Get Creative with Hiring Interviews: 5 Ways You Can Boost Candidate Experience

Table of Contents

  • Jeff
  • May 26, 2022

Finding the best talents can be a daunting task. As the increasing number of job seekers rises, so does the competition in the job hiring space. As a result, more and more companies employ unconventional hiring methods during application to boost candidate experience and acquire the best professionals in the job market.  

Hiring interviews is a staple practice during the application process, but innovations during this stage are few and far between. Implementing a more creative approach to interviews will work wonders in boosting candidate experience, giving you an advantage over the competition.  

Here are some creative ways you can turn an interview into something more than just a hurdle for your candidates: 

  1. Keep It Moving

Staying in a room while waiting for an interview to start can be nerve-racking. Job interviews are already stressful as they are, so why not remove the suffocating four walls off the equation. 

Instead of conducting the interview process in one of the vacant meeting rooms, take the candidate on a workplace tour. Engage in casual conversation as you wander around the office. For the more technical parts of the interview, you can take the candidate to the employee’s lounge, where they can also observe interactions between team members.  

Not only will this provide a more relaxed space for the candidate, but it also offers a glimpse of the company culture that could help them decide if it’s the right fit for them.  


  1. Meet and Greet

Introduce the potential hire to some staff members they’ll be working with, whether a direct supervisor or a teammate. Set some time aside during the interview for this interaction. Doing this allows them to get a better sense of how the team functions and what kind of role they’ll play when hired. This also allows you to observe how the candidate interacts with staff members and see if they can be a good fit.  

Make it a point to talk to the staff member you’ll bring for the interview beforehand. Clarify the tone you would like to set during the interview, screen the questions they’d like to ask, and remind them to keep the conversation light. Think of yourself as a matchmaker, finding the right person for either side.

  1. Be Interactive

Nowadays, interviews don’t work in a one-way fashion. During this process, candidates also determine if the company they’re applying to meets their own standards. By creating a more interactive approach to interviews, you’ll be able to show that your company values their ideas and will provide ways to help them grow professionally. 

Allow for a more conversational approach in creating opportunities for your candidate to speak more freely: 

  • Break the ice. Rather than getting to the meat of the matter on the get-go, let them ease their way into the conversation. Ask them about their commute, talk about the weather, or mention a random experience you had that day. Make them feel like you go through the same things as them, so there’s no need to be too formal or rigid. 
  • Do not stick to a script. While there will always be specific questions you need to ask during an interview, a series of yes or no questions is never ideal. Your pre-existing knowledge about the candidate should not become a laundry list of things to ask but rather a source of conversation. Maybe you went to the same school, ask about their experience there or if you live within the same area, mention something about a place you frequent there. Anything that can lighten up the mood will help make them feel more comfortable during the interview.
  • Be conscious of your body language. According to renowned author and leadership coach, Carole Kinsey Goman Ph.D., your body movement during an interview can influence a candidate’s perception of you 
    • Keeping eye contact shows interest and eagerness to learn more about the candidate. Continuously glancing in the direction of the door may tell the candidate otherwise. 
    • The direction your body is facing during the interview is important. If your head is directly facing the candidate, but your legs are pointed in another direction, it may be taken as a sign of disinterest. 
    • Stop looking at your watch or phone during the interview. A clear sign that you are uninterested is when you constantly check for time or when you keep yourself distracted with other things. 

     Keeping your body language in check will help toward creating a more engaging conversation with a potential hire.  


  1. Look into Their Instincts

While a candidate’s technical knowledge about the job is important, character and personality can be the difference between a good hire and a perfect hire. As you conduct the interview, you can set up a hidden test that can give you an insight into how a candidate reacts to certain situations. These kinds of tests usually don’t give the applicant enough time to think and rely on already developed habits and traits.  

Try setting up the Pen Drop Test. In this scenario, a pen is dropped during the candidate and the interviewer’s conversation. Those who instinctively pick up the pen for the interviewer pass the test and their action can be treated as an added merit. While this is not an entirely scientific test with infallible results, this can give a preliminary idea of what kind of person a candidate is. 

Heineken took this type of test to the next level during their internship interviews for the UEFA Champions League sponsorship. They observed how the candidates would react in varying situations. The first setup was the interviewer suddenly collapsing during the interview. The second scenario had the fire alarm going off and the firefighters were called in to rescue an employee trapped on the roof of the building. Candidates were rated based on their friendliness, helpfulness, and courage during the interview. 

Hidden tests during interviews do not have to be as elaborate as what Heineken used. However, their ability to draw out genuine reactions during different situations can provide a wealth of insight into a candidate’s character.  


  1. Make Them Think

We have seen articles like “Top 10 Questions Asked in an Interview,” and in most cases, candidates will be preparing to answer questions included in similar lists. They will also be expecting to get quizzed on the technical knowledge of the position they’re applying for. While it’s necessary, it is also a good idea to make them think on their feet by throwing them a curveball.  

Asking questions like what type of soup would best describe their personality will give you a deeper insight into their thought process and a glimpse into what they are as a person. These types of questions are unconventional. However, a clear vision of what you’d want to get out of these “quirky” questions becomes a valuable tool in getting to know your candidate while breaking the ice. 


Shifting Focus on a Creative Candidate Experience 

The job hiring landscape has changed so much throughout the years. The way potential candidates look for possible hiring opportunities is now greatly influenced by the quality of candidate experience offered by the employers.   

Stand out by getting creative with your hiring interviews. Make it as fun and engaging as possible to reel in top talents in the industry. Employing these unconventional but effective strategies in the hiring process is a surefire way to boost candidate experience. 



We at Allied Insight can help you revitalize your screening process by offering creative ways of conducting your interviews. With the highest standards to boost candidate experience, we can create an effective staffing program together that will take you to the next level. 

Allied Insight is a fractional CMO and growth marketing company specializing in leveraging the best practices of recruitment marketing, inbound marketing, SEO, lead generation, account-based marketing, and sales enablement. 

Using our expertly laid-out marketing and creative strategies, we can help your staffing agency soar to new heights. Contact us today to learn more! 


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