Tips on how to interview a candidate

Write a Good CV

Image courtesy of author ambro

Image courtesy of author ambro.

Image courtesy of author ambro.

There are hundreds of potential questions you can ask at an interview of a potential new recruit; here are some useful ones that can make for a smoother interview:

  • What led you to apply to us?
  • What is it that you have that makes us need to hire you?
  • What did you not like about your last job?
  • What did you really like about your last job?
  • What can you do for us that is unique to you as opposed to others?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Do you feel you have good knowledge of our market sector?
  • What do you know about us?
  • Expand a little about you the person.
  • What are your main positive attributes?
  • Where do you feel you have a weakness?
  • What would you like to ask me?

You also need to remember that you can get into trouble with current employment legislation and discrimination laws if you ask questions in the following areas:

Image courtesy of author ambro

Image courtesy of author ambro

  • Questions about Lifestyle Choices
  • Questions about Marital Status, Children and Sexual Preference
  • Questions about Age
  • Questions about Disability and Illness
  • Questions about Place of Birth, Ethnicity and Religion

This applies whether you decide to hire an individual or not.

A good interviewer will do the following:

  • Make sure that candidates come prepared by advising them well in advance what they need to bring and provide a simple to understand “how to get here”.
  • Do your research on the candidate; know enough about them to let it show.
  • Try for a conversational approach and do not list your questions in a formal or box ticking sort of way- take notes casually to avoid change of mood in the interview.
  • Concentrate on relaxing the nervous candidate; these may be the very people you need as preliminary nervousness can be a sign of a real and keen desire to get the job and do it well.
  • Feel free to go off script, this will enhance a level of professional informality and bring out more information about the candidate which may not otherwise have come to light
  • Do not take over an interview; your main function is to actively listen not to tell the person how good you are.
  • At the end describe the next steps in easily understandable language.
  • Make sure each candidate is properly informed in a timely way whether they are to be hired or not

Go to for tips on how to train to administer your own HR issues.

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