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6 key pieces of advice for the interviewer

Conducting a successful interview requires planning and skill to ensure it’s a productive and positive experience for both you and the candidate. It’s an opportunity to not only evaluate each candidate’s work experience but also their specific skills and abilities in relation to the role. With this in mind, we’ve compiled the following list of six top tips on how to conduct a successful interview.

1. Be prepared
It’s vital to ensure you are familiar with the skills required for the role you’re recruiting for. In addition, even though it’s the responsibility of candidates to know their CV inside and out, you should ensure you thoroughly examine it prior to the interview.

2. Ensure the candidate is comfortable
Interviews can make some individuals extremely nervous and impair their ability to answer questions or even perform tasks. If you really want to find out how capable a candidate is, you need to give them the opportunity to excel by making them as comfortable as possible. You could do this by introducing yourself and what you do, explain the process, offer them a refreshment, begin the interview in a less formal manner and introduce them to any colleagues on the interviewing panel.

3. Choice of words and body language
Interviewers need to ensure they’re aware of their body language and are extremely vigilant when it comes to their own verbal communication. While this is partly because inappropriate or unrelated questions won’t result in useful answers, it’s also because some lines of questioning can be seen as discriminatory. For instance, asking a candidate about their age, marital status or race.

4. Make comparisons
If you’re interviewing a number of applicants, it’s important to be able to compare and contrast the candidates. This means asking them similar, if not the same, questions. If you lack consistency and your interview technique varies from person to person, you’ll struggle to make accurate comparisons and your ability to identify the best candidate for the role will be severely reduced. Preparing open ended questions can also help differentiate the candidates.

5. Provide them with a problem to solve
One of the best ways to distinguish outstanding candidates is by giving them an actual problem to solve. This could take the form of an ‘in this situation, what would you would do?’ style question, competency based question, or could be introduced as a short interview section that requires candidates to demonstrate their practical IT skills.

6. Provide feedback
Though some interviewers provide no feedback, its typically best practice to do so. If you are working with a recruitment agency, then you can feedback to your consultant. Not only does it help candidates improve, it can act as a useful way of separating otherwise identical applicants. It’s necessary to learn, adapt and incorporate feedback into work practices if you want to develop as a professional. How an individual reacts to and absorbs feedback is an important indicator of how well they take on board constructive criticism.

A good interview will always be a two-way conversation, so it’s vital for the interviewer to show applicants compassion and make the process as natural as possible. By providing applicants with the opportunity to excel and utilising a wide range of interview techniques, interviewers give themselves a better chance of ranking the most suitable candidates, ultimately, finding the best fit for their business.

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