Interviewing for Staff

Interviewing for staff can be a time consuming and daunting task. The best way to maximise your chances of securing the best candidate is to properly prepare for and conduct an interview in a meaningful way. 

The interview is a two way street - a unique opportunity for both candidate and employer to get to know as much as possible about each other. It is just as important for the employer to be prepared and to put their best foot forward in an interview as it is for the candidate - particularly in a candidate-driven market. 

A successful interview will reveal how the candidate has benefited their employer(s) in the past and how you can leverage those traits to meet or even exceed your available position objectives. 

Many bad recruitment decisions tend to arise as a result of behaviours demonstrated by employees rather than due to their technical ability. It makes sense therefore to focus on eliciting as much information as possible from the candidate about how they will behave and perform in a particular environment and circumstance, what habits they possess, what motivates and demotivates them and how they respond to particular management styles. 

These behavioural issues can effectively be determined in an interview by asking behavioural-based interview questions, examples of which are described below. 

  • Give me an example of a time management skill you have learned and applied at work.  
  • Describe a situation when you had to conform to a policy or rule which you did not agree with.  
  • Give me an example of a time when you showed initiative and took the lead.  
  • Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.  
  • Describe a situation when you created a special team effort.  

Another very important part of the interview process is to sell your company. Do not assume that just because you are interested in the candidate that they are interested in you. Many employers tend to underestimate the importance of this, or, ignore it all together. 

To recruit effectively, you must be able to articulate the unique benefits of your team or company consistently and persuasively. To do this, it is essential to identify the candidate’s trigger points - in other words, what makes them ‘buy in’.   

Some of the important factors candidates consider when selecting a potential employer include reputation of the team/company and financial stability, reputation for having ‘good people’ within the team, a visible career path, proper resources, evidence that the candidate will have a life outside of the company, salary and benefits and knowledge that the work they do will be interesting, stimulating and challenging. 

See also: Tips for Interviewing Employees and Sample Interview Guide