Delivering A Best In Class Interview

A job interview is the most important step in the recruitment process, and you’ll want to create a positive interview experience for all candidates, whether or not they are successful. A recent LinkedIn survey found that 83 per cent of candidates would change their mind about a role due to an unsatisfactory interview, while 87 per cent of candidates reported that a positive interview experience would make them more likely to accept the job.

What does good look like?

Here are some pointers for delivering a best in class interview, whether it’s in a face-to-face or virtual setting.

  • Prepare for the interview.
    Hiring Managers often have to juggle a hectic schedule, but putting time aside to prepare for the interview is always worth it. Re-familiarise yourself with the candidate’s CV and highlight any particular skills or work history you’d like to focus on in the interview.
  • Identify the right characteristics.
    Make sure you have a clear understanding of your company’s needs along with the essential and desirable skills your new employee should have. Think about your existing team, their strengths and weaknesses, and about the culture of your company. Is your ideal new employee one with similar characteristics to the rest of the team, or are you looking for someone with a slightly different approach, to bring in new ideas?
  • Ask the right questions.
    Asking the right questions in an interview is crucial to give you an insight into the candidate's experience, motivation and particular skill-set, allowing you to make an informed decision when it comes to hiring. Asking open-ended questions creates more of a two-way dialogue and allows the candidate to showcase their strengths and expertise. These questions could include asking candidates about their motivation for applying for the job, why they want to leave their current employer, or what their expectations of the role are.
  • Be positive.
    During an interview, make sure you show a professional and enthusiastic attitude – although the interview is your chance to assess whether the candidate is suitable for the role, they’ll also be using that time to decide whether your company is right for them. Listen actively and show genuine interest in what the candidate is saying.

Next, we look at the two main ways of carrying out interviews - virtual and in-person - and how you can deliver a fantastic experience for candidates, whatever the format.

Virtual interviews

Virtual interviews have become increasingly popular with the rise in remote working. From saving resources to speeding up the recruitment process, there are plenty of benefits to this type of interview. Here’s our top tips for a successful virtual interview:

  • Figure out your tech. When setting up an interview from home, make sure your tech is on point; doublecheck if everything is working correctly and that candidates can hear and see you clearly. Ensure that you're in a well-lit space, with a good quality camera.
  • Select a reliable video conferencing platform. When it comes to video conferencing, there are plenty of options, from Zoom to Google Hangouts. Even with the most reliable software in place, it’s always good to have a backup plan in place, so keep the candidate’s phone number to hand so that you can call them if you need to.
  • Choose your space carefully. Whether you're interviewing candidates from home or the office, be wary of background noise as it can be really distracting during an interview and may cause both you and the candidate to lose focus. Let your colleagues, family or flat mates know when the interview is taking place, to avoid being interrupted.
  • Pay attention to your body language. Body language is an essential part of communication; in fact, research has shown that more than 50 per cent of all communication is non-verbal, while an additional 38 per cent is conveyed via the tone of our voice. During the interview, pay attention to your posture, smile, and maintain a natural level of eye contact, to show you’re following the conversation and are engaging with what the candidate has to say.
In-person interviews
  • Don’t overlook logistics.
    When inviting candidates to an interview, ensure that you give them all of the information they need to get there. Along with directions to the venue, it’s helpful to include any information about parking or security. Providing these details will help to relieve any nerves about getting to the interview on time, so that candidates will be in a more confident and relaxed frame of mind when they reach you.
  • Give an office tour.
    First impression matter, and to start your interview on a positive note and help to relax candidates, you could take them on a brief office tour. It’s a great ice breaker and will enable them to see what daily office life is like, giving them a glimpse into your company culture as well as the chance to meet the team they’d be working with.
  • Offer refreshments.
    Don’t forget to offer candidates refreshments when they come to the interview – in addition to cold and hot drinks, why not have a plate of biscuits on hand to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere?

Regardless of the interview method you choose, making the interview a positive experience for candidates will increase your chance of hiring the best talent. Looking to expand your team? Get in touch.

Related Articles

Build Or Enhance Your EVP | A Guide For SMEs

As an SME, it can be hard to compete with larger businesses when hiring. Get tactics and example EVPs to build or enhance your own Employee Value Proposition.

read more
Build Or Enhance Your EVP | A Guide For SMEs

As an SME, it can be hard to compete with larger businesses when hiring. Get tactics and example EVPs to build or enhance your own Employee Value Proposition.

read more