Interview Tips

Analyse the Job.

A Job Description and Person Specification will guide you to the requirements of the job, and the type of person you are looking to fill that job. Draw up a list of the key requirement wanted in the person, with particular attention to their skills, experience and qualifications.

Prepare questions in advance.

Having analysed the job, you can create questions to ask each and every candidate. This ensures fair and comparable interviews for each candidate, and ensures you are not making assumptions from information presented in the CV.

Read the Candidate’s CV before the interview.

Having created your list of standard questions, there may be more candidate specific questions that arise from their CV. For example, if there are any gaps in employment that need explaining.

Outline the interview structure for the candidate.

At the start, give the candidate an idea of what to expect. First, give a brief description of the company, and then outline the job duties. Then, ask the applicant questions. Only invite Candidates to ask questions after the conclusion of the interview.

Ensure the interview isn't too short or too long.

It is important that all candidates get the same opportunity to answer the same questions. Limit the number of interview questions to one major question every 5 mins. This allows for follow up, or clarification questions.

Be flexible:

You have your set questions, but if you get an incomplete or vague answer, you will need to ask follow-up questions for clarification. Don’t just move on to the next major question, or make assumptions from a vague answer.

Don't talk too much.

Let the Candidate do the majority of the talking, allowing them to describe their skills, experience and qualifications. You’ll be none the wiser if you just sell the job and your company hard. And don’t get too friendly.

Include another interviewer.

Having a colleague present as another interviewer greatly increases the reliability of the interview process. Different interviewers in separate, subsequent interviews are more likely to agree on the right candidate.

Body Language or Nonverbal signals.

You are looking for good eye contact and appropriate dress, and the candidate is looking for appropriate body language from you. Your tone of voice is should be calm and professional. Clearly articulate the job's duties and the company's mission. Dress as you normally would, and pay attention to manners. You are a representative of your company and department, so make sure your actions reflect this.

Take notes.

You won’t be able to remember every candidate's answer to every question, so have a note pad handy to take brief notes, but don’t spend the whole interview writing down every one of the Candidate’s answers verbatim. You can finalise your note after the interview is finished and the Candidate has departed.

Follow-up and Feedback

Whether it's by email or phone, via the Agency or directly, follow up to let candidates know whether they got the job. Focus on the relevance and level of the skills, experience and qualifications when providing feedback. This will reflect your professional approach, and reflect well on you and your company.

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