There are a number of reasons why employers conduct interviews away from their main office. Perhaps the company is very small and there simply is not room to hold interviews, or maybe the building is undergoing renovation. No matter the reason, holding an off-site interview can be a great solution. In order to get the most out of your meetings with potential employees, consider the following tips:
Consider the Location Wisely
Choose a public location where you and the interview candidates will be comfortable. While renting a hotel suite is not the best idea, if you have the money to do so, reserving a small conference room in a hotel often works well. You can also decide to hold the interview at a coffee shop, restaurant or in a large lobby of a hotel. Be sure to let the staff know that you are there to do some interviews; that way, if the candidates check in with the barista or front desk people they will know where to direct them. Try to choose a place where you can really focus on the person. In the case of the coffee shop, meeting during the morning rush hour might be too chaotic and it may be hard to get a table, so schedule interview times when it is less busy.
Use Your Smartphone to Organize the Interview
Your smartphone is a great tool to have during off-site interviews. Instead of listing your questions on a bulky pad of paper, you can use a Notepad feature to type out your questions ahead of time and read off the questions from the phone. You can also use the smartphone to take notes during the interview, and if you would like to take a photo of each candidate to help you remember each one, you can also use the smartphone for that. If it’s been some time since you have upgraded your phone or you are in the market for a new carrier, you may want to consider T-Mobile; they have a number of great deals on smartphones and plans that are great for business owners. For example, their T-Mobile One plan features one main price every month and a number of perks like mobile hot spots, which are great for conducting interviews and doing other business at remote locations. You can also sign up for a number of pre-paid plans with T-Mobile, including one Simply Prepaid deal that gives you up to 10GB of LTE data for $50 a month.
Have a Buffer Between Job Interviews
As a rule of thumb, plan on spending about 25 minutes with each candidate; this should give you enough time to ask the questions you want, as well as hold a behavioral job interview, which will help you to determine who has the best behavioral traits and characteristics that are needed to do well in the job. While you might be tempted to schedule the interviews 30 minutes apart, 45 minutes might be better; this way, if someone arrives a bit late due to bad traffic or has a great deal of questions about the job, the next candidates won’t be gathering in the coffee shop or hotel lobby. Even if you realize right away that someone is not a great fit for the position or your business, you can still spend some time talking about what your company does; the applicant may be a better fit for a different job down the road and you don’t want him or her bad-mouthing you in an online review.