Interview tips for Clients

Interview tips for Clients

Interviewing can be as daunting for the interviewer as the interviewee. However although the emphasis is often on the interviewee to perform themselves, in a market short of applicants it is often equally important for the employer to ‘interview well’. We have put together the following tips to help-

Before the Interview

It is just as important for the interviewer to put as much preparation into an interview as the candidate. Similar to the interviewee, you should conduct research into the candidate and their previous roles. If there will be other interviewers with you, it is important that they are also properly briefed.

Understanding the Candidates experience and history will ensure you help you ask the right questions and get a better idea of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. A good recruitment consultant will help you a full CV, and reasons why the interviewee may be looking for another position – it is rarely just an increase in salary.

Map your interview, to follow a structure. It ensures you use the time in the best possible way and can cover all relevant areas and makes it easier to compare candidates. The Candidate is reassured by a well-structured interview, and will open up more. An example could be –

  • Welcome – put the candidate at ease and explain the structure of the interview.
  • Overview of the business and the job on offer – provide background information on the business, including its type of work; projects; objectives; and culture. Clearly state the tasks involved in the job.
  • Interview the candidate – use open-ended, specific questions about the candidate’s background to probe further into his/her experience and qualifications. If you are not satisfied that the candidate has answered your question properly, it is best to rephrase it rather than simply repeating it. Do not use closed questions or leading questions.
  • Ask the applicant if they have any questions.
  • Close – finish the interview by asking candidates if they have anything to add and explain the next steps if this has not already been covered.

During the Interview

Put the Candidates at their ease. The interview will be more productive.

It is rare that CVs and application forms give the full picture of a candidate, so you may want to start by asking them about their skills and experience. A general question about their background can put them at ease and allow them to relax into the interview while filling in some of those gaps. Then you may want to focus on specific areas, perhaps not covered in detail in the CV or where you think there may be weaknesses

You can ask candidates to provide examples of particular scenarios that they have experienced and then discuss how they dealt with those scenarios. For example, what problems arose and how those problems were overcome. This sort of questioning gives candidates a chance to relate real-life examples of behaviour, making them feel at ease (no trick questions) and giving you an insight into their personalities.

The closing questions at the end of the interview can be very informative and useful – Is the role what you were expecting? What salary would you be looking for to join us? Do you have any other interviews or offers?

Thank them and end on a positive. Even if some skills are missing, when you appraise the interview you may find that overall they would be a very good match for the business.. Also remember, all Candidates are potential advertisements- the impression they gain from the interview will be lasting, and will often be passed on to other people.


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