TIPS FOR CLIENTS’ INTERVIEWS – it is not all just about the candidate!
Many recruitment firms provide advice to their candidates on how to prepare for interviews and how to answer tricky questions. However there is little or no advice for employers who in many cases be unused to or generally feel uncomfortable interviewing.
The following is a brief guide to preparing for and carrying interviews. It is not exhaustive but can be used as a guide…
- Firstly preparation is a must, spend 20 to 30 minutes prior to the candidate arriving reviewing their application form and CV along with reviewing of the job and person specification.
- Look for any discrepancies or gaps in education or employment etc.
- Prepare questions, ensure you ask open questions: who, what, where, when and why, which will encourage lengthy answers. Let the candidate to do the majority of the talking.
- 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.
- 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.
CARRYING OUT INTERVIEWS:
- 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. Then 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 of 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. Keep a detailed record of the interview procedure and its outcome ensures you can provide any requested information should the candidate make a complaint. You may be 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 Data Protection regulations. Only record and keep personal data relating to the recruitment process and information relevant to a discrimination case. The data should be securely stored.
If interviews are not something you are used to being involved with then hopefully these tips will help you with your planning!