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How to conduct an effective job interview and hire the right candidate

12th January 2018 | Interview TipsRecruiting

So you need to recruit and have engaged a recruitment consultant to assist you, but the interview day is dawning and you are on your own.  The candidates have researched the company, had a look at the role details and fully prepared to sell themselves, but how prepared are you as the interviewer? To help you to conduct an effective job interview and hire the right candidate, here are a few vital things to keep in mind.

Interview panel

Have you thought about what you want to get out of the interviews?  Do you have a set of questions that you will ask each candidate?  Are you the only interviewer or will someone else be there assisting you, taking notes so that you can fully focus on the candidate?

Sell the company

Recruitment is a two way process; the candidate is there selling their experience and attributes to you whilst you assess if they have the right skills set and attitude for the role, but they are also there to find out if you are a company or manager that they would want to work for; so are you prepared to sell yourself and the company?

Ask the right interview questions

So what are you going to ask?  You want to stand out from other potential employers, whilst still managing to find out what you want to know about the person sitting in front of you.  Will you hold a competency based interview to look at skill sets or are you looking for someone with personality and the right team fit, with a willingness to learn more – which is more important to you?  What further information do you need to know about them and how will you make this into an enjoyable and memorable interview? If you are struggling to formulate your questions for interview, please do not hesitate to contact your dedicated consultant for a bit of guidance and helping hand.

Candidate Comparison

The easiest way to have candidate comparison is to have a structured approach to interview and have a set of questions that you will use to review candidates answers.  You can always ask additional questions, but this is a great starting point This also enables you to be able to give feedback to candidates on how they did at the interview and yes, they do have the right to ask you for feedback!

Read the CV

All too often people will take a cursory glance at a CV a few minutes before interviewing to remind themselves who they are seeing.  Take the time out to have another good read through the CV – there was a reason you wanted to meet this person so don’t waste the opportunity – they could be your next employee.  Make notes of further questions you want to ask or additional skills and experience you want the candidate to be able to demonstrate during the interview.

Closing the interview

How do you manage the candidates’ expectations? You could be absolutely knocked off your feet and offer on the spot – or not be impressed at all.  What is the best way to end the interview?  The important thing is to manage the candidate’s expectations and let them know when they should be receiving feedback.  If you are working with a recruitment agency, they will be providing this on your behalf.  If not you are on your own and should give the candidate a timeline when you will get back to them.


Make sure you give feedback: there is nothing worse for a candidate than taking the time to speak to someone about a role that they would love to do and not receive any feedback from the interviewer.  If they are not yet ready for the role but need to gain experience in different areas to be able to step into that position then that should be the feedback.  If you feel that they are not right for your company explain why – is it to do with career aspirations, uncertainty about whether the work environment would be right for them etc.

If they did not perform well in interview – this should be the feedback.  It may be that they get nervous and need to practice their interview technique.

All feedback is constructive and a recruiter is able to relay this to a candidate in a positive way.  Not only this, it will help the recruiter to continue the search for the right person.

Making an offer

YourRecruit will always submit a CV with the candidates’ salary expectations and this should have been a consideration when booking the interview.  If you are preparing an offer for a candidate then ensure that the full package is put forward; Salary, working hours, benefits (pension, holidays, childcare vouchers, discounted gym membership).   The benefits can sometimes play an important part in whether an offer is accepted.


Are you going to try and save a bit of money by making a lower offer – you may risk losing your candidate.  If you do make a low offer then this should be justified with the reasons for the lower offer, and whether a salary review will be put in place as part of the offer.

Good Luck!

Post writer, Melanie Donohue