How To Interview To Secure The Best Candidates

Have you ever wondered why, having interviewed a great applicant for a job in your business, they decline your offer to go elsewhere?

This article will help you to understand how to approach interviewing applicants in any business, and how to maximise your chance of them choosing your offer ahead of others.

You have just spent an hour or maybe more interviewing an applicant for a job, they came across really well, so you offer them the position but they decline your offer. Could your response be ‘time waster’? But were they to blame? Many managers think that interviewing is a ‘one sided’ decision, if they do like the person they interview, then it is a privilege for that person to come and work for them and their business.

I recently sent a candidate of Ingenia Recruitment out for 3 interviews and he was offered a job with each employer. When he told me which job he was accepting I asked him why he chose that company. Now consider this person was not a manager and he was 22 years old. He told me that one company only spent 25 – 30 minutes with him and didn’t seem interested in what he had to say. At the next interview he told me that the people who interviewed him were very formal, didn’t appear to have his CV at hand and talked about what they had achieved. He chose the employer that he did, because everyone he came in contact with from entering the building, was happy, friendly and acknowledged him, the managers who interviewed him were friendly and they showed him around the workshop. How would you and your company compare?   Are visitors ignored by staff who walk past them, are they kept waiting too long, are your interviews interrupted by people and/or telephone calls?

It is well known that we form an initial impression of people in under 10 seconds and a lasting impression within 5 minutes, but remember that works both ways. Even if you are a novice at interviewing, there are some very simple steps that you can take, and some basic rules you can follow in order to present you and your company in the best light. Think about an interview this way, if you were to meet a prospective customer and wanted them to do business with you, how would you present yourself? Would you qualify their needs, would you get them to talk about themselves, would you sell yourself and outline what your business has to offer? If your answers are not yes, then you need to speak to me about selling skills training.

Before an interview:

  • Prepare for the interview before the applicant arrives.
  • Review their CV.
  • Prepare any questions that you want to ask them.
  • Think of the environment that you are proposing to interview them in.
  • Turn off telephones and tell other people that you are interviewing and don’t want to be disturbed.

At an interview:

  • When the applicant arrives, greet them with a smile (pre Coronavirus we would shake hand).
  • Make the candidate feel settled, ask them if they found you OK, how has their day been, etc.
  • Ask open questions, get the applicant talking.
  • (you have 2 ears and 1 mouth, use them in that ratio).
  • Qualify their needs, ask them what they are looking for.
  • Be aware of questions that you are not allowed to ask.

Throughout the interview be careful not to give an applicant the impression that they have the job, unless of course you do plan to make an offer.

At the end of the interview:

  • Ask if they have any questions.
  • Tell them what the next stage will be.
  • Thank them for their time.
  • Show them out.

Interviewing is a two way process and the choice is not always yours, however an interview done well can greatly enhance your chance to securing the best applicants.

Not only do I have almost 27 years’ experience of interviewing people at all levels, I also have a wealth of feedback from candidates’ interview experiences to relate to. This puts me in a great position to offer training, tips and advice.

Anyone interested in learning more about interview skills can contact me on