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Interviewing candidates for a position within your company can be a time consuming and often frustrating task, as you try to identify the ideal candidate for your business by trying to get to know a person, their personality, their experience and their skills in a short period of time.

Many employers also fail to realise that the way in which an interview is conducted will influence a candidate’s decision to join the company or not should they be offered a position. You don’t want to find your ideal candidate only to be turned down because they didn’t receive a good impression of your business at interview. An interview is always a two-way process.

Here we have compiled a list of our top tips on holding a successful interview:

Get to know your candidates beforehand

Your candidate has taken the time to apply for a role within your business, and therefore being asked the exact same questions within an interview can be disheartening. Study their CV, what experience they have, their skills, their hobbies and read over any application questions they have answered. That is not to say, however, that you cannot ask them to expand on the answers given within their application.

Plan your questions

No matter what kind of interview you would like to conduct, formal or conversational, it is always a great idea to plan your questions beforehand so that you collect all the information you need from a candidate to make an informed decision afterwards.

Get as much information as you can

Asking open ended questions will allow the conversation to flow during an interview and will produce more relevant detailed answers. Don’t accept general answers from your interviewee, if they haven’t fully answered your question then ask them to expand upon their answer, be more specific or provide an example. However, be aware of when your questioning becomes too much so that a candidate doesn’t feel as though they are being grilled under pressure. You want your candidates to feel relaxed through the interview so that you can build a rapport, as this will ensure the most relevant and honest answers.

Make notes

Relying on your memory is not an ideal way to make a decision on which candidate you should employ, particularly when you are interviewing numerous candidates. Many employers rush through their notes once a candidate has finished answering a question to avoid a lull in the conversation and therefore miss important points that they have made; don’t be afraid to make detailed notes of your interviewee’s answers, simply inform a candidate that you are getting their whole answer down.

Anticipate questions from an interviewee

Tips for candidates when interviewing always state to prepare questions for the end of an interview; therefore employers need to be fully prepared to answer these questions. Ensure you know the exact details that a job role will entail, i.e. training, holidays, the team they would work with, their responsibilities, etc.

As we have outlined, preparing for interviews can be a time-consuming task for any business; one of the benefits of using a recruitment agency is that they will carry out initial interviews on your behalf and filter out any unsuitable candidates at the get go. This means that you only interview the most appropriate candidates for the role, saving you a tremendous amount of time but also making your interview and subsequent hiring process much more efficient.

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