- ability to tailor location based on position
- change of scenery
- less workplace distractions
- knowledge gap
- can come across too relaxed
- possibility of communication issues
While there are many interview tips for candidates out there, resources for employers on how to effectively conduct job interviews are few and far between. However, there are actually many aspects that employers should be taking into consideration, such as who should be involved in the interview process, what format the interview should take… and even where the interview should be held.
If your office doesn’t exactly reflect your organisation’s personality or business goals, you might have started to think about London venue hire in the heart of the country to give your candidates a better first impression of your firm. But is holding job interviews off-site really the best option for your company?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of hosting a job interview away from the office...
pros of off-site job interviews.
you can tailor the interview for the position.
Imagine trying to woo an innovative, forward-thinking cryptocurrency expert to your firm with an interview taking place in a bank in desperate need of renovation… it doesn’t really work, does it?
With the latest technologies no longer confined only to tech companies, and with all sorts of industries adopting new, advanced ways of working, there’s a definite gap between what new skills growing employers need to get on board, and what existing skills these employers need to be nurturing. An off-site facility allows you to tailor your environment to any role… any to any candidate.
you can enjoy a change of scenery.
If you’ve been staring at the same four walls for the last few months, it can be easy to lose focus. This means that you may not be as alert or as invested in a promising candidate as you would be if you were feeling more refreshed. A change of scenery could be just the answer, giving you time away from your regular workload and responsibilities to clear the mind and stop you obsessing over documents and deadlines. A change of scenery also allows you to focus entirely upon the candidate in front of you. Overall, an off-site interview venue can be less stressful, and better help you to make an informed decision.
there’s a lack of distraction… for your team.
We’ve just looked at how a lack of workplace distractions like regular workloads and responsibilities could help you… but have you considered how a lack of interview distractions could benefit your current employees? Whether it’s booking out a meeting room which could be used for client presentations, or taking various key employees away from their vital tasks (research shows that 7+ interviewers can massively increase the success of a new hire, which doesn’t exactly help here!), taking interviews away from the office could work to boost workplace productivity… especially when hiring for multiple roles.
cons of off-site job interviews.
there’s a massive knowledge gap.
Company culture has never been more important. In fact, it has been reported that many candidates now choose jobs because of the company culture. At a time when culture is such a major priority for candidates, hosting a job interview off-site appears to be largely detrimental as it becomes more challenging for candidates to picture themselves working for this particular organisation if they have never stepped foot inside their premises. There are ways around this, of course, but the knowledge gap between what the employer knows and what the candidate wants to know should always be addressed.
it’s easier to let your guard down.
If you decide to meet a candidate at a local restaurant, coffee shop, or even a bar, there are both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, meeting in social situations such as this gives insight into a more relaxed company culture - on the other hand, an informal setting can have an affect on how the interview is both portrayed and conducted. While your company culture may be one of friendliness, an element of professionalism must still be apparent. Meeting on mutual turf evens the playing field, and the wrong choice of venue could shift the power balance, making it easier for you to let your guard down.
communication isn’t as easy.
Imagine if your candidate has a last-minute delay or needs to get in touch with you urgently prior to an interview. It’s likely that your office will be their first point of contact… but where are you? Are you 100% sure that you’ll be reachable if your team need to get in touch about changes to the interview schedule? Do you have the tools you need to be able to communicate on the go? Does your chosen venue have WiFi that you can connect to? While mobile communications today are excellent, it is still more likely that there will be breakdowns in communications when away from the office than when you are there.
on-site or off-site interviews?
There really is no right or wrong answer! However, what the above tells us is that it’s important for employers to understand that there are more options available to them than simply interviewing on site. Choosing an off-site venue can be hugely advantageous, especially when you select the right venue; one which offers good communications, the ability to use your own tools and resources to give insight into your company culture, and an atmosphere that reflects your goals, aims, missions, and personality.