Top tips when interviewing a potential employee

It is no great secret that having the right staff in your business is essential to its continued and further success. When it comes to recruitment of staff the interview is the employers opportunity to assess the suitability of the candidate and how they might fit into and enhance the business.

It is important for an employer to get the interview right, but what if you don’t have much experience of interviews and are lacking confidence in how to conduct an interview? Making the right decision off the back of an interview is important and the wrong decision over a candidate can prove to be costly to the business.

We have set out below some tips and advice for employers when conducting interviews that we think will assist in ensuring the interviews you conduct enable you to hire the right candidate for the job.

1. Be prepared

Ensure that you have read and made notes of the CV of the candidate prior to the interview, make sure you understand the key requirements of the role that you are interviewing for and consider making a person and job specification for the role and assess the CV against these criteria.

2. Prepare your questions in advance

To ensure the interview process is fair, and to help with your decision making, you should plan your interview questions ahead of time, write them down and have them in the interview with you. Planning your questions in advance will ensure consistency throughout the interviews and allow you to obtain all of the information you need from the candidate.

3. Set out the format of the interview

Set out the format of the interview at the start to place the candidate at ease, explain the format of the interview and what is going to happen. Doing so will allow the candidate to feel more relaxed and give the best account of themselves in the interview. Make sure that the candidate gets a good appreciation of the business, the role, and that the business is presented in the best light.

4. Offer refreshments

Offer a drink. It is a nice, easy way to break the ice with the candidate and place them at ease.

5. Ask open questions

Where possible try to avoid questions that can be answered simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’. By asking open questions you invite the candidate to tell you more about them, their experience and their credentials which helps assess their suitability. Start questions off with What, Why or How.

6. Obtain evidence

During the interview ask the candidate to give examples from their working life where they have demonstrated the skills needed for the role and how they are able to meet the requirements needed for the particular role.

7. You are being interviewed too

The interview is a two way process, you have to be the right company with the right position for the candidate as much as they have to be right for you. Make sure that the candidate gets a good appreciation of the company and role, and make sure that you present yourself in the best possible light – dress smartly, be prepared, be approachable and make sure that the interview location is suitable.

8. Candidate’s questions

Leave time at the end of the interview to allow the candidate to ask you questions, this will give you the opportunity to assess their preparation for the interview and assess their level of interest in your business and the role.

9. What happens next

Tell the candidate and make it clear when a decision will be made on the role and how long the process will take and when a decision will be made. Don’t be afraid to make it clear that other interviews are taking place and a decision will be made at the end of the process. If you give an indication of when a decision will be made, stick to it.

If you would like any more information in relation to this article then please feel free to contact me via email: or visit my profile.

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