If you are involved in recruiting for your company it may well fall to you to come up with a challenging interview task to test a candidate’s skills and suitability for a job.
At Copeland we are regularly involved in briefing candidates on tasks set by our clients and I wanted to share some tips on what seems to work well:
- Before setting the task think about what you are trying to achieve from it. Are you testing market knowledge? Skills? Working style?
- Decide if you want candidates to do a pre-prepared task or one that you will set on the day of the interview. The former gives candidates more time to prepare and give an in-depth presentation, the latter tests their ability to work at speed and under pressure and removes the risk of them getting outside assistance and can be good if interviews are arranged at short notice.
- Give your candidates adequate time to prepare the task – ideally include a weekend
- Give a clear, unambiguous brief including how long you want them to present and in what format.
- Be mindful of how much time you are asking your candidates to invest in the preparation. Try to be reasonable and ideally give a short presentation time i.e. 10 minutes.
- Offer an open channel for the candidates to ask any questions when they receive the brief
- Ask for any digital presentations to be emailed to you before the interview so you can have them ready for the candidate on the day (avoids technical hitches)