Interviewing Candidates The Smart Way

The interview is a crucial moment to garner important details about potential candidates but it should also instill confidence in candidates to want to work for your firm. Unfortunately, when the wrong person conducts the interview this isn’t always the case…

Recruiters are usually busy which means when we are really bogged down, we can be tempted to hand off tasks like a hot potato to a teammate with a more forgiving workload. This is short term thinking that can cost you clout as well as time down the road. By aligning the best person to handle the interview, it sends the right message and mitigates unnecessary steps later.

Here’s how you know for sure if you are the right person to proceed:

1. You are friendly, approachable, and engaging

As the interviewer you are the face of the company (culture) and how you carry the conversation and whether you are able to rally with the candidate will make or break their impression of your firm. Interviews can be nerve racking as is, so if you are the intense, quiet type – it may not foster the best environment for building rapport with potential candidates.


2. You understand the role thoroughly

There is no greater insult to a candidate then lacking basic information that they require because you are not informed. There should be at least one person in the interview who can articulate ‘a day in the life’ and be able to answer candidate questions that they have prepared regarding the team, commission structure, etc.

3. You can confidently speak about the company mission and culture

We don’t mean recite robotically a memorised mission statement. We mean hashing out anecdotally how the company lives and breathes their values and why they’re meaningful.

4. You will work with the candidate directly and/or manage the candidate

This is not mandatory but helpful to get a vibe early on with candidates and their manager. After all, growing the team is about more than just accolades on paper, it’s about chemistry.

5. You are familiar with their credentials and why they are being considered

If you haven’t read the CV, you should not be interviewing the candidate. Take it one step further and chat with the team member who referred them or pushed them through to add some meat to the feedback that you are able to offer the candidate in interview.


6. You have given thought to the best possible format of interview for this role / candidate

There is no prescriptive formula for what kind of interview works best generally but by factoring in timeframes and convenience for all involved makes the candidate feel cared for. Bonus points for reflecting post interview if the format was effective or how it could be improved.

7. You have prepared intelligent questions to ask

Gone are the days of asking “why do you want to work here?” in interview. We are in a candidate driven market, so it is your opportunity to WOW the candidate with well thought out questions that show you are as invested in building a genuine rapport as much as they are. If you are not prepared with these questions, you should not proceed.

8. You understand the company hiring process from end to end and can articulate it well

This is key in terms of engagement. As the interviewer, you should be ‘in the know’ with timeframes and be able to prep the candidate for next steps before leaving the interview.

If you answered mostly ‘NOT I’ to the above 8 qualifiers, do your best to pinpoint who this person is within your organisation and make the necessary adjustments to avoid shooting yourself in the foot when it comes time to procure winning candidates.

Share this article:

Related articles: