Interview tips from recruiters

Our experienced recruitment experts have let us in on their top interview tips for the interviewer. As an interviewer, your role is to represent your company as well as to assess the candidate’s suitability for the job.

From the experts - interview advice for the interviewer.

It’s a two-way interview

It is important to remember that you’re being interviewed too and the best people are always in short supply. 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. The candidate wants to understand the company culture, where they would fit in, how their role would contribute to the company vision/plan, and how the job will help them to develop. Overall they need to want to work for you. 

Ask for detailed examples

Interviewers should always ask for real-life, detailed examples when quizzing candidates about their experience and backgrounds. All too often candidates will tell the interviewer what they want to hear. 

Eye contact

It is important to maintain good eye contact throughout the interview. It gives the candidate the impression that you are engaged and confident and suggests that you may be better at managing relationships and people.

Be honest

In this market, it is difficult to know what the short-term future holds let alone the long-term future. However, by being as open and honest with a candidate about what the role will entail, how cohesive the team is, the commercial plans for the future (where possible) and what ‘success’ looks like, you will substantially reduce the risk of losing a ‘star candidate’ to the classic “I was mis-sold the role” five or six months into the assignment. Furthermore, your organisation’s credibility within the marketplace will grow exponentially through a positive candidate experience thereby attracting more star candidates.

Secondary questioning 

A common trap interviewers fall into is asking the candidate good initial questions on a subject or area but failing to follow up with a secondary question. Equally, most interviewees have prepared and anticipated a question so can give a solid answer. Asking the candidate why the project was business critical or why it was a success will only tell you so much about them. How did the project come about? How did they approach it? Who did they talk to before deciding the best way to deliver it? What problems did they anticipate? What have they learnt looking back? What would they change given the chance? 

In some ways the answers are not the most important thing, you can get a better insight into the candidate's thought process, how they communicate and how they are likely to behave in your organisation than you could after the initial question. A good interviewer explores fewer points but does it thoroughly. No candidate will ever be perfect for a role in every way; the important thing is having a clear picture of who you are buying on behalf of your business and your team. 

Managing expectations 

It is important to set expectations with a candidate for a decision date and not to deviate from it. Candidate perception is key here. The way you handle the interview process gives a candidate a perception of you and how you work.  

It is essential a candidate knows when you will make a decision and what the next steps in the process will be so they can plan accordingly. If there is any deviation you need to keep them informed or you run the risk of missing out either because a candidate loses interest, faith in you, or gets another offer. 

For more interview advice or to discuss your hiring needs, contact your local Michael Page office now.

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