Improving the Interview Experience: “I didn’t like the office.”

Part 2 of our blog series on candidate interview feedback and improving the interview experience is focusing on the importance of an office environment for candidates. For hiring managers within businesses who are used to the general appearance of their office on a day-to-day basis, this may be a very easy oversight to make – but candidates are taking everything in. From the look and feel of the office in general, to noise levels and lighting and cleanliness – everything is being analysed by candidates visiting your workplace to be interviewed.

Does your office have the basics?

Every workspace is different – size, space, location and industry type will all impact how a visitor views your office (such as an interview candidate) with a fresh set of eyes. However, you don’t need to worry about all the bells and whistles. Sure, we’ve all seen the fancy offices on LinkedIn with slides, swings, hammocks and roof terraces – but are these the standards candidates really expect? Or, would they simply be looking for a clean, well-lit workspace?

What are the benefits of a good working environment?

Many of our candidates highlighted the importance of the impression they had of the office in their feedback surveys, and some of these respondents were keen to explain precisely what it was that they weren’t impressed by. Overall, candidates are expecting offices to feature natural lighting via windows, as well as being clean with sufficient space to work and move around comfortably. Without these factors, they will struggle to focus.

The benefits of an appealing work environment do not simply revolve around what it looks like aesthetically; it’s about how it makes people feel when they are spending a significant amount of time there. It’s common knowledge that natural sunlight helps people focus and stay awake, so ensuring your workspace has windows is vital!

The health and wellbeing of your staff is obviously high on the priority list, but you may not have realised to what degree your office can impact this. Not only will employees need natural light to work efficiently, but they will need comfortable chairs, enough space to do their work easily, and a clean workspace at the very least.

Improving your office will improve productivity

It’s all about finding a happy medium that works for your particular business. For example, a large and busy technology company’s office will differ from that of a small tech start-up, but there’s no doubt that both sets of employees will want the same basics when it comes to appearance and set-up of a workspace.

If employees feel valued through the working environment they are provided with, not only will their productivity increase, but their appreciation for the company and its overall culture will grow. Other perks are a bonus – pool tables and a beer fridge are not office essentials – and they don’t define a positive work environment. Ensure that you’re showing interview candidates a productive yet relaxed atmosphere when you show them around, and ask your employees if they have any suggestions for improvements.

Find out more about improving the interview experience

If a candidate attends an interview for a job that fits their requirements perfectly, but they have seen the office is cramped, unclean or poorly lit, this could give a negative impression before they’ve even started their interview. Ensure that your workspace, no matter the size, is as appealing to work in as possible.

To find out more about the patterns we noticed in our feedback surveys, you can view the full report here.

Steve Corley

Director - Key Accounts

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