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Mastering the Interview Process for Your Business

Posted in Employers, Recruitment on Oct 12, 2023 by Keeley Edge

Getting your recruitment decisions right is essential for your business, as the costs of making the wrong choices can be significant in terms of finance and productivity. To ensure that you make the right decisions, it's crucial to have a well-thought-out interview process in place.

Once you've gathered a pool of talent to consider, a structured interview process becomes your guiding light. It not only helps you to extract the best from the candidates but also allows you to compare their skills and attitudes to make the right selection.

Recruitment is a two-way street: while candidates need to impress you, you must also present an attractive offer to recruit the best talent.

Let’s look at how you can create the best impression to potential future employees as well as making sure that you get the right person for the role who also fits with your company culture.


Before the Interview

Preparation is key to conducting structured interviews effectively. Structured interviews enable you to make informed decisions. Start by planning and deciding how many stages the interview process will encompass, including any testing, assessments, or presentations.

Opening Statements: Create an engaging introduction to your company to provide to candidates at the beginning of the interview. Describe your current business status, your objectives, and how the role they're applying for fits into the company. This insight not only helps the candidate but also boosts your company's credibility.

Compile a Set of Questions: Ask the same set of questions to every candidate, ensuring that you avoid asking unlawful questions. If multiple interviewers are involved, decide who will handle which topics.

Values: Beyond experience and competencies, alignment with your company's values is crucial for a successful hiring decision. Consider competency-based questions and psychometric assessments to identify whether the interviewee shares these values.

Prepare the Room: Ensure that the interview room is well-prepared with drinks and stationery. It's advisable not to conduct the interview from behind a desk or from a higher chair, as this can create an unintentional power dynamic. Opt for a round table if possible.


The Interview

During the interview, your goal is to extract quality information from the candidate so you can evaluate them fairly and thoroughly against your company's needs. Approach each interview with an open mind and ensure no interruptions will disrupt the process.

Avoid disruptions: Make sure mobile phones are turned off, and brief other staff members, such as receptionists, to expect the candidate. Allocate enough time for the interview to avoid rushing through it.

Welcome the candidate: Make an effort to put the candidate at ease. Introduce yourself and any others present, outline the interview structure, and deliver your company introduction, role description, and how the job fits into your organization.

Ask open-ended questions: Encourage the candidate to discuss how their skills and experience are relevant to the job. Use open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no response, allowing the candidate to think and speak freely. Maintain control of the interview, redirecting the conversation if necessary.

Be Courteous: Even if you believe the candidate isn't the right fit, don't cut the interview short. Allow them to answer all prepared questions. Nervousness may take time to dissipate, so remain courteous throughout.

Next Steps: At the end of the interview, invite the candidate to ask any questions they may have. Explain the next stages of the recruitment process, such as additional interviews, tests, and estimated timelines. Always thank the candidate for their time.


After the Interview

What you do after the interview is just as crucial as the interview itself. Informing candidates of your decision should be done positively to maintain your company's brand. Stick to the timeframes you specified during the interview.

Interview Reports: After each interview, promptly jot down written notes. These notes will be invaluable if there are multiple days between interviews and you need to compare candidates.

Discrimination: Only record what was discussed in the interview and how the selection decision was made, avoiding personal opinions. Candidates may request copies of interview notes if they file a complaint with an employment tribunal.

Making an Offer of Employment: When extending a job offer, avoid undermining the goodwill you've built by offering a significantly lower wage than what was discussed or advertised. Provide a formal offer in writing, highlighting any additional benefits.

Protect Your Brand: Handle employment rejections positively, always sending a letter/email to thank applicants for their time. If possible, offer assistance, such as connecting them with other opportunities or providing constructive feedback. Such gestures will be appreciated and preserve your company's reputation.

Having a well-thought out interview process and being well-prepared will pay dividends to help you determine who is the best fit. 


If you are looking to partner with a recruiter who cares about you making the right decisions in your recruitment process, we are here to help. Please get in touch with Key Appointments - 0844 504 4666 / info@key-appointments.co.uk 

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