What is interview scheduling?

Interview scheduling is the process of sprinting between hiring managers, busy candidates and the right interviewers to make interviews happen. It includes looking for time slots when everyone is available, venue for the job interviews, communicating expectations to all stakeholders, sharing interview schedules and the actual scheduling of the interview itself.

What does the process of scheduling interviews look like?

1. Work with your hiring team

During the interview process, there will be so many things such as candidates not showing up, too many interviews in a day, interviews running too late, etc, but with better planning you can be as optimized as possible. So on the hiring team front, talk to them to understand how they work.
a) Ask them to suggest convenient time slots for interviews in advance.
b) Ask them if you can base the job interview schedule on their calendar.
c) Suggest alternative interviewers when they cancel interviews.
d) Give them a heads-up on the job interview schedules as soon as you have them.

2. Keeping a bunch of crisp and to the point, go-to emails

If your emails are perfect, you’ll have fewer people emailing you or calling with clarifications just before the interviews. When you invite candidates in hundreds, that’s a lot of time to spend on clarifications.
a) Include the role and company name in the subject line
b) Give them a couple of slots to choose from
c) Include the interviewer names and maybe their LinkedIn profiles
d) Mention how long each interview would take so they can plan their day.
e) Put in your full office address and a pin on the map.
f) Tell them who’ll be receiving them.
g)If there is a dress code, indicate it.
h)Include a list of any certificates or documents they must bring in.
i) Tell them where they can park and send them a candidate's pass.

3. Use the right tools or an all-in-one tool

Tools you’ll need - communication tools to communicate with candidates and other stakeholders, interview schedulers, office calendars, and feedback gathering tools.
Or you could invest in an applicant tracking software or the ATS that has all of these tools in one and even more. Scheduling interviews with an ATS makes you feel like you have a mini hirng team working for you. In the next section, we'll show you how.

Why invest in an ATS?

 

Syncs with your hiring team’s calendars

You don’t have to run between cubicles or ping people to find a suitable time. An ATS like Freshteam integrates with calendar apps such as Google calendar and office 365, showing you when your interviewers are available. You can choose an empty slot on their calendar and block it for the interview. In addition, you can sync with Google rooms to book rooms for the interviews at the time of scheduling.

 

Enables you to schedule multiple interviews at once

Depending on the role, the candidates go through different sets of interviews (with different interviewers) - phone screening, written test or technical test, face-to-face, culture rounds, etc. With an ATS, you can schedule all of these at once from a single interview scheduling screen.

 

Automatically send out notifications

Recruitment coordinators spend more than 50% of their time juggling communication between candidates, interviewers, hiring managers and other stakeholders. The good news is, with recruitment automations, you can configure communication to go out to all stakeholders when an interview is scheduled, cancelled or edited, automatically!

 

Reminds interviewers to submit feedback

As soon as an interview is over, Freshteam automatically reminds interviewers to submit feedback. The interviewers can submit their feedback on the ATS itself, they can rate skills on the scorecards, leave comments and pen down observations, while also giving their hiring verdict for their fellow recruiters.

5 Best practices in scheduling interviews

If a resume is convincing, schedule immediately

When a resume stands out, contact your candidate right away. They are probably interviewing with other firms like you so take the time to find out where they are in the process and act quickly - schedule an interview or let them know when you’ll call them next. Connect and share a little about the opportunity. This way they’ll be interested in opening up their schedule to you for further discussion.

Don’t leave candidates hanging

In the process, candidates may have to reschedule, call or email you multiple times for any clarifications they have, or share concerns. When they do, be responsive. Timely communication is key to candidate experience.

Use an interview kit

An interview kit enables your interviewers to assess every candidate against the same standards and align with the purpose of the interview. It also quickly preps them before an interview.  It can include interview schedules, a mix of questions to shoot at the candidate, a list of deal-breakers, scorecards with all the skills to be evaluated, etc.

Collect feedback and give feedback

When the interviews are over, the interviewer might move on to the next thing in their day. But before they do, it’s important to get all the feedback you can when it’s still fresh in their memory. You can set up automated prompts using an ATS to nudge panel members into submitting their feedback. Once you have feedback, it’s equally important to process it and share it with your candidates.

Review your interview process 

From time to time, review your entire process. Record your interviewers to understand what kind of questions they ask, if they are getting stuck in routines, show them how to give feedback, how to manage their time on the call or in the room, gather feedback from all stakeholders to identify all scope for improvement, keep optimizing.