Top Tips for Interviewing

New to interviewing? Need a refresher? Here are some tips that just might help…….

The purpose of an interview is to find the most suitable candidate for a particular job vacancy.

In preparing the job advertisement, the job description/role profile will have been agreed and will contain the key performance measures, the skills and competencies which align with the organisations culture. The selection process, including the interview questions, should be based on these.

Prepare a list of questions in advance

The list of questions should be composed in a meaningful way. The questions asked during an interview largely depend on the position, the industry, and the needs of the company. Questions asked should gauge the candidate’s level of self-awareness, look for compatibility and assess the candidate’s interest in the company. The most trusted method of interviewing is behaviour based.[1]

Behavioural based interviewing is interviewing based on discovering how the interviewee acted or behaved in certain specific employment-related situations in the past. The basis is that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. In preparing for the behavioural based interview, an employer will have already identified what skills and competencies are needed for the role and will ask questions to find out if the candidate has those skills and to what extent. Instead of asking how a candidate would behave, they will ask how they did behave. The interviewer will want to know how the candidate handled a situation, instead of what they might do in the future.

Planning the interview

Determine how much time you need and where the interview will take place. You may need to book a seminar or conference room.   Who will be involved in the interviews? It can be helpful to have more than one interviewer so that more than one person is involved in the selection decision.

Conducting the interview

Ensure you review the candidate’s application prior to the interview, along with the job description.[2] There may be specific questions that arise from reviewing the CV. For example, you might want to know more about any gaps in the CV and explore specific areas in more detail. Interviewers should take notes as they will help with the analysis of the interview. Try to make the interview a conversation and it is important to listen to the response after asking a question. Wherever possible it’s a good idea to allow the conversation to flow as naturally as much as possible. The most revealing answers can often come from follow-up questions; listen to the initial answer, then ask why/when/how. Follow up questions can often give more insight beyond generic responses.[3] Allow candidates the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and manage their expectations by giving them a date or timeframe by which they can expect to hear about the outcome of the interview.

If you would like further guidance or support on this matter or require advice on other people management matters please contact Clover HR on 0121 516 0299 or email us at info@cloverhr.co.uk ©️ Copyright Clover HR


[1] Hiring Monster, Behaviour Interviewing Reinvented, 2019

[2] Peoria, Planning and Conducting the Perfect Interview, 2010

[3] Smart Passive Income, Top 10 Tips for Conducting an Exceptional Interview, 2018


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