Recruiting and hiring great talent is no easy feat, and the interview process is a crucial component of building best-in-class teams within organizations. As businesses strive to attract top talent and candidates search for their next big gig, coordinating interviews can be chaotic and time-consuming.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the topic of interview scheduling at length. You’ll learn:
- What interview scheduling is
- 4 best practices for creating a positive candidate experience (including an interview scheduling email template you can use)
- 4 key benefits of leveraging automated interview scheduling tools
- 4 automated interview scheduling tools you can try
What is interview scheduling?
While interview scheduling might sound straightforward, it’s a long and thoughtful process where recruiters shuffle candidates through rounds of interviews for an open position. Recruiters might set up a couple of interviews, or in other cases, the candidate may need to go through four or five interviews to complete the entire process. With so many individuals (and their packed calendars) involved, interview scheduling can be a complicated feat!
And even though “scheduling an interview” seems like a one-and-done quick task, it involves coordinating available time slots between interviewers and the interviewee, coordinating the meeting logistics (an in-person venue or perhaps Zoom meeting details), scheduling the interviews and pushing out calendar invites, all while keeping candidates in the loop throughout the process. Phew!
Best practices for a top-notch candidate experience
Interview scheduling can leave a significant mark on the candidate experience and your hiring team. Even though it’s a necessary part of hiring and recruiting, you shouldn’t overlook it and should constantly optimize the process for the best experience all the way around. Here are some best practices for providing a great candidate experience (which also benefits your hiring team!).
Send calendar invites right away if a candidate is a good fit
When you have your eye on great talent, it’s essential to coordinate a time slot for interviews quickly and get calendar invitations on the calendar as soon as possible. In the competitive job market, there’s no time to delay (on either side of the open role).
When it takes too long to send out calendar invitations, you risk someone getting double-booked, or worse, your candidate interviewing for another role and accepting it before you can interview them. Not to mention that if you do need to reschedule an interview due to a delayed send of invitations, it can be a massive headache.
One way to make this step easier is to craft confirmation email templates so you don’t have to write your emails from scratch each time. Filling in a pre-written email helps you save time, so you only have to fill in relevant details. Here’s an example template you can start with:
Subject: Interview Schedule Confirmation - [Job Title & Company]
I hope you are doing well! We are excited to move forward with the interview process for the [Job title] position. Below, you will find the details for your upcoming interview with the team.
Position: [Job title]
Date and Time: Provide the date and time, including the day of the week.
Interviewers: List the names and titles of all interviewers. Include relevant information, such as if one of the interviewers is the direct hiring manager, etc.
Format: Specify whether the interview will happen in person or remotely. If in person, include the address for the interview location, a map, and applicable parking and building entry instructions.
Expected Duration: Provide an estimate of how long the interview will take.
To prepare for the interview, please bring [relevant materials].
Our team is eager to learn more about you and your qualifications for this role. If you have any questions or need to reschedule, please don’t hesitate to contact me here or at [Phone number].
We look forward to meeting you, and best of luck in your preparation!
All the best,
Schedule interviews at a reasonable and ideal time
Be mindful of the time and day of the week when scheduling interviews. Especially in a distributed remote world, it’s essential to schedule interviews at a time that works best for everyone involved, including the candidate. Keep these considerations top of mind when planning interviews:
- Mid-morning tends to be a good time for interviews to avoid mental fatigue and take advantage of feelings of alertness and engagement
- Be cautious of weekend and holiday bookends, as these often aren’t ideal times
- Working across time zones can be challenging, so do your best to find a time that works for everyone involved in the process that isn’t too late or early
Prep the interviewers in advance
An interview kit helps interviewers prepare and assess every candidate against the same standards. Include icebreakers, interview questions, a list of deal breakers (i.e., non-negotiable certifications or skills), and instructions on how to prepare and submit interview notes and feedback.
Provide a detailed job description for the role, the candidate’s resume, interview logistics, training on bias and diversity in hiring, and all documentation requirements to ensure the interview is a success.
Be responsive throughout the recruitment process
Don’t leave candidates hanging, and keep them in the loop throughout the process. Interviewing for a new job is stressful for many individuals, and poor communication adds to anxious feelings. When candidates ask questions, share concerns, or provide feedback, be responsive and professional. Share what information you can and do your best to keep them informed and excited about the role and the process.
Benefits of automated interview scheduling
You can take your interview scheduling process further with automated interview scheduling for streamlined efficiencies. Automated interview scheduling offers several benefits for recruiters and candidates in the recruitment and hiring process. These key benefits include:
Major time savings
Automated interview scheduling saves time by eliminating the constant back-and-forth email communication and phone calls needed to find suitable interview times. Not only can this process be a hassle, but sometimes, by the time a recruiter nails down a time and sends out an invite, availability shifts, and you have to start the coordination process all over again. With an automated interview scheduling tool, recruiters, candidates, and hiring managers can save a significant amount of time and reduce the chaos of ongoing back-and-forth communication.
Reduced scheduling errors
Automated systems help reduce and eliminate scheduling errors, such as double-booked time slots, which can lead to no-shows and wasted time. Interviews scheduled on a different date or at the wrong time make hiring teams look disorganized and frustrate candidates. Scheduling errors can be painful for all stakeholders involved, so a smoother, hassle-free process is a win for everyone.
Integrations with calendars
Many scheduling tools integrate with well-loved calendar apps like Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. These integrations ensure that interview availability aligns with interviewers’ calendars to prevent scheduling conflicts.
An improved candidate experience
Candidates can use automated interview scheduling software to select interview times that work best for them based on interviewer availability. Self-schedule functionality is a convenient method for candidates, and it improves their overall interviewing experience by making it easy to book without unnecessary back-and-forth.
Interview scheduling tools for recruiters
If you’re looking for an interviewing scheduling tool, but you aren’t sure where to begin, we rounded up some of the most popular options for you to explore, listed in alphabetical order. Take a look!
Calendly handles the manual scheduling tasks that slow hiring down, including scheduling interviews in a few clicks, booking interviews directly from LinkedIn, and sending automated reminders and communications to candidates. You can also use Prelude (part of Calendly) if you’re part of a recruiting team with complex scheduling and coordination needs. Calendly integrates with 100+ tools to integrate into your current workflows.
Image source: Calendly
Clockwise is an AI-enabled calendar assistant complete with a scheduling tool called Clockwise Links. Clockwise Links allow you to share your availability with others, all while preserving and protecting your preferences, which means it will help you save time to handle your other responsibilities as a recruiter, like making offers, reviewing candidate resumes, and more. Clockwise considers your Focus Time, lunchtime, consecutive meetings, travel time, no meeting days, preferred meeting hours, and more when providing your availability. All you have to do is set up your link and let Clockwise do the rest.
Sense is a full-blown talent engagement platform for accelerating hiring and exceeding recruiting targets. It provides a range of features and functionality for recruiting teams, including automated interview scheduling. Sense eliminates back-and-forth communication, enables candidates to schedule interviews via text or chatbots, sends automatic meeting reminders, and offers in-depth customization for booking flows, cancellation policies, meeting length, and more.
Image source: Sense
YouCanBookMe is a customizable online scheduling tool that allows you to take control of your bookings. You can limit the number of daily bookings to protect your time, set up request-only permissions, send single-use links, and create automated email workflows for follow-ups, no-shows, and more. YouCanBookMe integrates with well-loved tools like Google Calendar, Zoom, Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Google Meet, and more for a holistic workday experience.
Image source: YouCanBookMe
Interview scheduling can be messy, and it can ultimately make or break a candidate’s decision to join your organization should you proceed with an offer. Do your part to make interview scheduling a breeze by communicating effectively, being mindful of candidates’ time zones, preparing interviewers, and leveraging automated interview scheduling software for the best results. Download Clockwise and set up your very own scheduling link today!