Tips For Conducting An Effective Job Interview

Hiring great employees is essential to the success of your business, so making sure you are conducting effective job interviews is crucial.

Conducting an interview often seems to be easier than it really is, meaning that ensuring you are interviewing effectively can be a challenge. As the final interview is such a vital stage of the hiring process, you will benefit greatly by having a system in place that allows an objective standard to base your hiring decisions on.

Knowing how to prepare for and manage the interview will also assist in ensuring you choose the best candidate for the job and hire valuable new members of your team. So to help you improve your interview technique, we have put together the following pieces of advice…

Review the candidate's information

Prior to any job interview, it is important that you review all of the information the candidate has submitted, including their CV and covering letter or job application form, professional qualifications and any other supplementary materials they may have submitted (such as examples of their work).

Make a note of any details you need to clarify with the candidate, such as vague or quirky job titles, gaps in their work history, or any relevant hobbies, job roles or achievements that you want to learn more about.

Have a set interview structure

While you should remain conversational throughout the interview and make an effort to put the candidate at ease, be sure to put in place and maintain a set structure.

Plan a basic schedule to make sure you start and end the interview on time. Not only will this make sure that you have enough time to cover all of the key areas you want to address, but ensuring sure you stay on schedule will also help make the candidate feel valued.

While informal conversations can be great for making the candidate feel comfortable, they are not always the best way to conduct a job interview. Having a structure in place will mean that you are more likely to obtain all the information you need to make an informed decision, will ensure that you are interviewing all candidates in the same way, and it will be easier to keep a record of the topics discussed.

Carefully plan questions

When it comes to planning the questions you’re going to ask your candidates, be sure to develop a varied set of questions (competence based, situational and behavioural) that will allow you to gain a comprehensive view of the individual.

Have a standard set of questions that you ask every candidate based on the job description, and then plan a few more focused around each individual’s work history and what you want to learn more about, making sure sure they always link back to the hiring criteria.

Refer back to the job description and candidate requirements when planning what you will ask, and develop a few questions that assess each skill you are looking for to allow the candidate enough opportunity to provide the required details.

Consult a specialist

When it comes to preparing for and conducting an effective job interview, a specialist recruitment agency will be best equipped to offer expert advice on how to obtain the information you need to make a decision on a candidate.

Your dedicated recruitment consultant will get to know your organisation, requirements and the vacancy. And because they will support your internal HR team throughout the whole process, managing the screening process from start to finish, your consultant will be able to give valuable insight to inform the direction of the interview.

This can then extend to providing support after you have completed each interview, managing the offer process to help you secure your preferred candidate as well as providing feedback to ensure unsuccessful candidates maintain a positive view of your organisation.

XCL are a specialist recruitment agency based in Huddersfield and Bristol who are experts at supplying skilled, experienced candidates for both permanent and temporary positions across the UK. Covering the automotive, construction, engineering, office & commercial and production sectors, your dedicated consultant will work tirelessly to help you find the best candidates.

Whether you have a vacancy you need to fill right now, or to discuss your future recruitment needs, call XCL on 01484 819900 or email us on and we’ll be happy to help.