Teaching employees about your culture should start in the interview process. How applicants are treated says a lot about what it will be like to work in your organization. And while it is your choice whether or not to hire the applicant, it is also their choice to accept your offer or choose somewhere else to apply their talents. Here are some things you can do to send a message of the importance of customer service in your culture to those you are recruiting:

1. Educate all current employees on how to handle or where to send a person who asks about employment at your organization. Everyone should be knowledgeable enough to know the answer to “how do I apply?”

2. Be clear in the job posting that customer service is a part of everyone’s job description no matter what position they are hired for.

3. Acknowledge the application or resume. If a person sends an online application or resume, send a response by email that you have received it.

4. Be courteous when scheduling a phone interview to help the applicant be at a time when it is best for them too.

5. Prepare yourself for the interview. Clean up your office or interview site. Read the resume thoroughly before the applicant shows up. Identify key questions you want to ask the applicant that include customer service behavioral scenarios.

6. If you can’t greet the applicant personally when they arrive to your building, have someone or a receptionist show familiarity to their name and give a warm welcome greeting.

7. Don’t make the applicant figure their way through a maze of halls to get to the interview site/office. This only increases their anxiety. Have someone lead them or get them from the lobby yourself.

7. Be honest in the interview. Let them know what the job will really be like. It is better for them to know as much as possible upfront, than have you bring them in, go through all the training, then quit because it wasn’t what they were told it would be.

8. If you hold a one-on-one interview and don’t choose them, send a written letter thanking them for having taken the time to interview with your organization.

While you may not choose to hire the applicant, you still want them to think and speak well of your business; and if possible, to continue or become a customer. They will remember how they were treated in this process.

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