Essential Do's and Don'ts for Managers Conducting Interviews


Everybody assumes that it's the interviewee and not the interviewer that is likely to be nervous before the event. In reality, for managers with little or no prior experience of staff recruitment, conducting an interview can be an equally nerve-wracking prospect. Business skills training specialists Maguire Training provide a range of informative and valuable courses which examine all aspects of the staff recruitment process. Business leaders or managers who lack recruitment experience will benefit from attending Interviewing Skills. This highly-effective one-day course equips delegates with the essential skills and knowledge required in order to confidently and successfully interview prospective employees.


Inexperienced interviewers should consult with their HR department for relevant policy and guidelines in respect of conducting interviews as asking certain questions may breach age, gender or racial discrimination laws. Whilst this is perhaps the most serious interviewing error, the following essential do's and don'ts for interviewers should be heeded if a recruitment interview is to be conducted fairly and effectively.


DO match the professional standards you would ask of candidates

You would typically expect an interview candidate to arrive on time, dress appropriately and to have carried out some background research. The interviewer should follow the same example by dressing smartly, starting the interview at the stated time and having familiarised themselves with the candidate's CV or job application.


DON'T make snap judgements based upon your own biases

A candidate's accent, appearance or social background generally have no distinct bearing upon their suitability to perform a role. Remember that an interviewee is likely to be nervous and that the first impression they give may not be a true representation of them as a person. You are seeking the candidate that is the best fit for the job and this cannot be ascertained before the interview has been concluded.


DO be aware of your body language

Non-verbal communication can reveal a great deal about what we're thinking or our prevailing mood. A candidate who interprets your subconscious body language as indicating that you are disinterested, irritated, uncomfortable, tired or not taking the interview seriously will find the experience even more nerve-wracking and is unlikely to perform to the best of their ability. Sit in a relaxed and attentive position, make appropriate eye contact and resist any temptation to fidget, yawn, recline, scratch your head or fold your arms.


DON'T vary your core interview questions from candidate to candidate

The playing field must remain absolutely level for every interviewee, otherwise there will be no meaningful way in which you can compare the performance of one candidate against another. Whilst it is vital to ask the same core questions of each interviewee, it is fine and necessary to vary follow-up questions as these will depend upon the initial answers given.


DO be thoroughly prepared for the interviewee's questions

It is customary to conclude an interview by inviting the candidate to ask any questions of their own. Whilst candidate's questions are usually reasonably predictable, beware curved balls. Could you outline your company's history, mission statement, projected market position or policy on environmental sustainability if asked?


DON'T forget to inform the candidate what to expect post-interview

It is courteous when an interview has ended to let each candidate know what will happen next and when. Ideally you should be able to tell them how they will be contacted (by phone, email, letter etc.) and the latest date by which they should have received a response (whether a 'yes' or a 'no'). It is vital that this follow-up action is carried out, and in the timescale promised.


In an ideal interview situation both the interviewer and candidate should feel comfortable and at ease in order for the session to be as beneficial as possible. Maguire Training's range of practical courses centred on the recruitment process can help businesses achieve this. Interviewing Skills and related modules are available both as classroom-based and E-learning courses to provide a range of convenient training options for delegates.

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