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Before an Interview, Make Sure Candidates Have Been to Your Web Site

October 28, 1999
Related Topics: Featured Article
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When conducting a job interview, do you ask the candidate what he or she learned about your company from the visit to your Web site they conducted in preparation?

Here are some advantages of using this line of questioning:

  • You'll learn how what image your company is projecting, and whether that image is the one you want possible applicants to have of your firm.
  • You'll learn how much research a candidate has done in preparation for the interview.
  • You'll learn how the candidate thinks. Take an instance in which you worked in HR for Saturn, and you asked a candidate how she would change the Saturn site. A candidate could answer: "It's interesting that you offer your customers an opportunity to build their own Saturn. What I'd do however, is ask them a little more about themselves first. How big their family is, what their safety concerns are, how low they're trying to keep their insurance rates, etc. Then I'd the use the Web site to help them build the car, making suggestions for them ..."
  • You'll learn about the candidate's knowledge/interest level about your industry. A candidate could answer: "I was really impressed with your Saturn Web site. But what they're doing at Chrysler is pretty interesting too ..."
  • You'll get an idea whether the candidate generally the sees a "big picture," the little details, or both (of course, the type of person you're looking for will likely vary from job to job). A big-picture candidate answer: "You're obviously doing a great job of selling the Saturn concept online. I got the impression this was a car I wanted ..." A detail-person answer: "I was impressed with your site. It was really easy to find the address of my local dealer. You might want to add in the e-mail address of that dealer."

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