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Katherine Duff – Interview Tips – Part 1

Part One

A huge thank you to all the staff at Vivico for featuring me as their VIP client in the last newsletter!  They’re a great team to work with and they give a lot of support to me and as a result, to our Keeping HR Simple clients.

As a HR Consultant, I’m only too aware of the value that a good recruitment process can bring and recruiting people to not only do the job but also fit with the culture of a business is absolutely key in getting it right.  I know, however, that some people are put off by the thought of having to interview candidates and many interviewers can be more nervous than the candidate themselves!  I thought I’d share my top tips for interviewers.

Before the interview

The candidate is forming an impression of you and your company even before they meet with you.  Make sure you continually give them a good impression by preparing properly for the interview:

  • Allow enough time for the interview plus any questions
  • Invite the candidate in writing (letter or email), covering all the information they need such as time, date, location of interview, parking availability and who they will be meeting
  • Ask in the interview invitation if there are any adjustments you need to make for the candidate to be able to attend the interview
  • Read the CV or application form thoroughly
  • Prepare your questions – this won’t be a script but will act as a guide to make sure you cover all the questions you want to ask
  • Brief anyone else who’s interviewing with you – make sure they know what their role is and how that fits in with yours


Setting up and welcoming the candidate

It’s likely that the candidate will be nervous and the way you prepare for them and welcome them can set the tone for the rest of the interview.  You should:

  • Decide in advance where the interviewer/s will sit and where you want the candidate to sit – this makes you look in control of the situation
  • Think about the candidate’s perception of the interview – if there is a panel of three, will they feel intimidated if all three of you sit directly opposite him or her?
  • Smile to welcome them
  • Shake hands when they arrive
  • Have a glass of water poured ready for them (hint, this also lets them know where you want them to sit!)
  • Ask them if they found you ok or how their journey was
  • Offer them tea or coffee
  • Introduce yourself clearly, giving your job title as well as your name
  • Introduce anyone else who will be attending the interview and explain their purpose, e.g. Katherine is here to take notes today
  • If it’s not clear, ask them how their name is pronounced or if they prefer to be called by a shortened version of their first name

Continued in Part 2 …

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