5 Ways to Leave Student Candidates With a Good Impression

By Christine Ascher on July 18, 2017

Finding the right student for your company is no easy feat; in addition to encouraging people to apply, you also have to keep them interested throughout the process. The best way to do this is to make sure that you stand out from the rest.

With top student candidates being recruited by a variety of different employers, it’s essential to make sure that they leave their introduction to your company with a positive view of it. Whether it’s their first-round interview or the deciding one, keep your candidates interested with the following tips to make a good impression.

Image via https://pixabay.com

1. Be welcoming

Even if they aren’t necessarily your first choice for a position or even a top candidate, make sure that when you first introduce yourself, you make students feel welcome. You never know what is to come in the interview to follow, so even if you want to write a candidate off right away, it’s a good idea not to show that.

Keep your tone friendly and interested to ensure the student feels comfortable. If you’re too brisk or seem uninterested, they might start to feel like you don’t care about the lower-level employees in your company — something that can give students, in particular, a bad impression right away.

Let them know that you’re glad they came, as this will show them that they will be valued as your employee. It might also give them an extra boost of confidence and lead to a better interview, which will benefit both of you.

2. Be open

The last thing a candidate wants, in particular a student candidate who probably has limited interview experience, is to feel like they’re being “caught out” or interrogated during an interview. Even if you don’t feel like they’re the best fit or have the experience you’re looking for, be open to the possibilities that each candidate brings.

If you come across as critical or disapproving, this might give students a negative view of your company in general. They might fear that it’s a company that nitpicks or isn’t open to new ideas, and decide that they don’t want to work in such an environment. If, on the other hand, you remain neutral and open to each candidate, they will leave feeling like you, and by extension, your company, are fair and receptive.

3. Avoid being overly formal

While your office culture may differ depending on the field and your employees themselves, in general, it’s a good idea to avoid being unnecessarily formal in your dealings with student candidates. Students want to feel like they’re applying to a company that can be taken seriously, but not one with a work environment that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Being too stiff can leave a negative impression on candidates, who might feel like your office is too stuffy for them or find it overly intimidating. Instead, opt for a businesslike, but friendly tone. This will allow students to leave with a respectful view of your company, while also feeling like it would be a pleasant place to work.

4. Be prompt in your communications

There’s nothing more frustrating than a company that doesn’t take the time to communicate with its candidates. When you’re dealing with student candidates, be as prompt as possible in your communications, whether you’re setting up an initial interview or giving them your final decision.

If you take too long, you might seem disorganized or a student may think that you’ve lost interest. Considering students will probably be applying for positions at several different companies, if you wait too long you might lose out to your competitors. After interviewing, give candidates an idea of when they can expect to hear back regarding your decision and do your best to keep to that timeline. This will show students that you are respectful of their time and that you maintain a well-run and efficient company.

5. Show your gratitude for their interest

When you’ve finished talking with a candidate, especially after a formal interview, it’s a good idea to thank them for their time in applying and their interest in your company. Even if you’ve found that they’re not fit for the position, showing your gratitude will ensure that they don’t leave feeling like their efforts were completely wasted. They’ll be more likely to recommend your company to others if you show how much you appreciated their application.

If, on the other hand, you’ve just interviewed the perfect candidate, thanking them for their interest will definitely make them more likely to accept the position than if you just dismiss them without a word. Most students are applying to a lot of jobs, whether they’re internships or post-graduation positions, and they’ll be grateful to know that their application hasn’t been ignored or taken for granted. It might be a small detail or formality to you, but it can make a big difference in terms of the impression you make on your student candidates.

By Christine Ascher

Uloop Writer
Hi! I'm Christine and I'm currently a senior at the University of Southern California, where I study English Literature, Economics, and French.

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