Interviews are a two-way process for candidate and the organisation. The candidate needs to demonstrate they are good fit, and you need to show that your organisation is an attractive place to work. And in this time of the Great Resignation, you need to attract  the top talent when you can! Do you know how to effectively interview candidates, so you secure the best person for the job?

The whole candidate experience

Treating the job candidate well is crucial to upholding your organisation’s wider reputation. You want to be remembered for the right reasons and receive a glowing review on Glassdoor for making a great lasting impression. The candidate will also talk to their family, friends and business acquaintances about how they feel they were treated – make sure they have good things to tell them!

The interview itself is the key part for the candidate and organisation to make decisions about the role, but let’s think about the overall candidate experience:

  • Was the application process straightforward?
  • Did you get back to them when you said you would? Did you communicate efficiently and effectively?
  • Is there ample parking available at the time of the interview? Or did you advise the best way to get to the office?
  • How does the office look? Is it bright and airy and well organised?
  • Did the candidate receive a warm welcome upon arrival?
  • And don’t forget about the interview room – does it look smart enough?

With whole candidate experience in mind, take an objective look at the organisation’s interview process and see where you can improve.

Effective interviewing techniques

Hiring the right people might be tricky if you don’t have robust interview practices in place. Train the hiring managers to the same standard, so they all have interviewing skills to get the best out of the candidates. Make them aware of any unconscious bias and how they avoid them when interviewing.

Here are eight suggestions to conduct an effective interview:

1. Review the candidate’s CV before the interview

Familiarise yourself with the candidates’ skills and experience before you meet. You can prepare some relevant questions, and it shows that you’ve taken the time to ensure a productive interview. Lack of preparation will reflect badly on you and your organisation.

2. Be welcoming

Offer candidates a glass of water upon arrival and enquire if they had difficulty finding the place. Be on time to start the interview. Perhaps give them a tour of the office and an opportunity to speak with other team members, if appropriate.

3. Ask specific questions which relate to the role

Broad interview questions like “what’s your greatest weakness?” are cliched and brain teasers are ineffective. Prepare a short list of questions tailored to the role you’re recruiting for. Behavioural and situational questions help you judge the applicant’s soft skills. You should ask the same questions to all candidates and be aware of questions that break recruitment regulations.

Also think about setting some tasks because this can allow the candidate to demonstrate their skill set in a ‘live’ situation.

4. Give the candidate a good listening to!

As they say, you’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listening is important!

You should aim to speak about 30% of the time. Give the candidate time to adequately describe their skills and qualifications during the interview. Let them shine!

5. Rate answers consistently and fairly

Rate candidates’ answers with a consistent scale. A ‘poor’ to ‘excellent’ or ‘low’ to ‘high’ scale can work well. To reduce the halo or horn effect, use your notes to rate all candidates’ answers at the same time, after conducting all your interviews.

Focus on the candidates’ answers, instead of your judgements. Write detailed answers such as “she told us she hasn’t dealt with difficult customers before” instead of “she’s inexperienced.”

6. The nonverbals speak loudly

Just as you’re looking for eye contact and appropriate dress, the candidate is looking for those unspoken signals from you. Be sure your tone of voice is appropriate and professional. Dress as you normally would to attend a meeting and pay attention to manners. You’re a representative of your company and department, so make sure your actions show this.

7. Keep it professional

Keep all of your questions job-related. If you spend the interview chatting about the latest Netflix series, you may make a hiring decision because you liked the candidate rather than they are truly qualified for the job.

8. Let them know either way

Don’t leave the candidate hanging around for an answer. If you want to offer them the job before they get snapped up elsewhere or if they haven’t been successful, be prompt in letting them know.

It’s good manners and closes the interview process for both parties.

Wote Street People has an extensive network in the local area. So whether you are recruiting for warehouse jobs or cyber security jobs in Basingstoke or anything in between, let us be part of your recruitment process. We are experts at matching the right person to the right job.

Get in touch with Maxine on 01256 236997 or email  to find out more.