How to Conduct a Good Life Science Job Interview
SummaryIn today’s competitive Life Science job market, keeping candidates engaged throughout the recruitment process and creating a positive experience for them at each stage is key when attracting new talent. In this article, we explore 11 things you can do to create a positive interview experience for job seekers, with advice on what you can do before, during and after each interview.
- Author Company: PharmiWeb.Jobs
- Author Name: Lucy Walters
- Author Email: Lucy.Walters@pharmiweb.com
- Author Website: https://www.pharmiweb.jobs/
In today’s competitive Life Science job market, keeping candidates engaged throughout the recruitment process and creating a positive experience for them at each stage is key when attracting new talent.
In this article, we explore 11 things you can do to create a positive interview experience for job seekers, with advice on what you can do before, during and after each interview…
Prepare Your Interviewees
Part of conducting a good interview is helping candidates feel at ease, and giving them the information they need to prepare as much as possible before the day. To help them prepare, give them information on:
- Names of all interviewers, and links to their LinkedIn profiles
- Interview format (e.g., telephone, video, assessment centre, presentation, panel, etc.) and length
- Directions to the office and information on where they should report to on the day, or links and passwords to join an online interview
- Dress code
- Assessment criteria
- Supporting documents they should bring to the interview
- Any useful resources or tips, such as relevant articles or news items from a company blog
Helping candidates prepare should help them to be more relaxed on the day, ensuring you both get as much out of the interview as possible.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Allocate yourself more than enough time for the interview and try not to book back-to-back interviews all in the same day. You’ll need time to make notes and reflect on each one, and to account for any questions the candidate may have at the end as well as any interruptions.
Show candidates that you are well-prepared by not having to rush through the interview, and that you’re willing to help them make an informed decision about the role too by answering their questions.
Find a Good Space
Find an appropriate space to conduct the interview, and make sure it’s ready for the interview beforehand. For both in-person and virtual interviews, find a space that’s quiet and free from distractions or interruptions. For virtual interviews, remember that although the candidate isn’t physically with you, they can still be distracted by what’s going on around you.
Have a Structured Plan
Although you can’t always control the flow of an interview, you should have a structured plan in place to help both you and your interviewees get as much out of the interview as possible. Plan the following in advance:
- The Questions you want to ask
- The key skills, experience, and traits you’re looking for
- The process you will use to assess candidates/assessment criteria
- How you’re going to record answers
- What key things you’ll say about yourself, the role, and the company
You don’t need an exact script for the interview, especially as you’ll need to be able to follow the flow of the conversation too, but do make sure you’re hitting all the key points and that you come across as well-prepared and organised.
Involve Existing Employees
It’s a good idea to involve other employees that the new hire would be working with. This will give candidates more of an insight into working at the organisation and means you can get a second opinion on your interviewees from the people who will understand what type of person you need. However, be careful not to include too many employees just for the sake of it, especially during the early stages.
Use the Candidate’s Application
Whilst you’ll have a list of questions ready to ask each candidate, don’t ask every interviewee the exact same questions. Use their applications, CVs, and cover letters to find out how each candidate is unique, not just whether they could perform the job.
If there’s a hobby they’ve listed on their CV that piques your interest but isn’t directly related to the job, opening up a conversation about it might give you more of an insight into their character and what motivates them outside of work. This will also help to put them at ease and build good rapport.
Look for Soft Skills as Well as Hard Skills
Ask questions that assess a candidate’s soft skills as well as hard skills. Especially for hybrid or remote working roles, soft skills such as communication and time management are becoming just as important as things like technical experience. You should be finding out how candidates work as well as what they can do.
Listen More Than You Talk
Remember that your aim in interviews is to find out as much about your interviewee as you can, so be wary of talking too much and not giving candidates enough time to talk themselves. Reed recommend you spend just 20% of an interview talking and 80% listening, but however you decide to split your time, ensure the candidate has enough time to process and answer your questions well.
Set Realistic Expectations
Misleading candidates to fill hard-to-fill roles isn’t a long-term solution, and is actually one of the biggest reasons why new hires leave. In the interview, setting realistic expectations about the role will help you find the right candidate and will reduce the risk of them resigning soon after starting.
Be Clear on Next Steps
Making the next steps clear is essential in keeping candidates engaged in the hiring process. Try to keep your timeline as short as possible and give realistic time frames for the upcoming stages. Make sure that you’re available to candidates should they need anything in the meantime.
Stay in Touch
After the interview, stay in touch with candidates to keep them engaged in the recruitment process. This could involve anything from simply checking in with them every 1-2 weeks, to sending them a recent company news release or blog post. Even if they don’t end up getting the role, leaving them with a positive experience is likely to bring them back for future roles, or encourage them to recommend your organisation to people in their network.
Visit PharmiWeb’s Recruiter Blog for more tips on Life Science recruitment.