What interviewers have to prepare for the interview
What interviewers have to prepare for the interview

It’s not only the candidate who has to prepare: recruiting experts Hays say interviewers themselves also need to hone their skills in order to secure the best person for the job.

Interviewing is becoming a more and more popular method of recruitment – 83 per cent of organisations are now using interviews to select applicants, compared with 68 per cent in 2009, according to the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development / Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning 2015 Survey.

With an interview an essential hiring tool, interviewers should make sure it is conducted fairly, thoroughly, consistently and competently in order to reach a sound decision.

While large corporates have an entire HR team to administer this process, SMEs need to figure it out by themselves. What’s more, hiring a wrong person could have a much bigger impact on an SME. Therefore, it is all the more important for SMEs to get the interview right.

Ineptly handled interviews could spoil candidates’ impression on what it’s like to work at your organisation, discouraging people from applying for jobs in future. On the contrary, a competent and objective recruitment process could boost your brand’s reputation, that even unsuccessful candidates may recommend your organisation to others.

Here is some advice on how to brush up your interview skills:

  • Make it human: Avoid scripts, which will only make for a stiff and akward moment that prevents you from exploring areas of real interest. It is good to prepare a list of guiding questions, but use it to steer you through the interview rather than as a tiresome, form-filling exercise.
  • Prepare: Think about what questions to ask to find out the competencies of the candidates most relevant to the role, so that you can benchmark them against one another.
  • Build rapport: Break the ice, put your candidate at ease and make sure you are actively listening in order to get them to put their best foot forward. A few gentle introductory questions will help the candidate warm up, but be sure to allow enough time for them to answer each one.
  • Look beyond technical skills: Devise questions to determine if a candidate will be aligned with your business’ unique values and culture. If you get this wrong, your new employee could harm the internal culture and team morale.
  • Meet legal requirements: Know what you can and cannot ask during an interview to prevent accusations such as discrimination. Look for advice of a professional if necessary to make sure you adhere to legal requirements.
  • Enjoy it: See the interview as an opportunity for you to get an insight into someone else’s world and make a positive difference to their life. 


This article was originally published on Hays.

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