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34 . Glasgow Business March/April 2013

Richard Louden of Global Reach Recruitment gives some vital advice for employers getting the best out of the job interview


Do your research

You should spend as much time researching your candidate as the candidate spends researching you – not least by poring over their CV and checking out LinkedIn. You certainly shouldn’t be first scanning their CV seconds aſter they have entered the interview, or worse, as you are talking to the candidate. Aſter all, it’s not just the candidate who has to impress you. Showing a lack of respect could make that one bright and shining diamond slip through your fingers.

Get the best out of them

Tere are various schools of thought on what atitude to take with candidates. Some people will grill a person mercilessly or try and catch them out. But, by and

large, it’s always best to try and put the candidate at ease, to get the best out of them. So, what would normally be regarded as inane small talk (about the weather, the traffic, or the fact that the office coffee is barely drinkable) is a lifeline for the candidate, allowing them to relax and making it easier for them to open up. Also, don’t always quickly

jump into asking the next question the millisecond aſter they have seemingly finished answering. A litle bit of silence encourages those being interviewed to fill the empty vacuum by continuing to talk, or it could be the person hadn’t fully finished what they were intending to say.

What to ask

Look beyond the CV. Don’t waste your time going over points which have obviously already been supplied, unless there is something unclear, or there is an inconsistency in employment dates, for example. Use the CV as a launchpad to explore the person’s skills and experience more fully. Tink carefully about the

questions you want to ask. You may want to avoid some of the old chestnuts. While you may pat yourself on the back for saving yourself time by pulling stock questions off the internet, be assured that it’s likely the candidate may be doing the same thing with the answers in an effort to “game” the system. Competency-based questions

can be very valuable to add in to the mix – asking the candidate whether they can “think of a time” when they demonstrated a particular skill, or solved a particularly vexing problem. It can help the candidate to think concretely about specific examples. It is also an opportunity to see how their mind works as they answer the question. Was it a thoughtful structured response, or were you geting lost in the long story?

A second interview can be a charm

A second interview needn’t always be viewed as a drag to the interviewee. Actually, a second interview may make the candidate feel like they have really worked to get the job and, in that case, would be more likely to accept the position were it offered. Obviously it depends on how senior the job is and in what

“You should spend as much time

researching your candidate as the

candidate spends researching you”

industry. It’s not always appropriate for junior roles. Te second interview is also a chance for the person to get in front of a different interviewer with a different set of questions. For example, where the person would be working alongside two different teams with different functions.

Meet more informally

It can be hard to get a good measure on whether the person who looks great on paper would integrate well into a team or your business in general. Aſter the initial interview, if things look promising, you could consider meeting in more relaxed surroundings, away from the stiff formalities of the interview room – for coffee, for example. Or it could be a chance to have lunch with the team to see if the person has a rapport with who they will be working alongside or directly for. Tis may let their guard slip so you can see more of the “real person” behind the answers.


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