Interviews can be a stressful part of business – for the interviewers as much as the candidates. Good planning is essential if you’re going to get the perfect person for the job so here are some handy hints to help with your hiring…

1. Prepare The Candidate

Give the candidate enough notice to make the necessary arrangements for the interview in case they need to book time off from their current position or organise transport. If you want them to prepare something in advance, make sure they have plenty of time to get this ready. It’s also a good idea to explain your process – how many stages to the interview there will be and how long it’s likely to take.

2. Put Them At Ease

The process can be stressful for candidates so try and help them relax by greeting them and escorting them to the location of the interview. Tell them a little about the job including a background to the company and a summary of the position, then start off with a couple of general low key questions.

3. Don’t Judge On First Impressions

Experience and intuition can be useful but relying too much on gut instinct often means you end up straying away from the process. You need to assess the candidate against the specific criteria of the position and this will be tricky if you’ve already made your mind up by the time they’ve sat down.

4. Ask The Right Questions

Having a set of standardised questions to ask each candidate will make it easier to directly compare their responses. Steer clear of the abstract such as asking them what colour or animal they might be and stick to questions that will help you determine their experience, skills, knowledge and attitude.

5. Be Flexible

Don’t be so rigid in your set questions that there’s not enough room left to improvise. Be responsive to what the candidate says, ask follow up questions or dig deeper into their responses if you need to.

6. Watch And Listen

It goes without saying that you should pay close attention to what the candidate tells you but remember that ninety percent of all communication is non-verbal. Are they slouched in their seat? Does their facial expression seem positive and energised? Do they look you in the eye when they speak? These can be very useful indicators.

7. Put Them To The Test

Your role is to collect information so don’t settle for vague responses and generic replies. Check their credentials by seeing how they’ve shown their capabilities in the past. You could go even further by giving them a written test or setting specific tasks that directly relate to the position you’re offering.

8. Take Notes

If you’re interviewing several candidates using the same set of questions, it can be hard to differentiate between them if you just rely on memory. During the interview, write down their responses so you can refer back to them later. This will also create a professional atmosphere while making the candidate feel valued and respected.

9. Encourage Them To Ask Questions

To ensure that you remain in control, it’s a good idea to do this towards the end of the interview. The kinds of questions the candidate asks can be very telling. If their first question is about salary or holiday allowance, for example, it will create a very different impression to a very specific query about a pertinent area of your business.

10. Follow Up

Let candidates know the outcome as soon as possible. They took time out of their schedule and made the effort to come and see you for an interview so even if they’ve been unsuccessful, it’s not good manners to leave them hanging.

Don’t forget that we’re always on hand for your recruitment needs so please get in touch if we can help.