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Curbing Interview No-Shows

We spend a lot of time talking to job seekers about how they can make the best impression during interviews. A lot of it seems like common sense to those of us who are well-heeled in the HR industry: Do some research beforehand, dress to impress…and show up on time.

That last one seems so obvious that it seems borderline patronizing to tell job seekers not to just show up on time but show up early. Practice driving to the company and get there a few minutes early to chill out before the interview.

But still, not only do many hourly job seekers show up late for those crucial first interviews, they sometimes don’t show up at all. How are you going to increase workforce retention when you can’t get candidates to show up on time for an interview during an economic downturn?

By taking a proactive approach.

We’ve condensed the advice we regularly receive into these three tips. We hope it helps.

• Act fast: Odds are stellar job seekers are dangling more than one application out there. By contacting these superstars quickly and scheduling an interview for tomorrow instead of next week, you’ll make sure they’re not snatched up by an employer. Plus, you’ll make a positive lasting first impression by demonstrating that applicants are highly valued early on.

• Repetition: Not only do you want to repeat the date, time and place of the interview with the applicant over the phone more than once, but you should also call the day of the interview to confirm you’re still on. You might feel this is overkill, but this is not just about holding the hand of job applicants. It’s also about giving them that warm and fuzzy feeling of being wanted.

• Give them an eject button: Many hourly workers are juggling school, family and other obligations. And sometimes stuff comes up. Make sure you let applicants know that if they can’t make it to the scheduled interview, calling you ahead to reschedule is totally fine. Not showing up and calling after the fact to apologize is not.

Remember: The more efficient that your interview process is, the more time you can spend time honing the operations and transactions that directly impact your bottom line.

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Mike Ward is the managing editor for Snagajob. When he's not writing and editing content to support America's hourly workers and employers, he reviews movies, roots for losing sports teams and hangs out with his family and friends in the River City.

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