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Five tips for holding a successful interview

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Different organisations and individual managers have different approaches to interviewing. Some companies have set processes in place. Other organisations will leave it to the hiring manager to decide on their preferred approach.

There are various things to consider before deciding on the type of interview process which is right for a particular role. For example, if the role is senior within the company then a process which includes a second or even third interview may be required, with the best candidates meeting key members of the existing senior management team. Asking a candidate to give a presentation is often a good idea if the role will involve presenting or public speaking. Other job related tasks can also be useful in helping reach a decision. Panel interviews are appropriate for many positions, but probably not necessary for more junior roles or for jobs which are temporary.

Regardless of the role and the chosen process, there are some tips that all interviewers can follow to try and get the best out of the interview process and really gain an insight into the candidates.

1. Make a shortlist and don’t see too many candidates. Interviewing is time consuming and it is definitely worth making sure that you only see those individuals who meet your criteria.

2. Prepare for the interview. You expect the interviewee to prepare and you should do the same. Make sure you have thoroughly read CVs or application forms so that you can ask relevant questions and seek clarification or more detail.

3. Try and make the interviewee as comfortable as possible. If they are comfortable they will be more open and you’ll get to know the candidates better.

4. Try to be consistent. Ask candidates the same questions so you make a comparison. Obviously, some questions will be specific to individual candidates, for example those that relate to their previous experience, but questions about the company with regards to the role and how they would approach certain situations as well as solve problems etc should be the same for each.

5. Allow adequate time for the interviewees to ask questions. Remember that an interview should be a two-way process, it is also an opportunity for those being interviewed to find out more and decide of the role and the company is right for them.