With the rise in short term contracts and freelance working holding interviews is becoming more of an essential job job interviewskill for many managers and supervisors and no longer confined just to the HR or Personnel Department, so getting it right is vital.

Follow these easy steps to ensure you manage the interview well:

Define the job role

It you need to define what the job will involve – not just give the job a title.  Both you and any potential candidates must be clear about what sort of person you are looking for, and the best guide to this is a simple job description.  So put pen to paper or boot up your tablet and get typing – you’ll need a simple list of the main duties and expectations.  You might have a vacancy due to promotion – get advice from this person, after all they have walked the walk and talked the talk.  Speak to other employees in the team as they might well have a good idea of what to ask for.

Without a clear definition you’ll essentially be going on a fishing trip rather than running a properly managed interview, so make sure you include the job details, responsibilities and benefits (including pay)

Go through all the applications

To save time on the interview date sort though all the applications thoroughly discarding any from those not qualified or experienced enough to fit the job description – you’ll be surprised how many ‘chancers’ there are who will apply for anything!  This will help you make best use of your time on the interview day.

Proper planning before the day

Having a clear agenda and formal plan of action for the interview is vital so write a list of questions you would like to ask in advance and practice going through them with a colleague.  Remember the job seeker may have attended many interviews recently and so honed their interview skills to perfection – you must do the same !  A list of questions which are to the point and relevant to what you need to find out about the candidate is the thing to aim for, so before they walk into the room you know where you are heading. Refer to your job description document when writing these.

Having done this prepare a similar list of responses to questions which the candidate might ask, these could be about the job, the company or pay.  This will mean you are ready to answer without appearing hesitant or surprised.


Allow enough time to conduct a meaningful interview without giving candidates the impression that you are wasting time, an allowance of about 20mins per person should be enough.  You will also need to make sure that you allocate for yourself some private time before the next candidate enters the room in which to make notes or have a brief discussion with other members of the interview panel.   This is vital as when you are seeing multiple candidates it is easy to get attributes mixed up without a written record made at the time.

On the day itself – get your interview room set up

If you are interviewing all day you will need to make sure your comfort is taken care of, so make sure you choose a room which you will be happy with.  For those of you hiring a room for the interviews here’s a brief checklist :

  1. Natural daylight – this is a must as you won’t enjoy sitting under artificial lights all day
  2. Refreshments – make sure you’ve got some sort of refreshment supply lined up, ideally that you can help yourself to rather than have a trolley bustling in and disturbing an interview.  Its also common courtesy to offer at least a cup of tea to your candidates.
  3. Location – getting the best candidates to attend means you’ll do best in an easy to reach location.

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