How to conduct an effective interview

How to conduct an effective interview. Not all employers conduct interviews on a regular basis - here are some tips on how to maximise results for the time spent with candidates.

We are all too familiar with how to give a good interview and developing the skills to present yourself in the best possible light. However, little focus is given to those who are conducting the interview. For many it may be the first time interviewing or you may be stuck in the habit of asking the same old questions.

Here are a few simple tips to help you find the right candidate for the job ..................

Break the ice

We all know that going into a job interview can be a nervous experience for many and easing candidates into the interview is a beneficial way to help them open up to you about themselves. Talk about the company and the job itself; give them some background information.

Be prepared 

Make a list of your primary questions before the interview; make a note of things you want to know. These do not need to be in-depth but it ensures that all candidates are asked the same questions and can lead into further development of interested areas.

Know the skills, knowledge and qualities needed to fill the position.

Use their CV

Look at the candidate's previous experience and where they worked before the interview starts. You can tailor more personal questions about the candidate when you know where they previously worked and the position they held. Again check that they appear to have the skills and experience required to fulfill the role.

Ask open-ended questions

Ask 'open-ended questions', ones that need detail and explanation to answer rather than questions that can be answered with yes or no. You cannot get to know an individual if all they are responding are simple answers. Ask them to tell you of a job in which they performed well in their previous role. Use hypothetical questions, if you were in this position what would you do?

Follow up questions

Asking the why, or what would they would change about previous tasks completed in other roles forces the candidate to move away from planned answers and may bring about more truthful responses to their previous work.

Non- verbal cues

Look at the way candidates present themselves. Do they look professional? Are they sat up and looking interested or slouched and seemingly bored? The effort they put into an interview often reflects in the effort they will put into their job.

Encourage questions

Leave time at the end of the interview for the candidate to ask you questions. Not only is it beneficial for them but it also beneficial for you as this can give you the opportunity to see what the candidate is interested in. Is the job role right for them or are they only interested in the pay and holidays?

Manage expectations

Be sure to let the candidate know the timescale of when they will hear back from you. Picking the right candidate for the job takes consideration and time; keeping them in the loop will reduce their level of anxiety whilst waiting for your response and may also prevent them looking elsewhere in the interim. 


Conducting an interview is a critical part in the process of finding the right candidate for a job; hiring the wrong candidate not only wastes your time but costs you money. Use of our simple tips is just a start in getting yourself better prepared to conduct an interview.