First time interviewing candidates? Here are our top tips.

Have you recently been put in charge of hiring a new team? Required to interview potential employees? If you find yourself in the position to hire new recruits for your organisation, you need to pay attention to your interviewing technique. While interviewing is a skill that takes care and practice, it is often not given the attention and input it deserves, especially by those new to the job of hiring.

Interviewing Candidates sitting with pieces of paper with different symbols on over their faces

By preparing beforehand and focusing on certain key elements during the interview process, you will be more likely to put the candidate at ease, gain more insight into their suitability for the position and, ultimately, hire the right person for the job. To start, remember that an interview is a snapshot of the potential working relationship between your organisation and the candidate, and that makes it a two way assessment process. With this in mind, here are some top tips for making the most of your interview time with a possible hire.

Conducting an interview? Keep these must-dos top of the list:Know what you’re looking for. Before the interview, go over the job description and define the expectations and responsibilities of the role so that you ask the most accurate questions and consider how the candidate might fit the job at hand. Remember, depending on your organisational needs, even a highly qualified candidate might not be who you are looking for.

Get to grips with the CV. Spend some time before the interview going over the candidate’s CV. Plan to discuss the candidate’s specific skills and interests so that you cover experience, expertise and cultural fit. Also take note of any gaps in their employment history these might act as potential red flags, signalling a bad hire.

First impressions do count. Take note of the candidate’s dress and personal presentation. While the way a candidate presents themselves to the world is most certainly not the only important element in deciding if they are a good fit, it can be an indicator of the way in which they approach work, view the interview process, and understand your organisation. It can also be a good indicator of cultural fit.

Take time to settle in. While life is busy and you probably have a number of interviews scheduled per day, it’s important to set aside enough time at the start of the interview to create a calm and welcoming environment. This will help the candidate to relax and show their best self. Be sure to greet the candidate warmly, meet in a professional and private location, ask positive introductory questions, and remove as many distractions as possible.

Avoid closed questions. While your role in an interview is to ask questions, let the candidate do most of the talking. To allow you to assess their soft skills, goals and ambitions, ask open rather than closed questions. Closed questions are those questions that require a simple yes/no answer. Open questions  focus on behaviour and competency-related skills and let candidates share their thoughts and opinions about workplace situations and interactions. For example, instead of asking ‘do you want this position?’, ask ‘why do you want this position?’ or ‘describe a past experience that will help you succeed in this role.”

Hiring someone new for your team can be a stressful and time-consuming process.  It also requires expert skills – knowing how to properly read a CV, ask the right questions and make an experience-based assessment of the candidate based on a number of different factors. And, even if you prepare, you might miss an opportunity to get the information you need from the candidate. Our top tip? Take the pressure off and hire an expert team to handle your candidate selection and interviews. That team is Lee Botti and Associates – specialising in supply chain, logistics, and travel recruitment, we offer a range of pre-screening, interview and performance assessments to ensure the best possible fit for your organisation. Let us do the interviewing so you can get on with working with the right people!