Why do so many HR people and line managers display an air of arrogance when interviewing people? Don’t shoot the messenger (that’s me) but applicants and candidates tell me just that. I hear horrifying stories about how companies treat applicants and candidates; how they scare away good people who came to interview.     

Today, candidates and applicants have a choice. They don’t have to come and work for you. Just like you are assessing the applicant or candidate’s fit to the job and your company, so do they assess your performance as an interviewer and the whole experience from they arrived for the meeting.

Applicants come for an interview but candidates come for a meeting. Read that again. Same same but different. If you somehow get the two mixed up, you may not stand out as the employer of choice that you thought you were.

      Applicants apply for a job and are considered active job seekers. Their resume is typically well drafted, is short and to the point, shows lots of bullet points with accomplishments. They turn up on time, well dressed and rehearsed. Be careful though not to succumb to their dance. They might not be what they appear to.

Candidates on the other hand, they come for a meeting. They will be individuals that headhunters (executive search firms) have probably helped you find. Many talented people who I meet in my job, have not had a resume for years. Never needed one. They come to meet our client because they have been nurtured, because they have been presented with an interesting Employee Value Proposition which has cleverly been sold by the headhunter.

Interviewing is also a sales activity; if you like the person you interview, you must switch to sales mode. It’s time to present your company’s EVP, the employee value proposition, or unique selling points as real sales people call it.