Three recruitment interviewing essentials to help you hire the ideal candidate

Agile Course

Getting recruitment selection correct is such an important thing. It’s a costly and time consuming game even before you’ve made any job offer. Add to that the potential of recruiting the wrong person and the significance of getting it wrong escalates rapidly.
With this in mind I continue to find it surprising how many managers I meet who have never received any formal input on the subject. This is especially the case when there are some very simple things that can be learnt which make a load of difference to the end result and your ability to recruit the ideal candidate.
Here are my top three tips to help you add a little polish to your interview technique.

Stop selling the job up front

Do yourself a favour and stop selling the job at the top of the interview. Yes, of course we need to provide the candidates with a good understanding of the role but it’s actually critical that you do this towards the end of the interview not the beginning.
The reason is simple, the more you give away about the job before asking any questions about their competence, the easier you are making it for them to say what they think you want to hear. Just switch the order, making sure you don’t talk much about the role until you have completed all your questioning.

Following trait based answers with a good strong behavioural question

Another essential is to pick up on any candidate trait based answers. For example when they might say “I’m a real people person”. It’s a piece of information, but it does not help you understand whether they do have good people skills or not. It’s their opinion, nothing more. Make it a habit to respond to these comments by asking a good strong behavioural question that drives them towards giving a concrete example. So, you could follow “I’m a people person” with the question “Tell me about a situation where that’s been evident?”.

Score the quality of your candidates answers

Assessment will always be easier if you apply some logic to your candidate scoring. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Rating the answers to each question gives you so much more clarity of comparison when you sit back and start to assess all the candidates you have interviewed. Predetermine a scale like ‘strong answer; OK answer, weak answer’ or just use a 5 to 1 rating. A simple table comparison of candidates responses against the list of questions will serve you very well as you discuss and compare one with another.


Bob Bannister