May 26, 2022 8:00:00 AM 14 min read

Hiring Transparency: the Responsibility of Both Candidates and Interviewers

Written by Solutions Partner Rachel Serwetz, CEO of WOKEN:

In order to make hiring more efficient and effective, the full cycle of the hiring process should be as transparent from both sides of the table, at every step of the way. This blog will delve into what both parties can do to ensure that the process is both empathetic and successful.

When the job posting is shared…

The employer should:

  1. Clarify a role title that is as accurate as possible given the role’s responsibilities and level.
  2. Ensure the job posting is comprehensive, accurate, and detailed, as it relates to the role’s responsibilities, the company/industry, and the work culture.
  3. Be thoughtful about which job boards or websites to post the role on, to ensure it gets in front of a wide audience.
  4. Consider adding a video to the posting that can better describe what the role’s goals are, the company mission, and the company culture.
  5. Consider including or requesting videos as part of the application process to get to know candidates better beyond just relying on their resume.


The candidate should:

  1. Do career exploration to crystalize which role(s) and industries are the best fit or next step for their career. By doing this, they will save themselves time and the potential employer in terms of reviewing only strong, applicable, relevant resumes.
  2. Do the self-work to be able to objectively view your skillset, strengths, affinities, interests, capabilities, and potential.
  3. Apply even if they feel they are at least 75% a fit for the given expectations and responsibilities listed.



When resumes are considered / When employers consider who to interview…

The employer should:

  1. Use automation only for core, critical skills that are actual deal breakers to weed out only truly unqualified candidates, to ensure that automation systems do not reject good-fit candidates.
  2. Build a structured evaluation process with clearly defined success indicators for all interviewers or evaluators to follow as they review candidates in the following ways:
    1. Consider candidates’ proof of relevant experience.
    2. Consider candidates’ soft skills and natural propensities, from what is made clear so far in the application.
    3. Consider candidates’ progression and thus potential.
    4. Consider candidates’ interests and motivation.
    5. Consider candidates’ level of effort in tailoring their application to your open role and your company.
    6. Consider if candidates might be a stronger fit for another role or team internally.


The candidate should:

  1. Ensure their resume has clean, non-distracting formatting and style.
  2. Ensure their resume is specific and clear in terms of what they have done, where they did it, with whom they worked or led, how they did it, and relevant outcomes, results, impact and metrics.
  3. Ensure their resume clearly outlines their background, strengths, and intended direction.
  4. Be sure to incorporate keywords that align with their target roles and industries in a way that honestly represents their background, rather than forcefitting.
  5. If you have a multitude of resume versions, it might be a signal to revisit and clarify your best fit role or direction.
  6. Consider recording a 30s-60s video to introduce yourself and link this to your resume, LinkedIn, cover letter, and even emails for networking.
  7. Email a recruiter at that company and/or a hiring manager to express your fit and interest, with a thoughtful, robust email, requesting a phone call to introduce yourself and learn more about the company.
  8. Network and break in by getting an introduction to an employee at the company; this way, you can learn more about if you’re a fit and interested in that company, while also ensuring you stand out as a candidate who’s interested, and don’t rely solely on your application to get you to an interview


When conducting interviews…

The employer should:

  1. Use a structured interview process and have prebuilt rubrics or scorecards for every interview with key success criteria or indicators clearly defined to assess a candidates’ fit for the role and the company, and to mitigate bias and likability, instead focusing on measuring ability and alignment.
  2. Send candidates the questions beforehand, to allow for different styles of preparation, so that each candidate coming in has an equal playing field, to better assess the quality of their answers rather than their ability to think on their feet.
  3. Consider the importance of proactively considering what would make an “engaged” employee in this role, considering both the candidates’ fit and interests.


The candidate should:

  1. Be honest, specific, clear, and concise when describing yourself, your interests, your background experiences, and your strengths.
  2. When describing past projects, give context, describe project goals, describe your actions, and share the results and outcomes.
  3. Practice thoroughly for the questions you know you’ll get, so that you can show up with the most authentic, specific answers that you can.
  4. Have done your due diligence on the role, team, department, company, and industry.
  5. Prepare specific questions that will allow you to ensure the process is a two-way assessment of fit - what do you need or what do you need to know about a prospective role, team, company culture, to ensure you’d thrive there? 
  6. Phrase your questions in a way that will elicit stories, examples, and detailed answers from the interviewers.
  7. Be honest with yourself and dig deep so that you don’t lead them on, the same way you hope they will be honest with you about the expectations



When assessing interviews & when choosing the final candidate…

The employer should:

  1. Be willing to take the time to have an extra follow-up call or interview if there are unanswered questions or uncertainties rather than make any assumptions about the candidates.
  2. Use rubrics to assess candidates fairly against key criteria.
  3. Find creative ways to efficiently and honestly update candidates on timelines, expectations, updates, and feedback.

The candidate should:

  1. Send an authentic thank you email within 24 hours to each interviewer to notate what was interesting about each conversation, and reiterate one’s fit and interest with the role and company.
  2. Add any details (or resources with thought leadership) that would help fill in the gaps of answers that you couldn’t dive as deeply into during the conversation. 
  3. Offer more time to discuss any questions that might warrant it.
  4. Share what you’re working on at the moment and what you’re learning.
  5. Stay warm with follow up emails (once per week, balancing politeness with persistence), and include any relevant updates.



About WOKEN: WOKEN is a company founded by Career Coach Rachel Serwetz, that offers one-on-one career coaching sessions plus a comprehensive web-based career platform.  WOKEN guides you through their novel, step-by-step process for career exploration, upskilling decisions, personal branding, and strategic job searching. WOKEN guides you to learn about yourself and your career options, ensuring that you are intentional and confident with every career decision. WOKEN offers a free initial 20-minute coaching call here.

Learn more about WOKEN here.

About Rachel Serwetz: Rachel’s early professional experience was at Goldman Sachs in Operations and at Bridgewater Associates in HR. From there, she was trained as a coach at NYU and became a certified coach through the International Coach Federation. After this, she worked in HR Research at Aon Hewitt and attained her Technology MBA at NYU Stern. Throughout her career, she has helped hundreds of professionals with career exploration and for the past 4.5 years she has been building her company, WOKEN, which is an online career exploration platform to coach professionals through the process of clarifying their ideal job and career path. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Binghamton University and has served as a Career Coach through the Flatiron School, WeWork, Columbia University, and Project Activate.

UB Ciminieri, interviewIA CMO

UB leads interviewIA's marketing and business development strategy through a constant state of innovation and "outside the box" thinking. He has taken his deep experience in client and customer solutions to build a company focused on people first, the value that every human brings to the table, and centered on belonging. UB is the "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" in the HR world. In the Malcolm Gladwell framework, he is the ultimate connector. UB has an intrinsic ability to span many different worlds through his combination of curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy.