Recruiting & Interviewing

Preparing for the interview

The more preparation you do for the interview, the easier it will be for both you and the candidate.

Plan the questions

  • Use information from the candidate’s application form or CV to prepare a set of questions.
  • Look for any gaps in education or employment, or things that don’t seem to add up.
  • Beware of possible discrimination in the questions you ask which could mean you miss the best candidate and may be unlawful. See the guide on how to prevent discrimination and value diversity.
  • Know the job and person descriptions of the job really well so that your questions help you compare candidates.
  • If two or more people are interviewing, decide who will deal with what topics.
  • Think about what information candidates may want about the job and your organisation.

Prepare some open-ended questions – ones which need more than a “yes” or “no” to answer – to ask all candidates, for example:

  • What were your main responsibilities in your previous job?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
  • Looking back at your career, what would you have done differently?

Making arrangements for the interview

  • Make sure that the interview room is properly prepared, with drinks and stationery available.
  • It’s best not to hold the interview sitting behind a desk, or use a higher chair than the person being interviewed – sit at a round table if possible.
  • Find out if a candidate has any special needs before they arrive.
  • Make sure there will be no interruptions, switch off mobile phones.
  • Brief other members of staff, such as receptionists, to expect the candidate.
  • Allow enough time for the interview so you don’t have to rush.
  • Come to each interview with an open mind.
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