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Magda CheangSenior Sales Recruiter at Zoom

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How to prepare data-led examples

Three simple steps to help you think about metrics when crafting your interview examples.

When it comes to being a successful recruiter and a true business partner, it helps to speak in a language that really resonates with your hiring managers: data.

I’ve seen some businesses that don’t understand the true picture of their recruiting activity, candidate pipeline, or time to hire. Some companies don’t proactively collect this information so it can be tough to answer these questions in an interview. It’s always best to try to back up your anecdotal evidence with data to show you proactively understand what is affecting your recruitment process and hiring in general.

Here are three simple steps to help you think about metrics when crafting your interview examples:

Start by identifying the most important recruiting metrics.

The first step is to be aware of your organisation's most important recruiting metrics and the company you’re interviewing for. Try to anticipate the company's challenges by reviewing the spec, the existing team and their careers page in detail to find clues on what they might care about most. Many can be relevant, but here are the main metrics to consider:

Time to Fill, Time to Hire, Source of hire, Cost per Hire, Offer Acceptance Rate, First-Year Retention Rate, Applicants per Hire, Conversion rate, Funnel data (candidate pass-through rates), Offer acceptance/decline rate, Diversity metrics (diversity of candidate pipeline), Interviewer data and Quality of hire.

Prepare to tell a concise story with these metrics.

Be ready to talk about the impact of the data and how it drives decision making. The most important thing is to tell a story and explain the impact you made. It’s a great first step to be aware of different data relating to recruiting and track such data, but how may you have used data to make decisions? How can you showcase in your interviews that you have derived insights and made changes after looking at the data?

Craft your example using the STAR technique.

The third and final step is to talk about what you did with the data and what you changed or the impact of you looking at it and advising on a certain element. I’m a big fan of the STAR approach for both interviewing candidates but also answering interview questions. Here is a simple example of how to structure your interview answer:

Describe a time you’ve used data to make decisions in the recruiting process or influence a stakeholder?

S[ituation] - I was working on an Account Executive role requiring a specific language. The position was open for several weeks, and we had little progress despite a lot of recruitment activity and the hiring manager kept asking for more candidates.

T[ask] - Taking a look at the recruiting data, I noticed that the hiring manager had interviewed 12 people and hadn’t progressed to offer. They were high-quality candidates based on the brief, so I dug deeper into the interview feedback. Looking at the submitted feedback from their interviews, they often didn’t have a high confidence level and sent the candidate to the 2nd round for an additional opinion.

A[ction] - Based on the high volume of interviews and the lack of confidence, I scheduled a conversation with them to understand the situation. After an open discussion, it came to light that they were not asking specific enough questions and prefered more of a conversational style in the interviews. They focused a lot on the team fit and the personality of the person. They often finished the interviews not having a high level of confidence in the person's technical abilities. I offered to tailor more specific interview questions to focus on the skills needed that suited their conversational style.

R[result] - As a result, the hiring manager got much more value from their interviews, and they were able to get specific information about the candidates' skill set. After using my suggested questions, they were much more confident in making decisions about the talent pool at an early stage which improved the pass-through rates, cut down on time interviewing, improved the candidate experience and our time to fill dramatically improved.

I hope this helps with your interview preparation and best of luck! :)