What Is a Casual Interview and How Can It Help Your Hiring Process?
This is Amy, from the HR team at Wantedly. Last time, I wrote about 4 tips HR executives could use to make their job descriptions more accessible. In that post I briefly touched on the concept of the casual interview, so for this article, I will go into more detail on what the casual interview is and the pros and cons of adding it to your recruitment flow.
So, what is a casual interview?
Wantedly was actually one of the forerunners of the casual company visit in Japan. As opposed to the traditional flow of document screening - formal interview - offer, it can be hugely beneficial to add in a middle stage for a “casual chat”. In this stage, you can meet with the candidate online, or invite them to visit your office, and candidly discuss the role and company on an even playing ground. While it shares similarities to an initial phone screening stage, the emphasis here is on the word casual. This stage should be an opportunity for the candidate to be themselves, and therefore the setting should not be overly formal and should be carried out with as little judgment as possible.
We have seen huge success in adding a casual interview into the recruitment process. This is why Wantedly’s Job Posts don’t take the conventional route when it comes to simply apply for a job. Rather, a candidate can casually express their curiosity in the role by clicking “I’m Interested!”, which then sends their profile and details to the recruiter to have a look over. If they spark interest, the recruiter can use our messenger function to get in touch right away, either to hear a little bit more about them or to schedule a casual interview.
Let’s go over the pros and cons of this type of interview.
- Learn about the applicant on a more personal level, beyond their resume.
- Grow your talent pool by increasing your connections.
- An invite to meet casually takes some of the formality away and can help candidates who are on the fence to decide whether to apply or not. In turn, this can widen your options and increase your application rate.
- Allows you the opportunity to discuss the company and the role in more detail, which helps to manage expectations on both sides.
- Making a good initial impression can lead to word of mouth, and have a positive impact on your employer brand.
- Creates an opportunity for you to answer any questions or concerns the candidate has, meaning that in future interviews they can focus on the role in more detail.
- Gets a candidate excited for your company and its mission!
- Can be time-consuming for recruiters
- Can be difficult to schedule, however, the increase in remote working seen in the recent year has helped to improve this.
Tips for companies who want to use the casual interview:
- It’s important to manage a candidate’s expectations about the purpose of this stage in the interview process. Be very clear that the casual interview is an initial chat, rather than a formal interview. Let them know it’s also an opportunity for them to honestly ask questions or voice concerns that they may have from reading the job description.
- Be honest about both the great and the challenging aspects of the role and company in your initial meeting.
I hope this is helpful for companies that are thinking of switching up their recruitment flow!