At the most important stage of the recruitment process, it's easy for both you and the candidate to feel the pressure, this is the time to see how they are going to fit and hopefully thrive in your company, but you can make it easier by being prepared and having a clear direction.

Preparing

To prepare for the interview, start at the beginning and make a list of the key qualifications and responsibilities that you can shape your questions around. Once you have an idea of what your objectives are, write down some questions and an agenda. Use this for all interviews - keeping it consistent will give a clear basis to compare the candidates on.

Consider:

  • Sending a separate email, the day before, with all the details of the interview including date, time, location who/ how many people are going to be present.

  • Before they arrive, refreshing your memory and refocusing on the details of the candidate by taking a moment to review their CV & cover letter.


Welcoming

If applicable, help them feel comfortable by introducing them to some of the staff members they'll be working with, showing them around the office and offering them something to drink. Remember at this moment they also are deciding whether they want to work for your company.

The first few minutes of the conversation

Starting off the conversation with a question that focuses on the person instead of the job interview, will help relax the atmosphere and humanise the interaction. Go on to letting them know the structure of the interview this will keep you both focused.

Balancing the conversation

There is a balance to how much you talk during the interview: roughly 30% of the time. After all, the candidate needs the most time to be able to explain their skills and experience.

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

Following Up

Allowing 48 hours, let the candidate know how the interview went and whether they got the job or not, as this is helpful for them and leaves a good impression on your company.

What you need 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