(Just a quick FYI. I’ll be moving to my “summer hours” on the blog starting next week. Instead of the regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule, I’ll be posting on Monday/Thursday. I’m trying to spend more time with family this summer, and I hope you are doing the same. It’s going to be a busy summer at work for me, including some new and exciting experiences, so look for some fantastic content, just a little less of it. Thanks!) :-)

Tell me if you’ve done this before.

You’re talking with a candidate that you genuinely like. They seem likable and qualified for the position, and you have a natural rapport.

They ask what’s next in the process, and you give them a quick rundown on the process as well as some tips and hints for dealing with the hiring manager during the interview.

Should you have done that? Should you have coached the candidate?

One of my friends is very open about this and absolutely believes you should offer as much help as possible. She even goes as far as sharing links to blog posts with candidates on how to craft a cover letter and resume, how to prepare for the interview, etc. Her thought is that a great candidate for the job might perform terribly in the interview, so she tries to level the playing field.

Another friend believes that coaching someone provides an unfair advantage when they might not even be the best candidate for the job. What happens if you help them have an edge, only to find out that they really weren’t the best candidate for the role in the first place?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you approach this. It’s a minor detail in some ways, but if you end up hiring the wrong person, that can turn into a major problem!

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  • 8 thoughts on “Coaching Job Candidates-Should You?

    1. Im afraid a candidate could take my coaching as a promise of a job so i try not to do it. Can it also actually make an uneven playing field between candidates? Isnt it better to let nature take its course?

    2. Have to coach candidates….i want to hire/reject folks based on what they can contribute and trust my interviewers to be able to assess my uber prepared candidate

    3. I do it, especially with young candidates – for example, who come out from school. And I try to give the same help to all candidates. Especially young folks who have never done an interview.

    4. Coach is a strong word… I advise candidates to take a look at our company website and to review the job description before they make it on site for their interview. I remind them that doing that will give them a chance to jot down any questions they may need us to answer and help them speak specifically to the job we are looking to fill. Depending on the candidates background I may remind them to dress professionally… Things like this are what I throw out to candidates in prepping them for an interview because I hear too many people rely on the interview alone or appearance and such as a decision maker… The ideal candidate may not be good at interviewing and I’m good with that. In staffing I would always remind my girls that if the job was for a CNC Machinist we needed a CNC Machinist, not someone that could write a perfect resume… I still believe that in the technical field too. I wouldn’t tell a candidate how to respond to a certain question or how to write their resume …

    5. I like Kristina’s advice. . . Having a script that provides this standard advice to all applicants BEFORE the interview is a great way to avoid the rush of the day or other factors influencing whether or not one takes the time to “coach” or “advise” each and every applicant during the interview itself.

      That being said, I have to admit some interviewers in my early days did provide some advice on dealing with later (tougher) interviewers. . . and I was incredibly grateful!

    6. Hi,

      This is a good discussion about whether to help a candidate or not,
      there are two parts of answer for this topic and
      first is you must not coach the candidate to clear the interview
      and
      second part of the answer is you must help the candidate.

      You must not coach a candidate it means you must be honest to your company for which you are hiring candidates and one cannot give hints how to deal with the hiring manager and must follow the guide lines of company for hiring the candidates but

      Second part of answer is you can help the candidate i.e. by encouraging them to face the interview and let them know and experience by themselves how to deal with the interview and they can always get a next chance to attend the interview ,these failures can be stepping stones for them and this kind of help will be a life time help for them on how to deal the hiring manager or the whole interview.

      thanks

    7. I don’t think it is a good idea to coach a candidate and agree that coach can be a rather implied/strong word. There are too many candidates who would take this as a guarantee for a job rather than the intent in which it was given. Think about this for a moment. We have people who put in applications for jobs daily that A/do not meet the requirements of the job and B/do not follow the directions of the application process. How many times have you had these individuals contact you “shocked” that they didn’t get interviewed and/or attempt to strong-arm an interview?

      If these candidates would assume so much and so easily….a coached candidate might assume much more.

    8. I don’t think it is a good idea to coach a candidate and agree that coach can be a rather implied/strong word. There are too many candidates who would take this as a guarantee for a job rather than the intent in which it was given. Think about this for a moment. We have people who put in applications for jobs daily that A/do not meet the requirements of the job and B/do not follow the directions of the application process. How many times have you had these individuals contact you “shocked” that they didn’t get interviewed and/or attempt to strong-arm an interview?

      If these candidates would assume so much and so easily….a coached candidate might assume much more.

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