Quick CV Dropoff
Send us your CV to be considered for one of our open roles
At first glance conducting an interview can seem like a simple process: introduce yourself and the company, make small talk, ask questions, and compare the candidates. But how do you make sure your hiring process is as detailed as possible to ensure you always hire the perfect candidate?
The cost of a bad candidate can be huge, and it is not just the wasted salary that can be expensive. Training time, potential customer problems, and recruiting a replacement are all things that organisations strive to avoid. To prevent your company from making an expensive hiring mistake, it is important to have a detailed strategy.
Here are our top tips on how to formulate questions and develop a robust interview process for your business.
Before you start searching for the perfect candidate, you need to spend some time thinking about the role you are recruiting for. Think about previous employees who have held the position and what skills, knowledge, and qualities made them successful or unsuccessful.
Make a list of these and make sure that everyone involved with the selection process agrees that this is the criteria interviews are looking for each candidate. Make sure you are looking at professional qualities and try to avoid seeking a candidate that will 'fit in' with the rest of the team on a personal level, this will broaden your candidate pool. Find out more about inclusive hiring here.
When you have selected candidates CVs from the criteria, you need to create a robust set of questions that will allow the candidates to showcase their skills in your relevant sector/area. There are many different approaches to creating job interview questions:
It is worth noting here that you must take care when asking some questions. These include asking about race, religion, marital status, children, gender, and disabilities. The general rule is if you are going to ask about any of these topics, you must ask every candidate you interview, and ensure your question will not be perceived negatively.
Be aware that sometimes some of these questions aren't appropriate for neurodivergent candidates, or can be tweaked in some way. Contact our Diversity Champions for more assistance and advice with inclusive recruitment here.
Here are some common interview questions you can consider asking candidates:
The interview structure is also crucial, and should flow just as a regular meeting would. We would advise that you set out the basic structure of how each interview should take place in advance, and stick to the format with each candidate. Generally, we would advise first stage interviews to follow a similar format to the below:
Part one: introduction – set the candidate at ease with a few minutes of small talk. Ask some general or factual questions, and explain how the interview process is going to work.
Part two: fact based questions – use this time to go through the candidate's CV, gaining a greater insight of their skills and experience to date.
Part three: behavioural/competency based questions – this is where you analyse the candidates' ability to do the role at hand. Ask them to explain situations where they have used similar skills, and where they have used their skills to succeed in the past.
Part four: wrap-up – This is the time to let your candidate ask any questions they may have. After this interviewers should inform each candidate on the next stages, and when a selection will be made! Formal goodbyes should follow and then have the candidate escorted to the exit.
Inexperienced interviewers might be tempted to use the initial impressions that each interviewee gave them in order to compare candidates against each other. This is dangerous for several reasons. When interviewing you must remember that you are looking for someone who can do the job the best, not your next best friend, so all conversations should be around skills and ability.
A robust rating system should therefore be implemented to ensure all candidates are reviewed equally and in the same way. Failing to rate each candidate individually can often lead to selecting the wrong candidate.
An effective evaluation will allow you to rate each candidate and compare them against a set criteria. This can be done on a simple scoring system or a checklist of key skills, just make sure you use the same system for every candidate you interview.
Do your homework: carefully read each candidate's CV in detail to ensure you have a good pre knowledge of their skills and experience. It might also be worth searching their social media platforms, this will give you a greater insight of who they are as a person.
Be nice: ensure you make your candidate feel at ease by smiling, leaning forward, and nodding your head. This will not only make them feel more comfortable, but will allow them to open up more.
Take notes: after several interviews, it is easy to get candidates' experiences mixed up. Make sure you write them down. If you think you might forget, it might also be worth writing a brief description of what the candidate looks like on the CV.
Do not talk too much: give your candidate the time to sell their skills and ability to do the role.