Preparing to conduct an interview

So where do you start when you need to choose just one employee from hundreds of hopefuls? The first thing that you need to do is draw up a shortlist, and to reach your final selection, focus on the CVs and covering letters. A shortlist of five or six should be enough and you’ll need to set aside a day for the interviews as well.

For the interviews themselves, use somewhere where you’re not being interrupted. Try to keep it in your workplace, since this will be the most cost effective and also give the interviewees a chance to see where they would be working.

Make sure you’re prepared with a series of questions, bearing in mind what you want to find out about the candidate. This will include general questions on their personality and motivation, as well as questions that will probe more directly into how well they are suited to the job description.

You should also prepare some information about your company and a job description for the position for which you are recruiting.

In terms of what you ask the interviewee, always try to ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered simply by “yes” or “no”. 

Whatever method you use, remember that you need to be careful of the legality of what you can and cannot ask. At the end of the interview, you may like to explain the terms and conditions of the job – although to save time you could send these out beforehand. Also give the candidates a chance to ask any final questions about the company or job.

For more information regarding about interviewing, look in our Taking on Staff channel.

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