Running a smooth interview process ensures candidates have a good experience with your company, whether or not they get hired. If you end the process on a positive note, they can be a source for future referrals or could join the company down the line when the timing is right or a position that better fits their skillset opens up.
Here’s a step-by-step overview of an interview process
- Review applications and schedule first-round interviews
Review applications and make a note of candidates who are clearly not a good fit and those you’d like to meet for an initial phone screen. Make a list of first-round interview candidates and begin reaching out. Here’s an email template we like to use.
- Continue to interview and calibrate with your team
As your team interviews, you’ll start getting a sense of if you’re meeting the right candidates for this role or if you need to make tweaks to the job description. Fill out post-interview notes on your interview rubric and schedule check-ins with your fellow interviewers to calibrate on who you’d like to advance in the interview process. Continue to interview candidates even as promising people move down the pipeline – you don’t want to be so far down a process with one candidate and end up having to start over when they decide to go with another opportunity.
- Reference check
When you’re starting to get serious about a candidate, it’s important to ask for references. Although references can sometimes alert you of any red flags, more often they are helpful for getting a jump start on managing your new hire. We recommend asking the candidate for references and also doing backdoor checks for more unfiltered and direct feedback.
- Making the offer
Once you’re ready, it’s standard to verbally offer the position to your top candidate and then follow up with a written offer letter or an offer letter slide deck. You may want to check out this great Medium post about offers; it inspired the way that we make our own offers at Pillar VC. Candidates will want to know their salary as well as their overall benefits, so you will want to have an employee offer summary ready to go.
- Rejecting candidates and closing the loop
Once the offer has been accepted, it’s generally considered good practice to communicate with other candidates to thank them and give them closure. Think about how you want to keep strong applicants engaged for future opportunities – even if there was a better match for this specific position.