Understanding how to setup and prepare a room for a Job Interview is an essential element to achieving the perfect outcome for all of your recruitment and selection campaigns. There are many factors you need to consider when setting up rooms and spaces for job interviews. This article will primarily focus on how to setup a room for a ‘traditional’ job interview within an office building. However, the instructions below could also be used in any other space.
Choosing the Right Type of Job Interviewing Room
Firstly, you must always book your next recruitment interview in a room that is conducive and inspirational to enable both yourself and the Job Seeker to feel comfortable and relaxed. In my experience, Job Seekers who are comfortable and relaxed tend to respond to interview questions more thoroughly and with much more detail.
When selecting a room or space for a job interview, I always look for the following characteristics:
- Will it comfortably fit the entire recruitment selection panel and interviewee?
- It is appropriately ventilated?
- Is their sufficient natural light?
- Is the table big enough for both the interview selection panel and interviewee to be able to make notes during the interview?
- Does the room have all the necessary facilities (Projector, Internet Access, Laptops, etc)?
- Is the room located in a quite or noisy part of the building?
- Is the room appropriately located (front of house or back of house) (Will the interviewees have to walk through sensitive or confidential areas of the organisation?)
- Are all of the chairs ergonomic and do they adhere to the standards of your local Occupational Health and Safety regulations?
- Has the interview room been booked for long enough just in case the interview takes longer than anticipated?
Many recruiters and managers tend to forget that recruitment interviewing is not a natural part of anyone’s work life, from the interviewees’ perspective that is. What I mean by this is that, when an interviewee becomes an employee, they more likely than not will be performing their role by themselves and NOT in front of a group of people every single minute of the day. Therefore, you as the recruiter / hiring manager; need to make a much effort within reason to create an environment that is more relaxed and natural to what the interviewee would be expecting if he or she was the successful candidate.
Now that you have selected the right room for your job interview, the next and more important part is setting up the room for the interview. Below, you will find a room setup plan for a job interview that you can follow.
You may use this plan to help setup your next job interview. Select the image to download the full version.
In addition to these tips on setting up a room that is to be used for a job interview, please also note the following:
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- Make sure that there are no distracting activities outside of the window or door.
- Always create name labels for yourself and the other panel members. Interviewees should not be expected to remember everyone name, especially if remembering names is not a core function of the position advertised.
- Always supply water and even coffee if possible.
- I like to have snacks on the table during interviews that I know will be 1 hour + in duration. If the Interview does go for more the one hour, have a 10 minute break.
- If the interviewee is required to deliver a presentation, make sure you advise them of the systems you use (Microsoft, apple, etc…)
- Make sure that the table you are using for the interview is not too large or too small. What you want is a table that is comfortable to use.
- Some interviewees may have disabilities that could prevent them from entering the room. Therefore, always make sure that when selecting a room or space for conducting job interviews, that anyone who has a disability can still enter the room safely.
- Check to see if the interview room has a fire evacuation plan. If it doesn’t, ask your organisations fire warden and ensure that the interviewee is made aware of what to do in the event of an emergency.
- Room temperature can have significant impacts on the mood of the interview. Therefore, according to your local environment, try to not keep the room too cold or too warm. A warm room can be both difficult for interviewees and interviewers.
Out of all the hints and tips above, the number of tip I can give you for how to setup a job interview room correctly is to always make an effort to create an environment that is natural. What I mean by this is try to create an environment that the interviewee would expect to be in when performing the tasks of the position advertised. Sometimes this is not possible, however after a little thought, you’ll soon quickly realise that it is easy to create a more natural interviewing environment.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you conduct the interview within the work area?
- Will the interviewee be faced with the same challenges (noise, silence, distractions) while performing the duties of the position advertised?
- Does the interviewing environment offer opportunities for the interviewee to make comments on the work being undertaken around the interview?
These three ideas are definitely not conventional and may not be possible to achieve. However, once your mindset is shifted away from the traditional “corporate” interview environment, then by exploring other alternatives, you may learn different characteristics about the interviewee that you may not have been able to achieve using traditional methods of interviewing.
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These hints and tips about how to setup a job interview room correctly will enable you to achieve better results from your recruitment interviews and enable your recruitment and selection campaign to evaluate more thoroughly the Job Seekers who are being interviewed. Although this guide is primarily focused on “traditional” interviewing, you can always adopt some of these concepts to other less traditional interviewing methods. Remember; always try to and one that is more closely related to the environment in which the position being advertised for would work in.
You might also find the following post interesting: The Basic Etiquette of Any Employment Interview