Top 10 tips for interviewing


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The right staff members are the lifeblood of a successful organisation, but finding the hidden gems can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Thales offers a <a><em>bespoke training</em></a> course to help employers select the right candidates.

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Top 10 tips for interviewing

  1. 1. Top 10 Tips for Interviewing Candidates
  2. 2. The right staff members are the lifeblood of a successful organisation, but finding the hidden gems – the committed, hard working employees that go the extra mile to complete their role and improve processes, systems and conditions, can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.   Integral to finding the right person for the right position is the interview process.  We generally only have a few meetings to be able to assess the applicant’s suitability for the role and make a decision on whether we think they are going to fit in and make a difference.  
  3. 3. A well structured interview can be an effective way to learn about the candidate, whereas an interview that provides poor information will result in costly bad decisions.   The following top tips have been put together to provide you with the tools to help you plan and prepare for successful interviewing.
  4. 4. 1. Who   The first major question to ask is who you are looking for. Spend some time putting together a job outline and specification for the right person and continually refer back to these criteria whilst assessing potential candidates.
  5. 5. 2. Selection   Once you have advertised the position, the next step is to shortlist CV’s for interview. When faced with a mountain of CV’s, it is important to use screening tools to highlight the promising candidates for the interview process. Refer back to your original job outline and person specification when working through the CV’s.
  6. 6. 3. Style of Interview   With many interview options available, selecting the right style will depend on the position you are employing for, as well as what suits you. From formal interviews with structured and consistent questions to informal, relaxed interviews that enable you to really get to know the person. With larger volumes of applicants, you may need to hold an assessment style interview or sequential interviews with different team members assessing the applicants on different skills and areas.
  7. 7. 4. Plan the Interview   Good planning is the secret to a successful interview process.  Think about what you want to know from the applicants and put in place a selection of questions to enable you to glean the information you need. Use a selection of different question styles – from probing and open questions to situational and reflective. Closed questions may be needed to establish facts and clarify points. If possible, carry out a few trial practices of the interview in a role-play style so that you can be sure the questions you are asking are providing you with the right information.
  8. 8. 5. Observe   Watch the body language of your interviewee and how they react to your questions. Your gut reaction is normally right and you should listen to it, but don’t jump straight to conclusions – people can be very nervous during interviews and don’t always come across as their true self straight away.
  9. 9. 6. Involve your Employees   If possible, involve your current staff members in the interview.  They will be the ones working closely with your new employee so it is important that they will get along.  Involving your current staff also empowers them to feel that their opinions are of importance.
  10. 10. 7. Keep Notes   It goes without saying, keeping notes is a must during any interview. Once you’ve asked the same questions for the tenth time, the applicants can all start to mould into one. Clear notes provide you with a reference to review once all of the interviews are complete so that you can refine your selection for further interviewing or make your decision.
  11. 11. 8. Stay Legal   Interviews must be carried out in a way that does not discriminate legally. Ensuring your legal knowledge is up to date is important during the interview process so that you don’t find yourself stuck up against a wall.  The basic legal awareness points are to base any decisions on job related criteria – not on grounds of age, sex, race, religion, marital status, disabilities, etc.  More information on the relevant legislation is covered in our CMI Level 5 Award Recruitment and Selection Interviewing course, or alternatively, we recommend employers seek legal advice before recruiting.
  12. 12. 9. Follow Up   Communicating with your candidates throughout the interview process is important recruitment etiquette. It is not fair to keep people in the dark so be upfront and let them know what is happening so that they can make decisions for their future. It also helps to strengthen your status as a company that cares about their staff.
  13. 13. 10. References   In this day and age, it is important to carefully check references and carry out any background checks.  You need to be sure that the person you are about to employ is capable of carrying out the job and will contribute to the company’s growth, but you also need to ensure they don’t have any history that could pose a threat to your current staff members.
  14. 14.   Find out more about online courses and tips. Including CMI level 5 Award Recruitment & Selection Interviewing Course and Management Leadership Courses with Thales Training and Consultancy