Client Interview Tips


Many recruitment firms provide advice to their candidates on how to prepare for interviews and how to answer tricky questions etc, however there is little or no advice for employers who in many cases are unused to or generally feel uncomfortable interviewing. The following is a brief guide to preparing for and carrying out an interview:


  • Firstly preparation is a must, spend 20 to 30 minutes prior to the candidate arriving reviewing their application form and CV along with reviewing the job and person specification. Look for any discrepancies or gaps in education or employment etc.
  • Then prepare questions. Ensure you ask open questions: who what where when and why; this will encourage lengthy answers and give the candidate the opportunity to contribute.
  • Prepare the room you will be interviewing in, make sure it is tidy; refreshments are available and arrange your seating. Try to avoid interviewing from behind a desk, sit slightly to one side or at a round table to avoid a confrontational or intimidating atmosphere.
  • Check whether the candidate has any special requirements prior to arrival.
  • Ensure there will be no interruptions, switch off mobile phones and divert calls.
  • Allow plenty of time for the interview to avoid rushing; however do keep track of time, if you feel you need more time, sometimes it can be better to arrange another meeting when you are both refreshed.
  • Once the candidate has arrived do not keep them waiting.


  • Welcome the candidate and make them feel at ease. Make introductions clearly and then give the structure of the interview.
  • It is a good idea to begin with an outline of the firm, its background and the role.
  • Proceed to discuss the candidate’s skills and experience.
  • When reviewing the candidate’s job history ask for examples of when and how tasks were performed, this way you will not just get a parrot fashion list of duties.
  • Ensure all questions are relevant to the role and avoid any discriminatory questions. Maintain control, bring the candidate back on track if you feel the conversation has strayed off the subject.
  • At the end of the interview ask the candidate if they have any questions and answer those questions as fully as possible.
  • Finally, inform them of the next stage and timescales.
  • If you are paying any expenses,explain what they need to do to claim. Then thank them for their time.


  • During and after the interview it is important you take notes. Keeping a detailed record of the interview procedure and its outcome ensures you can provide any requested information, should the candidate make a complaint and you are required to defend a
    discrimination case relating to the process.
  • All notes should be factual and not express opinions, beliefs or thoughts on the candidates only what was said and how you arrived at the selection decision.
  • You must also remain compliant with the Data Protection Act. Only record and keep personal data relating to the recruitment process and information relevant to a discrimination case. The data should be securely stored.

At Wavelength we recruit to the accountancy profession, specifically to Public Practice firms of accountants. If you have a requirement you can let us know by following this link  we need help recruiting where you can provide us with more details and we will make contact with you.

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