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Applicant Communication: Arranging Interviews

Applicant Communication: Arranging Interviews

During our Recruitment Communication blog series, you will have seen that there are lots of opportunities for you to engage with your applicants. Last week, we looked at how to conduct a successful and useful telephone pre-screen to identify the best applicants to take forward to interview.  Once you have these applicants ear marked, you will then be required to organise and communicate the forthcoming interview.

There is important information an employer can gather in order to communicate and arrange the interviews successfully. Your recruitment process will be smoother if you know this information at the start of your recruitment campaign:

  • Preferred date and time of the interview
  • How long the interview will last
  • Interview location and directions. Will travel expenses be paid for?
  • Who is conducting the interview
  • Will the applicant need to bring anything? E.g. passport, bank details etc. Or for more specific roles things like hard hats, safety boots etc.
  • What will the interview involve? Face to face interview, group interview, assessments, group tasks etc.
  • What sort of questions will be asked? Give the applicant an idea of what to prepare for
Booking the Interview

In this first contact, it can be better to approach your applicant via the telephone so you can collate the relevant information quickly and answer any queries the applicant may have. When you speak to the applicant, it is imperative first to ensure the applicant knows which role you are referring to as they may have applied for a number of jobs. Don’t hold it against them if you do need to jog their memory about your vacancy. Leave a message for them if they are unavailable and perhaps send an email as well. This will ensure a greater chance of them picking up at least one of your messages and get the ball rolling quicker.

If you can’t or don’t want to telephone the applicants, there are a number of alternative ways to go about arranging interviews including letters, email or text.  We love the special interview booking feature in our free to use, FFROnline Applicant Tracking System. The booking system allows you to create suitable interview times in an online diary. Then, by inviting the applicants to review the times available, they can select the best available time slot for them.  This means that the administration of co-ordinating interview times can be done even when your offices are closed.

Ideally you want to contact the applicant as far in advance of the proposed interview time as possible. This will ensure that they have enough to time make the necessary arrangements to attend the interview. Another good tip is to give the applicant just one or two specific dates and times to attend an interview. If an applicant needs to get back to you with their availability try to book a provisional time slot with them too.

Communicating the Details

Once the interview times have been agreed verbally, ensure you confirm this in writing. It is also good practice to include additional information about the interview at this stage too. This will ensure that every applicant has the same opportunity to succeed in the interview and they all have the relevant information to prepare and attend, which will in turn create a better interview for everyone involved.

Having an amour of templates of each stage of the recruitment cycle that you can edit as necessary will not only reduce your work load and ensure consistency, but it will demonstrate that you are an organised and communicative employer too.

When designing your email or template, consider the information we listed at the beginning of this article and perhaps also include; a link to your website, your hiring manager bio, video of your culture, a copy of the job description, industry articles, or any work you want them to prepare in advance. You may also want take this opportunity to share your social media links or your referral programmes so that you can start to engage with the applicant ahead of the interview.

Finally, it is also a good idea to ask applicants to confirm their attendance via email too.  You don’t want to be waiting around for someone who can’t make it!

To make your recruitment life as easy as possible, FFROnline has built-in communication templates, which you can adapt to suit your own wording and requirements. This means that you can ensure all your applicants have the right information and you have a personnel record of this too.

We hope this has helped to streamline your process and think about how you could arrange interviews more efficiently and effectively. Flat Fee Recruiter are on hand to help and don’t forget, you get free access to FFROnline which includes; our unique Interview Booking System and adaptable Communication Templates every time you advertise a job with us. For more information call us on 0113 3227243 or email us at