Step 4: Conducting interviews

Plan the applicant interviews

For the best results during the interview, make sure you carefully plan the interview beforehand. You might like to consider covering the following points:

  • Select a place where the interview can be conducted in private with no interruptions.
  • Choose one or more appropriate interviewers to conduct the interview. It is preferable to have both a male and a female on a selection panel.
  • Think about the questions that you'll ask. Questions should be open-ended to encourage applicants to discuss issues and demonstrate their abilities.
  • Arrange appointments with the short-listed applicants.
  • Allow adequate time for each interview – at least 30 minutes and preferably 45 minutes (depending on the responsibilities of the job) with 15 minutes for the interviewers to discuss the candidates while still fresh in their minds.
  • Tell the applicants what they will need to bring to the interview, such as references, academic record or examples of their work.
  • Tell the applicants in advance if they will be given a test of any description – for example, a maths, spelling or typing test.
  • Familiarise yourself with the applicant's application.

Conduct the interview

Use the interview to discuss the applicant's skills, experience, and abilities. You should also be able get a sense of their personality and values to determine how they will fit into your team.

Here are a few pointers to make your interviews as productive as possible:

  • Introduce yourself and the other interview panel members.
  • Make the applicant feel at ease.
  • Give a background on your business and the position.
  • Start with a general question.
  • Ask all applicants the same or a similar set of questions to allow comparison.
  • Let the applicant do most of the talking. Prompt them for more information if necessary.
  • Ask about their current position, notice required to be given, availability of reference from current employer, the need for confidentiality, etc.
  • Invite the applicant to ask questions about the business and the position offered.
  • At the end of the interview, tell the applicant what happens next: how long it is likely to be before a decision is made, and any further checking of references etc that needs to be done.
  • Make notes on the interview, review answers and information against selection criteria, and consider other relevant factors, for example, personal presentation and personality.

What's next...

Related Information

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