Debbie Carr Agency

Keynote speaking, motivation, personal development

How to conduct a good interview

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As a recruitment consultant I take a lot of care to build good relationships with my candidates. Treating candidates with respect and valuing their time is a major consideration of mine. The common feedback I get is very positive. So what is it I do? Firstly, I ensure the candidate feels relaxed and comfortable and that we are really just having a chat about them and what it is that they are looking for. Yes, they have applied for a particular role that I am advertising, however, my priority is to establish if the candidate will gel with my client’s company culture.

Prior to the interview I have studied the CV and have already come up with a range of behavioural questions appropriate to the candidate’s CV and the position they have applied for. Often my questioning is very tough and maybe a bit daunting but since I have already built a good rapport with the candidate, it never seems too intimidating for them. My intention is never to make them feel inferior, nervous, daunted, afraid or uncomfortable. What right do I have to make another person feel like they are being interrogated? My goal is to make them leave Vox Recruitment feeling like they are valued, inspired and had a very unique interview experience.

This brings me to the reason I decided to write this blog. Recently, I sent a candidate to a client interview. When I rang him to ask how he went, he told me that he left the interview feeling very uncomfortable and felt like an idiot. When I questioned him more about that it appeared that my client had interviewed the candidate as if interrogating him and this made the him feel uncomfortable. This was a big mistake by the client because they have now lost a fantastic candidate. The client, probably through inexperience, has no idea how to conduct an interview. The client totally has forgotten that the candidate is also interviewing them. This candidate will now most likely tell other people how bad this well known global company is and what a dreadful place it would be to work there.

If part of your job is employing people, then it is well worthwhile to learn proper interview techniques. Here are my suggestions:

  • Make the candidate feel welcome and comfortable
  • Never be rude, abrupt or act like an interrogator
  • Remember the candidate is interviewing you too
  • Despite past high unemployment, good talent is hard to find, so don’t blow losing a great candidate due to your bad interviewing skills
  • If you are using a recruiter and you are not sure what questions to ask, have your recruiter provide some for you
  • Use behavioural based questions that you have researched prior to the interview
  • Use Emotional Intelligence questioning too – find out as much as you can about the candidate’s personality
  • Remember many skills can be transferred or taught but personality doesn’t change
  • Thank the candidate for taking the time to come and see you
  • Ask the candidate for feedback on how the interview went
  • Never keep a candidate waiting
  • Encourage the candidate to ask questions and please never make the candidate feel that they have asked an inappropriate question


Debbie Carr Founding Director of Voxy Lady Women's Speaker Bureau and Vox Presenters

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