How to perform at interview – when you’re asking the questions
It might sound obvious, but when you’re recruiting for a new position within your company, it’s not just the interviewee who has to create a good impression.
Often, clients come to us for advice about how to perform at interview. While we can make sure the best candidates end up in front of you, there’s a technique to getting the best from potential recruits. And perhaps most importantly, leaving the candidates feeling that your business is right for them.
Setting the interview questions
Sit down and work out what qualities you’re looking for, and make sure that every question has some sort of relevance to the role in hand. Strong quick-witted, creative answers to questions like ‘what sort of animal would you be?’ are all very well. They can be a good icebreaker or reveal a candidate’s personality, but we recommend using them sparingly.
We’ll be posting more about interview questions in the future – including the types of thing you can’t ask for legal reasons.
Preparing for interview
Start by creating the right impression before you’ve even met the candidates. Don’t set too many rounds of interview – if you’ve done the job well in the first place, you should be left with a good idea of who your strongest candidates are. Two to three rounds of interviews are fine – but if an important manager can’t be there, think about rearranging for a time when they can.
Try not to set any tests in advance of the interview. Candidates have sometimes cited this as off-putting. In some cases, it can even look like you’re asking for free work. Meeting someone in person should reveal everything you need to know.
Occasionally you might not be sure about a candidate beforehand. Perhaps you’ve found their Facebook profile not to your liking, or perhaps their redundancy is making you have misgivings. Try not to let that put you off. Focus instead on their LinkedIn profile and their attitude to the job they’re interviewing for.
As long as your candidate can talk openly about their experience – perhaps they survived five rounds of lay offs during the redundancy process – then you should be willing to look beyond any initial misgivings.
Creating the right impression is important, for both sides of the table. A strong handshake is preferable, as well as presentation. Never keep a candidate waiting. Try to break the atmosphere as soon as you can. It will help your potential recruit to relax, so you can get the most from them in the session. Always think, am I reflecting the company well?
When a candidate has come to your offices several times, the least you can do is to give good honest feedback about their interview. You may wish to see them again in the future, for example, if your lead candidate doesn’t accept the role. Aim to give constructive feedback and avoid generalising with lines such as ‘you weren’t the right fit for the company.’ Don’t keep anyone waiting too long to hear about the job either. Let them know at the end of the interview about when they can expect to hear back from you. By applying all our tips above, you can ensure that how you perform at interview leaves a lasting (good) impression.
If you’re interviewing for a flexible job role, you might have your own questions about how reduced hours or a part-time or job share position might work for your company. And that’s where we can help.
Get in touch for a commitment-free chat about your flexible working options. You might be unsure whether flexible working is right for your business, but we’re happy to explore your recruitment needs with you.
3 min read
October 6, 2015