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How To Interview Candidates Better

  • Posted 05 Apr 2022
  • Richard Holmes
  • Article

Let’s face it: knowing how to interview can be a challenge.

Conducting an interview isn’t always fun and it doesn’t come all that naturally to lots of people.

In fact, many hiring managers fear interviewing and hiring. Still, the stakes are exceptionally high in terms of building your team, enjoyment of your role and furthering your own success.

Why? Most interviewers are unarmed with the appropriate interview questions, unable to follow up upon candidate responses.

Here are a few simple tips that will help you identify candidates who are right for the role and who can make an immediate contribution to your team and company.

1. Prepare!

The 7 p’s - Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

• Make sure you read the candidate's resume! Don’t go in there and wing it. Know about them before you meet them.

• Prepare your interview questions. Map out a plan beforehand. Think about what the challenges of the role are, think of at least 3.

• Are there any gaps? Is anything strange/unusual? Anything to be concerned about? If there is make sure you address it.

• Be prepared to answer questions that candidates may ask about the position and company.

• Know your companies’ values goals and culture and be prepared to "sell" it to the candidate.

2. Introduce and make them feel at ease.

Explain what you’re going to talk about and take the first few moments to understand who they are.

If you get them to relax, they will open up during the interview.

3. Discuss the last few roles with them.

Get a clear idea of where they sat in the team, what they did and what the role was about, and what the company did.

4. Discuss the role and opportunity.

Start to ask relevant questions not just run of the mill questions everyone can find on google. Focus your questions around the key challenges you prepared and see how they respond.

5. Cover off any technical skills that are relevant to the role.

If they don’t have them can they be learned?

6. Cover off any gaps

Is there anything you noticed prior to the interview that may have been a bit strange or worth talking about?

7. Why do you want the job?

Figure out why they are leaving their current role and where they want to be. Once you understand motivation it will clarify things for you.

8. Do you have any questions for us?

Give them 5 -10 minutes to ask their questions. Be prepared to be asked questions about culture, company values, and expectations around performance.

9. Spell out what the next steps will be

Manage their expectations!

If you like them, tell them about the next steps.

If you don’t tell them someone will be in touch soon and later let them know they’re not progressing and why. 

Don’t leave them hanging!


Follow these 9 steps and you won't go too far wrong.

Ask yourself, would you enjoy getting interviewed by you?

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