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    First time interviewing candidates - here are some tips

    First time interviewing candidates - here are some tips

    We all get nervous for interviews, it’s totally natural. That gut wrenching feeling we get before entering an interview room is completely normal, but have you ever thought how the other person (the person interviewing you) might be feeling? We all enter these scenarios thinking that it’s an Alan Sugar type character who’s going to be interviewing us, but that may not be the case at all. Interviewers can be nervous too sometimes, especially if they’ve not interviewed someone before. We’ve all been there, interviewing someone for the first time, it can be daunting so here are some ideas on how to help you prepare…

    Top talent is always in high demand and even more so currently. Marketing and positioning an opportunity effectively as well as moving quickly are key factors in the candidate experience and in turn will influence outcomes. The days of grilling candidates for an hour have long gone and with the market now it could be the case that the candidate being interviewing has other offers so first impressions really count as they will be assessing you and your company.

    1) Be prepared – Candidates are expected to prepare before interviews, and rightly so. However, as an interviewer it’s important to prepare accordingly too. What does that mean?

    • READ THE CV: Sounds like common sense but many interviewers attend the interview without having read the CV. When you’re reading the CV, it is an idea to write down any questions you want to ask them on their experience, reasons for moving from one company to another and enquire about any gaps / points of intrigue you identify.
    • Prepare your questions beforehand: if you have a job description, ensure you’ve read it and make sure you know what the key competencies are so you can prepare what questions you want to ask.
    • If you’re asking the candidate some competency-based interview questions, try and base them around the job description.

    2) Before the interview:

    • Be on time – You wouldn’t want the candidate to be late so make sure you give yourself enough time to either get to the interview destination or to set up. If the interview is taking place online check your signal and you are in a quiet area.
    • Ice breakers / small talk – to avoid the awkward silence when you meet someone for the first time, try and put the candidate at ease by finding something light-hearted to talk about. The weather is always a good topic. Offer them a drink, maybe a short tour of the office and make them feel comfortable.

    3) Interview structure – There is no right or wrong way to structure an interview. However, its always good to have a structure in case you go off topic.

    • Overview of the business – Often the most effective way to obtain buy in from candidates is to effectively and honestly promote your business and the opportunity you are recruiting for, excite the candidate and be interested in the candidate. Start the interview by providing a clear overview of your business, the vision/objectives, overview of how the business has coped with Covid-19/Brexit, why the business is looking to hire etc.
    • CV run through – once you’ve explained the business and hopefully obtained buy in and interest from the candidate, now is the time for them to shine. Often, it’s a good idea to ask them to talk through their CV and highlight their relevant experience. This is a great way to get the candidate talking and make them feel more at ease. You may want to ask questions here or at the end.
    • Additional questions – to establish if the candidate is wright for the role you can ask the questions you have prepared.
    • Candidate Questions? – It’s important in any interview that the candidate is given a chance to ask any questions they have. This may also show how interested they are in the position or company.
    • The Close: Let the candidate know some timescales of when they’re likely to hear back, giving them an indication of next steps. If there is a task/presentation for the next round, let them know so they can prepare in advance.

    4) After the interview:

    • FEEDBACK –Always give feedback, positive or negative. You are representing your business and word of mouth is very important especially in the local area. Both you and the candidate have given up our time to attend the interview.
    • Move quickly, try not to hang around if you interview someone you like, progress them ASAP. There’s nothing worse than a candidate you like being snapped up quickly by another organisation because you didn’t move fast enough.

    Finally, how did you perform? Review your own performance. What did you do well? What not so well? A good idea might be to ask your manager or someone senior to you to join you in the interview so they can give you feedback on how you get on.

    If you require support through an interview process Global Highland are happy to help and one of the team can sit in with you. Give the team a call today on 01463 725882 to discuss in more detail.

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