A recruiter using his laptop computer for interview scheduling


Interview Scheduling: Best Practices to Ensure Maximum Candidate Turnout

March 1, 2023

Nadin Zureikat

Nadin Zureikat

Content Writer

Interview scheduling is a major stage of the recruiting process. Especially if you want to hire the best and brightest candidates for your company, you must have a well-planned interview scheduling system.

What’s more, it pays to learn from established best practices when going about this important process. Luckily, with a few easy steps and clever insights, you can maximize candidate turnout for your open roles, no matter how big or small! 

Hosting interviews efficiently will ensure that talented candidates get contacted on time and don’t look elsewhere due to delays. 

Here’s something you should remember: being systematic beats being overwhelmed!

What Is Interview Scheduling? Interview Scheduling Processes.

A picture showing recruiters welcoming candidates for interview

Interview scheduling is not as simple as it looks, especially when you have to schedule interviews across multiple time zones. Recruiters are expected to have a system in place that makes it easy to schedule interviews. Interview scheduling is the process of arranging an interview between an employer and a prospective candidate in order to assess their suitability for a role or position in the organization.

Now, when it comes to scheduling interviews for candidates, the process involves three phases, which are:

1. Pre-interview phase

2. Interview phase

3. Post-interview phase

Those are the three stages of interview scheduling; process let’s now try to explain the points further for a better understanding.  

Pre-Interview Phase

The pre-interview phase is often considered the most crucial stage of the interview process. It is during this time that employers lay the foundation for a successful interview by completing tasks such as scheduling and screening candidates. When done well, the pre-interview phase can streamline the entire hiring process and ultimately lead to the selection of the most qualified candidate.

  • Setting up an online calendar for availability
  • Identifying potential candidates
  • Sending emails to candidates
  • Screening resumes and cover letters
  • Contacting applicants to schedule interviews.

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of the pre-interview phase, but it is a crucial step in ensuring a seamless hiring process. Employers who take the time to carefully execute this phase are more likely to find the right talent for their company. By streamlining the process and identifying the most qualified candidates, companies can save time and money while finding the right fit for their open roles.

Interview Phase

The interview phase is the second stage in the process of scheduling an interview. It’s a vital part of the process, as it will dictate how the rest of the experience will go. Some call it the “make or break” point.

During this stage, employers need to get a better sense of who you are and what you can offer their organization, and also, the recruiters should make sure that they are well-prepared for the upcoming interviews. This includes:

  • Sending out reminders to the candidates
  • Confirming location and timing
  • Organizing materials needed for the interview
  • Preparing interview questions.

Also, keep an eye out for any last-minute changes and make sure the candidates are comfortable with their surroundings. When candidates don’t feel comfortable, they often give a bad impression to the recruiter and can also tarnish the company’s brand.

Post-Interview Phase

This phase is the last of the interview scheduling process, and it comes after a successful interview process. Contrary to what many believe, this is the end of the interviewing process, and there’s no much left to do, but that’s not true. It is actually quite important for the employer to follow up with the candidate. That’s not all; the recruiter still has a lot of work to do on the recently completed interview report. It is expected of the recruiter to:

  • Follow up with the candidate to thank them for their time
  • Gather feedback from the interviewers
  • Organize notes, comments, and evaluations of candidates 
  • Review the overall performance of each candidate
  • Making offers
  • Gathering references.

This is necessary in order to determine which candidate best fits the role—or what changes need to be made if there isn’t an obvious fit. What makes this stage more fragile is that the candidate must be handled with care in order to ensure that the best impression of your company is left until the final decision has been made.

Furthermore, any miss judgment on the side of the recruiter is capable of jeopardizing the whole recruitment process, and that could lead to a loss of potential talent. Therefore, recruiters need to be extra careful while handling this stage in order to ensure that they don’t miss out on any details.

Interview Scheduling Best Practices to Achieve Maximum Candidate Turnout

Hiring managers discussing interview scheduling

Now that we have a better understanding of the interview scheduling process let’s now talk about some best practices that can help improve candidate turnout.

Pre-Determine Interview Goals

To have a smooth interview scheduling, the recruiters should, first of all, define the criteria for the role being filled. For instance, the roles should be broken down into sections, and qualifications for each section should be outlined. This will help the recruiters easily go through resumes and narrow down the candidate pool accordingly.

It will also allow the recruiter to save time for himself and the candidates by allowing them to focus on the most important criteria rather than wasting time going through resumes that do not meet the qualifications.

Schedule Meetings Immediately For The Best Talent

Without wasting any more time, after you have browsed through the resumes and you find one that impresses you and will be a valuable asset for your company, try to immediately contact the candidate before another employer contacts him or her.

This will not just help your recruitment process move faster, but it is also a good way to show potential candidates that the organization takes their candidacy seriously. This is also one of the best practices for interview scheduling.

Coordinate with Hiring Teams Early On

Interview scheduling is not supposed to be a recruiter’s job alone; it should involve other members of the hiring team as well. Good coordination between recruiters, managers and interviewers will ensure everyone knows what needs to be done and when.

It’s also a good way to make sure there are no delays in setting up the interviews or any issues that may arise during the process. There is this saying, “Two heads are better than one,” and this can be applied in the interview scheduling process, as it will help speed up the process and it will help to identify candidates’ raw talent faster quickly.

Keep Candidates in the Loop

We know that scheduling interviews can be a challenging task, but it’s important to keep candidates informed throughout the process. Keeping candidates in the loop means providing timely updates on any changes or delays to their interview schedules and ensuring they have all the information they need to prepare.

We understand that hiring managers have busy schedules, but in situations like this, automated emails can be a game-changer. Not only do they help create a more organized process, but they also leave candidates with a positive impression of the organization, which can increase the likelihood of attracting high-quality candidates.

By prioritizing clear communication during the interview scheduling process, we can create a more efficient and effective recruitment process for all parties involved.

Send Calendar Invitations to your Hiring Team and Candidates Right Away

A recruiter sending calender invitation to candidate for interview scheduling

This is one of the most significant interview scheduling best practices. As soon as the recruitment process has been completed, recruiters should send calendar invitations to hiring managers and candidates right away.

This is done to help them remember the scheduled dates and times for the interview and to ensure that the interview does not get delayed. Forgetting things is a natural human behaviour, and sending calendar invitations will help to reduce this. This will also help to ensure maximum candidate turnout.

Also, calendar invitations should include all the necessary details, such as the date and time of the interview, the location, contact information, etc. This helps give a good impression to candidates, thus making them feel valued.

Automate the Interview Scheduling Process

Are you tired of spending countless hours trying to juggle interview schedules and managing a never-ending email chain with candidates? Fear not, dear recruiter! The answer to your scheduling woes is here: applicant tracking systems (ATS). 

An ATS ultimately makes scheduling interviews with candidates a breeze. Allowing you and your team to manage the entire recruitment process from start to finish without any delays. With ATS, you can easily set up interviews, keep track of time slots, send automated emails and reminders, schedule follow-up interviews, and more. 

Plus, it provides an exceptional experience for candidates. Why? Because candidates will no longer have to spend the entire day trying to schedule a suitable interview time. Instead, they can book their own slots – at their own convenience – through the ATS! No wonder 98.8% of companies now rely on ATS to handle their scheduling and recruiting process. 

Leveraging ATS makes it easier for recruiters to set up interviews, keep track of time slots, send emails and reminders, schedule follow-up interviews, and more. They also provide a better experience for candidates by allowing them to book their interview times without hassle.

Final Thoughts

So what have we learned today? For starters, scheduling interviews don’t have to be a nightmare. By leveraging tools like applicant tracking systems (ATS) and recruiting tools, you can easily manage the entire recruitment process like a boss. And the best part? Using these tools can save an average of 60 minutes (or 3,600 seconds) on hiring – talk about saving time!

But that’s not all, folks. Did you know that a whopping 54% of candidates ditch their job applications after a bad experience during the hiring process? Fear no more!  By streamlining the interview scheduling process and providing a positive candidate experience, we can attract top-notch talent and build an A-star team.

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Nadin Zureikat

Nadin Zureikat

Turn top talent to employees fast

Hire, assess, onboard and manage top talent for every job. See how Elevatus streamlines everything; from acquire to new hire.

Request a demo