Conducting an Interview

Part Five
Image of a Candidate being picked from a lineup

At the most important stage of the recruitment process, it's easy for both you and the candidate to feel the pressure. Whilst they're looking to see what it's like to work in your company and what you're like as an employer, you'll need to see whether they will be a good fit for the role and for your business.

As well as the planning you've done for the interview, these following tips should help you to conduct a successful interview.

Remind and refresh

The day before the interview send the candidate a separate email recapping all the important details, just to make sure everything is clear and to avoid any potential problems. You may want to include the time, location, if needed the dress code and who or how many people are going to be present.

Before the candidate arrives for the interview, it's a good idea to refresh and refocus your mind by spending a couple of minutes going over their CV, cover letter and your notes.


First impressions count. Make the candidate feel comfortable by showing them around, if appropriate introducing them to some of the staff they may be working with and offering them something to drink. Remember, at this moment they are also making decisions on what its like to work for your company and what your like as an employer.

The start of the conversation

Try and keep it relax at the start by asking some questions that focus more on the person than the job, this will help to relax the candidate and the atmosphere, allowing them to have a better chance at getting their points across.

Just before you start to introduce the company let the candidate know the structure of the interview, this will help to keep you both focused throughout.

Balancing the conversation

Believe it or not, there is a balance to how much you should talk during the interview, it's roughly 30% of the time. The other 70% try to leave for the candidate, they need this time to be able to explain their skills and experience.

Also, keep in mind that the conversation doesn't steer far from the role, you want to make the hiring decision based on them being qualified, not because you like them.

Following up

After an appropriate amount of time, let the candidate know how the interview went and whether they got the job or not. A bit of feedback will be useful for the candidate if they didn't get the job and will leave a good impression of your company.

Things to remember:

•   Stay clear of scripted talk, there's one thing having a plan/structure and another a script
•   Keep most of the questions open and job-related

Hopefully, following this guide will help you confidently conduct an interview and make the recruitment process smoother, however if you need any advice just give us a call, we offer interview guidance as part of our recruitment services.

Part 4 - Planning an Interview Part 6 - Writing Offer Letters