How to Interview: Our Top Tips

If you’re a candidate preparing for an interview, there is a lot of helpful information available with tips on how to prepare. We even offered our advice in a blog a few months back! But what if you’re the one doing the interviewing? If you are and you need some help, don’t worry – that’s what we’re here for!

Here are some of our key tips on how to prepare for an interview, when you’re the one in charge…

Review the Job Specification in Detail

In order to get the most from your interview, make sure you are extremely familiar with the job specification and any other documents that the candidate might have received. This is what your candidate will be using to prepare, and so you need to be able to refer to it all without hesitation.

Make sure you know what each line is asking for. You may need to explain it in more detail to an eager candidate. Also, be sure to check you have all the information on bonuses, progression and the wider team. This is obviously more important if you’re not the direct hiring manager, but even if it’s your own team it’s easy to get caught out!

Do your Research on the Company

Hang on, research your own company? That’s not a typo! It is very easy to overlook the more finite details of a business, especially if you’ve been there for a while. Check on the holiday allowances for new starters, the pension scheme and even the arrangements for the Christmas do. You never know what might come up during an interview and therefore you need to make absolutely sure you have all the answers to hand!

A great tip is to take a few minutes to read through your own website before the interviews. It’s likely you don’t spend a lot of time on there so be sure you know what your prospective new employees might be seeing!

Prepare your Questions

Even if you’re planning an informal interview, be sure to list the questions you want to ask the candidates. More than that, note down the types of answers you want (and any red flags to look out for!). Not only will this help calm any nerves you’re feeling, it’ll allow you to relax into the interview and concentrate more on the candidates themselves.

On the day of the interview…

  • Dedicate time to the interviews. Clear your diary, divert your phone and let everyone know that you’re not to be disturbed.
  • Arrange all the documents you’ll need ahead of time, including details on the candidates. Take notes during each interview. This will help you make a decision after the interview, as well as jog your memory about who said what!
  • Be nice! You want the candidates to want to work for you, so make sure you’re putting a positive and friendly message across. You’ll put the candidates at ease and this will help them perform better.
  • Be honest! If you are asked a question you genuinely don’t know, don’t be tempted to guess. You can always shelf that and come back to it, even if you have to email the candidate after the fact.

And remember, some people do very well at interview and others really struggle. If you can do everything in your power to put candidates at ease, you’ll get the best out of each person. However, judge each person on the whole package and don’t forget…second interviews exist for a reason!

Ready to put your interview skills to the test? Let us help you find your next generation of office superstar…!