The art of the interview: Three tips for employers

As an employer, how do you know if the candidate you’re about to interview is a great fit… or not quite right?

At Be. Recruitment, our job is to help you narrow down the difficult search for the right employee to a select handful of people that we think could be a perfect match.

However, the decision of who to employ is ultimately up to you, so it’s vitally important to prepare well for your interviews to ensure the candidate you eventually choose is the best choice for your organisation.

As you prepare to take on new staff in 2022, read the tips below, and feel free to get in touch to get more interview ideas from our team.

Tip 1: Prepare in advance

Before you meet a single candidate, make sure to spend time with your team preparing a range of questions that will help you get to know each applicant’s strengths and weaknesses.

What are the most important skills, competencies, and traits needed for the role you’re filling? What questions will you ask to uncover these attributes in your interviewees?

Just because a certain qualification or aptitude might be industry standard or listed on applicants’ resumes, assume nothing… and double check everything!

You don’t want to go to all the trouble of hiring and onboarding your successful applicant only to discover you weren’t on the same page about them possessing a fundamental skill that’s essential to the role.

Tip 2: Rehearse your questions

Interviewing might not be a theatrical skill, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth practicing!

Get together with your interviewing panel in advance to work out who is going to ask which questions.

It could also be a good idea to practice articulating the questions, helping each other work out the most natural (and least confusing!) ways to pose them.

For back-to-back interviews, it could be worth creating a scoring sheet template that your panel can use during each interview. This can help ensure consistency throughout the interviews, which will make the reviewing process much simpler.

Tip 3: Be organised, but flexible

Some interviewers like to give candidates the questions (or a list of potential questions) five minutes before their scheduled time. If your panel chooses to do this, make sure you’ve got adequate copies printed to do so.

Keep an eye on the time so you can pace your questions to make sure you cover everything required. Don’t spend the whole time talking about the role – it’s important to give the candidate time and space to ask their own questions too.

If you’re conducting multiple interviews, it could be worth having quick debriefs with your panel after each one to take notes, so your memories of the candidates don’t blur into one another!

This is also a good time to tweak, cut or add to your prepared questions after getting a sense of timing, etc. Remember you don’t have to run strictly to script – if something important comes up, ask more about it.

Interviewing is all about getting to know each other to determine whether the candidate could be a good fit for the role. So try to put them at ease to let them be themselves.

Do you have other tried and tested strategies to interview well? Let us know in the comments below! Want to know more about the art of interviewing? Get in touch with Be. Recruitment today and we’d be happy to help!

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