Interviewing for a new job is not easy and it’s stressful in most cases. On top of that there is an imbalance of power between the candidate and the hiring company. The candidate has little knowledge of what they’re getting into, what they are going to be asked and eventually how the company will make their decision. The company, on the other hand, knows the process, what’s going to be asked and has almost full control over the interview procedure.
At Torii, we want to give our candidates the best opportunity to shine, demonstrate their skills and show us how they can contribute to the success of Torii. We, therefore, try to balance the scales back in the candidate’s favor, making sure that we cultivate fertile ground for them.
There are many things you can do during the interview process that will balance the scales and give your candidate a better interview experience and a better chance to succeed in the interview.
Probably, one of the most important things you can do to create a more balanced hiring process, is to make your process more transparent to your candidates.
In this post, I’ll share with you one simple, yet powerful, mechanism we use at Torii, that creates immediate transparency and brings clarity and visibility to your candidate.
Meet Our Interview Cheat Sheet
The interview cheat sheet is a single document, describing our company, the interview process, the people you will meet and what the candidate can expect. Every candidate, receives this cheat sheet when they start the process with us.
The goal of the cheat sheet is to expose our interview process to our candidates from day-1, making sure they know what they are getting into, and also giving them the opportunity to politely decline if that process doesn’t work for them. By looking at our interview process, for example, they can make a good estimate of how much of their time and investment they will need to put into the process and whether they can commit to it.
The Company Benefits As Well
Creating a transparent process is very good for the candidate, and we believe that what’s good for the candidate is good for the company as well.
Expectation settings - Set expectations up front and you will make sure the candidate either passes on the process from the start or is more committed to it. What you don’t want is candidates that drop off in the middle of the process, just because it differed than what they had expected.
Make them remember you - as good candidates might run several interview processes in parallel, they might not fully remember which process is happening at which company, who they have talked to, and what exactly the company does. The cheat sheet is a document that follows them through the interview process, something they can always use to refresh their memories.
What’s Inside the Cheat Sheet
We actually have several different cheat sheets. One for each open position, with slightly different wording to fit the various roles and different interviews.
At a high level, this is the structure:
- An intro explaining why you got the cheat sheet
- About Torii - remember that good candidates are probably interviewing for various roles and might not yet connect between your company name and what you actually do.
- A short video of our product - If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a video worth?
- The interview process - a detailed explanation of all the meetings you will have, who you’re going to meet and what to expect at each meeting
- A short FAQ - common questions we’ve heard candidates ask
- Get to know the team - a list of employees with profile photos, a short bio and links to their LinkedIn pages. Some of these people will interview you, and it is much more relaxing to know who they are in advance.
You also probably know someone who knows one of us. A good opportunity for you to get some backchannel information about us.
- Links to some of the blog posts and videos we’ve published in the past. This may show another side of us - get to know us better.
And here it is, we publish here our developer interview cheat sheet as an example. Use it as inspiration to create your own.
Have you already created one? I would love to see it!