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Scheduling interviews isn’t as easy as it sounds. Recruiters have to coordinate interview times with multiple people and inevitably, someone throws a wrench into the process. So how can you minimize the unpredictabilities of other people’s schedules? Below, we describe six snags that commonly occur with interview schedules, as well as ways you can prevent these snags from becoming disasters.
1. Hiring manager traveling? Ask for a backup.
Timing is everything, especially when you have an excellent candidate that you want to move on fast. But then you discover that the hiring manager is going on vacation or business travel and won’t be available for two weeks. The solution? Ask the hiring manager to designate another interviewer to act in his/her place in order to keep the interview process moving along.
2. In-person interview not possible? Offer alternative interview methods.
While an in-person interview is ideal for getting to know a candidate and vice versa, it’s not always feasible. So offer easy alternatives such as a video interview or Google+ Hangout, both of which would allow all interviewers/interviewees to see and talk to each other.
3. Interviewer back out at the last minute? Pull from your all-star list.
Your candidate is halfway through his/her all-day interview schedule when you learn that the next interviewer has to attend to an urgent business problem. You can quickly fill that scheduling gap if you have an all-star list comprising employees who are great at representing the company and its culture. These employees are also happy to interview job candidates because they care deeply about the company.
4. Going on vacation? Collaborate with hiring managers to keep top candidates engaged.
If you’re going on vacation and worried about maintaining engagement with top candidates, ask hiring managers to fill in for you. The key approach is to be specific with your request, i.e., what you want the hiring manager to say and express, as well as what not to say.
5. Amazing candidate not available soon? Be patient.
Sometimes, an amazing candidate isn’t available to interview as quickly as you’d like. But if that person has amazing potential, it’s worth the wait. So be patient and accommodating, which will also signal to the candidate that you and your company are understanding and flexible.
The bottom line: expect the unexpected and always have a backup plan.
Recruiters: any additional tips for dealing with interview scheduling snags?