Interview Scheduling: What It Is, Why It Matters, And How to Do It Right

David Morneau
By David Morneau
23 May, 2023

Interview scheduling is not just about improving your candidate experience; it's also an important part of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcome.

digital interviews

Interviews are one of the most important stages of the recruiting process. Whether you work in recruitment or hiring, or are responsible for staffing and building a team, interview scheduling is an area you don't want to neglect. Not only does it mean your candidates have a better experience with every stage of their application, but it also frees you and your staff up to do other tasks more efficiently. However, scheduling interviews is one of the biggest headaches for hiring managers and recruiters. 

A lot can go wrong at each stage of the process which is why it's important to have a good interview scheduling strategy in place. Whether you're planning an on-site event for candidates or just setting up a video conference call for two individuals at once, this guide has all the steps you need for making sure your interview scheduling goes smoothly from start to finish.

stock image of a woman carrying a job interview virtually
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What is Interview Scheduling?

Interview scheduling is the process of arranging a meeting between two or more people for the purpose of conducting an interview. The main goal of this process is to find the right candidate for every position, so it's important to make sure that both parties have enough time to prepare for the interview and get the most out of it.

The Benefits of Interview Scheduling

Interview scheduling may seem like a simple concept, but there are many benefits to it that go beyond just saving time in the set up of meetings..

If you're like most hiring managers, your calendar is likely packed with meetings, appointments and calls — so adding another event can be difficult if not impossible at times. And if someone doesn't respond to their scheduled time slot? Well then there goes another chunk of time wasted trying to reschedule them. That's why so many companies use automated interview scheduling software to make sure they can schedule interviews at their convenience.

graphic showing the biggest challenges to schedule an interview
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Here are some of the benefits that come with automated interview scheduling:

  • It saves time

Interview scheduling can save time by eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication with candidates. You'll know exactly when each interview will take place, which means that you can plan your schedule around it. 

  • It saves money

Despite the initial cost of installing an interview scheduling system, the efficiency savings should far outweigh the initial investment - not just the long term pay off through ensuring you find the candidates that suit your vacancy, but in the staff time spent on scheduling and reorganising meetings, the potential to conduct more interviews with a broader field of candidates, the building of a more positive, professional and efficient recruiting process and the ability to digitise feedback and follow-up comments from candidates.

  • It can reflect well on your company

If your company is organized and on top of things, your interview scheduling should reflect that. You don't want your candidates to think they're getting stuck with an unprofessional company — especially when they might be making a long-term commitment with you. Interview scheduling shows them that you care about being on time and keeping things organized, which can make them feel safe in their decision to work for your company.

Neal Taparia, a serial entrepreneur who runs Cribbage Online, adds, “First impressions are critical. If you are in a competitive space, you need to put your best foot forward. If a candidate sees you have a well run organization, they will be more likely to join.”

  • It helps you avoid any conflicts with the availability of your candidates

Interview scheduling can help you find out if the candidate has any scheduling conflicts or availability issues before you even do the initial interview. This means that everyone involved will know exactly when their time is scheduled, so there won’t be any surprises when it comes time for the actual meeting.

  • It helps you get better candidates

When your hiring process is more efficient and streamlined, you can find better people faster. When you're interviewing a lot of people at once, it's easy to get overwhelmed. The more people you talk to, the more likely it is that you'll accidentally overlook someone who might be perfect for the job.

Interviewing one person at a time means that you can focus on getting the most out of each conversation, which means you'll be able to find out exactly what the candidate knows and how they think about things that are important for the role. 

This helps ensure that every person you talk to is a good fit for your company culture and mission statement — and that each new hire will be able to do their best work from day one.

How to Schedule an Interview, Step by Step

Interview scheduling can help you create a more efficient workflow, but you have to do it the right way. Here's how to make sure your interview schedule is organized and efficient:

  • Use an automated interview scheduling software 

Scheduling interviews in a timely manner can save you time, allow candidates to make better decisions, and create positive experiences for both hiring teams and candidates. That way, you won't have to guess who's right for the job. Automated scheduling software solutions like TIMIFY can simplify the process of scheduling meetings or accelerating your sales pipeline, making your entire workflow flexible.

  •  Set the parameters for your meeting

This step is critical because you need to know how much time you have and what you want to get out of it. The saying "time is money,"  is never more true than when you are trying to schedule an interview with your candidate. While the duration of an interview depends on many factors and is often hard to predict, most interviews last around 40 minutes.

When you specify the length, location or a video interview platform, you should choose the time of day you'd like to conduct an interview in advance. Setting these parameters beforehand can help make sure that everyone involved is on the same page about what to expect from the meeting.

  • Check your candidate availability

This may seem obvious, but if you're looking to hire someone, you want to make sure that they're available when you need them. That means checking their availability, and minimizing the number of emails you exchange with them (which can be time consuming and can lead to confusion).In case you send interview emails to your candidates via email, then consider using the SPF record checker to ensure that messages reach potential employees' inboxes.

  • Track of everyone's availability and status

There are many ways to manage your potential employees' schedules. You can use a spreadsheet or a calendar, or you can use a scheduling software that allows you to drag and drop candidates onto different shifts.  The most important thing is to make sure that everyone's availability is tracked so you can plan out your schedule in advance. This will allow you to avoid last-minute changes and cancellations.

  • Schedule a reminder for both parties

It's important to schedule automated reminders for the interviewer and all interviewees to avoid any missed appointments. This ensures that there are no scheduling conflicts between the two parties and that everyone involved is able to attend the interview at the given time.

stock image of someone working on a paper calendar
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Final thoughts

Interview scheduling is not just about improving your candidate experience; it's also an important part of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcome. 

Attempting to line up too many interviews in a day or two can often lead to scheduling conflicts, especially with remote and virtual candidates. Rather than attempting to rush through your schedule, allow adequate time on both ends and never leave a candidate behind.

Scheduling software helps you ensure that your business processes are running smoothly, so that your business continues to meet its goals. Plus, it gives you, as a recruiter, a chance to open positive lines of communication with candidates and leave them enthusiastic about their interviews.

David Morneau

About the author

David Morneau

David Morneau is the co-founder and CEO of inBeat, a hybrid micro-influencer marketing SAAS/agency that helps brands scale their marketing efforts. He has helped over 200 DTC brands to date.

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