Interviewing candidates is a very important part of the recruitment process. It gives the employer the opportunity to meet the candidates in person and gain a first impression. The interview allows the employer to collect further information on the applicants, so they can make a more informed decision when it comes to recruiting.


  1. Prior to interview, review candidate CV’s thoroughly – this will help you gain a general understanding of the candidate. Check for gaps in employment history and question these during interview. It may have been a mistake on their CV, or there may be a legitimate reason for the gap.
  2. Make the candidate comfortable – you want them to feel relaxed and comfortable, so that both you and they get the best from the interview. Offer them a glass of water or a cup of coffee, and if they seem shy or nervous, try to encourage general conversation before the interview begins formally. At the start of the interview, outline what the format will be, ideally getting out of the way anything which may be less comfortable for the candidate.
  3. Ask behavioural questions – for example “Tell me about a time when you…”, or “Tell me how you ……”. Specific past examples of the candidate’s performance / behaviour are good indicators for assessing how they will perform in the future, and a great check to see whether they actually did what they said on their CV!
  4. Ask Open questions. These are questions that cannot be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No”. The candidate has to give a detailed answer, for example, instead of saying “Do you work well as a part of a team?” ask “When have you worked well as a part of a team?”, encouraging greater input from the candidate.
  5. Be aware of YOUR non-verbal signals! – Just as you’re watching the candidate for good eye contact and appropriate dress, they are also looking for non-verbal signs from you. Remember that you are representing your Company and department, so you need to ensure that your actions reflect this. Dress professionally; speak clearly; ask questions, but also give candidates time to ask questions for you to answer.

For further help on interviewing skills, or for support in designing interview questions, please contact Karen at



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