When it comes to scheduling an interview, the step that requires the most back-and-forth with a candidate is asking them for what times they're available. By requesting availability through InterviewPlanner, you should be able to reduce the number of times you have to go back to the candidate.
Before requesting availability for a candidate, an optional (though highly recommended) step is configuring your company branding so that the page that the candidates will see have your company's logo and colors.
You might also want to configure default settings on a stage for availability requests. This is a quick step that will help save time in the long run because it sets up defaults for all availability requests you send out for that stage.
Getting to the request availability workflow
You can request availability from any candidate in a schedulable stage. For candidates that are in stages with "Request Availability & Schedule" as the default workflow, and who have not been sent availability requests yet, you can click the "Request Availability" action button, as it will be the suggested action. Otherwise, you can select the "Request Availability" button from the dropdown. This will take you into the request availability workflow.
Request availability workflow
The first and primary step in the workflow is setting up the preferences for the availability request. Many of these settings will be familiar from when you configured the stage, and just like when you're scheduling, you can modify any of these values for this specific candidate, and it won't change it on the stage for everyone else.
You'll notice that you have a Preferred Times section that wasn't there on the Availability Preferences tab on the stage. Just like the scheduling window, this is meant to be the business hours and timezone of the interviewers. This will make sure that the candidate provides available times within this window.
The default value for this time window is whatever is configured for the scheduling window on the stage. This will be shown on the candidate-facing availability page.
While this is the timezone of the interviewers, the candidate will see the times in their local timezone when they view the availability page.
It's also important to note that if you change this value here for this specific candidate, it will also change the scheduling window for this candidate whenever you start scheduling them for this stage. That way, you won't have to remember to adjust this value again when we're scheduling them in the future.
This setting determines the minimum duration for every time slot that the candidate submits. This ensures that the candidate doesn't provide a 1-hour block for a 5-hour interview. They can submit longer than this time, but it will show the candidate a warning if one of their time slots is too short and prevent them from submitting.
Similar to the minimum duration, this setting is to enforce a minimum on the total duration submitted by the candidate. The purpose of this is to provide you with more possible time slots for redundancy, so if the candidate's earliest available time doesn't work out for your team (e.g., all the available interviewers have conflicts), you'll have more times to work with without having to go back to the candidate to ask for more time. If the candidate doesn't provide at least this much time, it will show them an error.
2. Suggest times
If you check "Suggest specific times" in the previous step, you can now drag and drop on the calendar view to select times you would like to suggest to the candidate.
You can view multiple interviewers' calendars while doing this to find times that may work.
The next step is selecting an email template that you would like to use.
NOTE: You do not have to send an email to the candidate in this workflow. If you want, you can simply generate the link and send it to the candidate via some other method, like manually through your inbox or via SMS.
Select an email template and edit the content to modify it for this particular candidate if you wish.
Learn more about email templates here if you are not familiar with them.
Once you've set up all of the preferences to your liking for this candidate, the next step is reviewing all of the information to make sure it looks good. This is also another opportunity for you to preview exactly what the candidate will be seeing.
If everything checks out, you can create the availability link!
And that's it! Now, the candidate will be able to submit what times they're available through this link so you can use that information when you're scheduling them.