able to schedule an interview. This issue highlights interview efficiency in particular as many components will impact your company’s bottom-line, quickly increase your company’s average cost per hire, and possibly result in not hiring the perfect candidate you envisioned for a role.


Departments in charge of hiring tend to face a lack of planning and scheduling when finding new candidates to bring into their company. Time between interviews is crucial as deciding what to do next can ultimately result in a company losing a viable candidate or realizing later on in the hiring process that the desired candidate isn’t actually going to work out. These delays and abrupt shift in plans can be avoided when putting together an effective interview process.


Here are a few questions hiring managers should ask themselves when putting together a hiring process:


Do I Have a Viable Candidate?


First and foremost, deciding who should go through the interview process is crucial in order to save time of hiring managers and whatever department that is also conducting part of the interview. In addition, any expenses related to the company’s interview process would be negatively impacted if there’s no clear strategy in determining the requirements that a candidate must meet in order to advance in the hiring process.


Let’s say a company brings in three candidates for the first round of interviews after initial screening had been done and one of the candidates interviewed ultimately ended up not being what the company was looking for by a wide margin. This situation should make a company question its screening process.


Could it be possible that your internal recruiter, agency, or hiring manager needs more support in terms of knowing what to ask about a specific role? If a candidate is struggling with, for example, explaining necessary technical components of the role they’re interviewing for, spending more time on putting together thorough job descriptions and screening positions for each role will save time and resources.


Do I Have a Patterned Interview?


One aspect companies may overlook is trying to understand how their own interview process may be perceived by candidates. For example, if a company has four people separately interview a candidate and there’s a ton of overlap in questions asked, or if there’s really no structure or clear strategy that is apparent to the candidate, the candidate can very likely feel the company comes off as disorganized and look elsewhere for their next step in their career.


It’s crucial to strategize beforehand who asks about logistics, expectations, technical qualifications, and a candidate’s background. With this in mind, there’s no wasted time or crossover. Having this strategy in place also makes it easier to compare notes when interviewers reconcile over how the interview went. It also avoids wasting more time in the case of interviewers realizing none of them asked a crucial question for the role, and a follow-up needs to be done.


What Expectations Do I Set and When?


A Glassdoor survey found that 61% of employees say expectations set during their interview process differed from their new job. The importance of being honest and setting the realistic expectations for a role is necessary for not just building trust with a new employee, but also building interview efficiency. If the candidate isn’t on board with the expectations a company sets, the entire hiring process can be derailed and everyone at the company involved wastes time.


To avoid this, your interview process should include direct and clear communication about the specific role the candidate will be hired for, the job requirements, the type of hire will they be (contract, contract-to-hire, direct hire, etc.), if they need a background check and drug screening and when.


All of these typical onboarding tasks really integrate into interview efficiency as well since it’s about asking yourself as an HR department, “When do we initiate these items?” Overall, completing the interview process should lead to the eventual offer letter.


Am I Communicating Well With Candidates?


While this may be obvious, it’s crucial to keep a direct line of communication between the candidates and the hiring manager to avoid confusion or any miscommunications that may happen when multiple parties are involved. Whether communication is done completely through text or email, keeping information and updates within the same space avoids confusion for everyone involved.


Taking too long to respond and leaving dead time risks alienating top talent from a position. If a preferred candidate responds more quickly through text than an email, stick with text. Or perhaps get their communication preference during the screening process.


Checking in on candidates throughout the decision-making process will keep top talent engaged and hopefully bring that candidate closer to the culture of the company recruiting them. A little gesture like giving feedback on how an interview went is actually something 94% of respondents in a LinkedIn survey said they’d like to see. Simple, efficient forms of communication can go a long way into ultimately making the final hiring decision.


Who Is Making the Final Decision?


When a viable candidate or two stands out and a decision needs to be made, the last thing a company should do in this situation is stall and risk losing a candidate who’d be a great fit for another place of employment. The time taken between the last round of interviews and making the final decision should be planned beforehand, along with deciding who ultimately has the final say.


Asking yourself these questions in advance is going to help any hiring manager or HR department address interview efficiency and ultimately save time and resources, in addition to finding the perfect candidate for a role.


If you have any questions or want to learn more, visit or contact to set-up a 30-minute call with one of our senior account managers who can walk you through putting together your own efficient interviewing process.



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