A Guide to Job Interviews for Employers
is probably where most people go wrong in the recruitment process but nearly all problems can be avoided with some
thorough preparation. Most problems within the interview process come about because of poor preparation, the
belief that one can “wing it” or play it by ear.
is not a social event. Yes, you want your candidates to feel relaxed and comfortable with you, simply because
you are far more likely to get a good idea of how they will fit in your organisation if they are
preparation and planning will always produce far better results than an informal
Remember: You want the candidates to do the majority of the talking so that you can find
out everything you need to make a good decision. The easiest way to ensure this is by planning
all the candidate CV’s. Make sure that you are familiar with them. Write down any questions that you
may have about each individual and their work history at this stage.
general questions, thinking about what specifically you want to find out about every candidate. There will be
key areas that you want to cover with each candidate.
the interview structure. Where will they be held? Will there be more than one interviewer? If so,
make sure that you prepare together so that everyone knows which areas they will cover and how you will conduct the
Asking the right questions can take a bit of
thought. What you want to know will vary depending on each individual role but if you want to find out all you can,
try to use open questions as much as possible.
These are the type of question that invite
people to give information when answered.
Why do you feel that you are good at your
What was it about this position that
appealed to you?
Avoid questions that invite a yes or no
answer. These are called closed questions simply because they will close a conversation!!
Are you good at sales?
Do you enjoy your work?
Also try to avoid leading questions which
suggest an answer and try to make sure that each question covers one point only. Multiple points in one question
give people the chance to choose which point to answer.
Avoid discriminatory questions. The easy
guideline to this is to avoid asking questions which you wouldn’t happily ask all candidates. If in doubt, don’t
Don’t be afraid to practice your questioning
technique before the interview. It will be time well spent.
Make sure that
you have thought about where you will hold interviews. This needs to be a private room where you can talk
without interruptions. Have any calls diverted and make sure that everyone knows that you are not to be
interrupted. Plan the seating.
around a desk as this can create a barrier. Make sure that no-one is sat in direct sunlight or in a
draught. It sounds obvious but you want everyone to be comfortable and relaxed to get the best out of
Plan how the interview will
Greet the candidate and introduce everyone
to help put the candidate at ease.
Outline how the interview will run, what the
candidate can expect.
Describe the job to the candidate. This is
when you sell the job to the candidate. Remember that interviews are a two way street. It is important to sell the
benefits of the job and company but don’t oversell it.
Ask your questions and find out about the
Invite the candidate to ask any
Sum up at the
end of the interview explaining what the next step will be. Will there be a second interview. When are they likely
to be. If the candidate has impressed you, let them know but never offer the job at interview. Take the time to
stop, review and think things through first.
take notes, take notes.
Make sure that
you take notes throughout the interview and that anyone taking part does the same This will be invaluable when you
come to review the interviews afterwards. Don't relay on memory. Write things down as they happen and
take the time between interviews to write down anything you need to remember about candidates and their
Make sure that
your notes are factual and that you would be happy for anyone to read them. Well kept interview notes are the
best defence against any claims of discrimination or bias and will help immensely when it comes to making the right
Guide to Recruitment Job Description Guide -
How to Write a People Spec
Candidates - Pre-selecting Candidates - - Assessing Candidates - Making a Job