6 Talent hunters share how they prep their candidates

Everyone preps their candidates differently and most would do it without so much as a second thought.
Some provide brief guidelines, others are more thorough and give their candidates specifics on what the hiring manager is looking for.
We ask some of your peers to find out how they prep their candidates – what do you think? How do you prep your candidates? Use the comment section to share your thoughts!

Chloe Field
Talent Acquisition Lead at University of Melbourne School of Engineering

It’s our responsibility to ensure our candidates know what to expect from their interview. I typically call prior to their interviews to ensure they are dedicating time to prepare, I offer coaching and advice on how to prepare and send any additional information so they’re feeling confident and self-assured.
If I’m not interviewing them, I offer to meet them prior to their interviews to wish them luck and shake off any last minute nerves.
I say, don’t be afraid to give your favourite candidates a helpful nudge. After connecting with an amazing candidate who gets you excited, trust your intuition. Show them that you believe in them and set them up for success.

Antonia Jennings
Head of Talent Acquisition APAC at Commvault

Prep sessions shouldn’t be about going through the exact interview questions but letting candidates know we follow a competency model. So we’ll be looking for specific examples of previous experiences to help them to be at ease quicker and the interview is more productive.
I also prep them on the hiring manager, a bit about their background, their style and personality, again this all ensures that in the time they have they get the most out of it and so do we. Doing this shows you’re invested in them as candidates and it also allows you to share more information on your company at each step of the way.

Tara Bodycote
Talent Acquisition Manager at Foxtel

I believe prepping candidates is about setting them up for success. That doesn’t mean giving them a cheat sheet, but it does mean providing them with the information that they’ll need to be able to showcase themselves in the best possible light.
When I prep my candidates, I firstly make sure they have access to a Job Description, explain who they are meeting and make sure all the logistics are clear. I also cover the style of interview they can expect (behavioural, technical, panel, etc) and where they can find resources to help them. Most importantly, I give them an opportunity to ask me questions. Interviewing can be nerve wracking, so the preparation is really about helping them feel more comfortable going into the interview.
I tend to brief my candidates over the phone, then follow up with a confirmation email. It’s also important that each candidate is able to access the same preparation information. Of course different roles may need different levels and types of preparation, but if candidates are interviewing for the same role, it’s important that their baseline experience is consistent.
Ultimately, I want my candidates to feel supported and at ease, and that they get the opportunity to put their best foot forward through the process.

James O’Reilly
Talent Acquisition Manager at Xero

When a candidate moves from phone screen stage to interview stage, we provide them with enough information to ensure they have every chance to succeed.
An interview should be less about trying to catch out the interviewee and more about determining in what environments, roles and situations they are at their best.
It should also be a two-way street, that enables both parties to make a ‘mutually beneficial’ assessment.

Nathan Anderson
Leader, Talent Acquisition at Virgin Australia

I take the same approach with all candidates – I give an outline on what to expect in terms of the interview structure and always tell candidates to do their research and to prepare.
I don’t spoon feed them the answers, it is always interesting to see how much preparation they do themselves and is a good indicator on motivation.
I like to set realistic expectations on the job and team dynamics so they can make an informed decision on if it is the right opportunity for them. The more a candidate is at ease with the process, the more you get out of them.

Raquel Lemon
Talent Acquisition Manager at Vicinity Centres

I often give candidates a little background on the interviewers. Senior leaders/hiring managers can sometimes have distinct styles and forewarned is forearmed!
But there is a fine line between leading a horse to water vs making it drink (so to speak), so as much as I want all my candidates to succeed, I do believe that spoon feeding is not the way to go and candidates who take the initiative to find out more for themselves will always stand out more.

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