Interview tips for employers


If you have advertised your role and got a good response it is time to start conducting interviews. Effective interviewing does not come naturally to most of us and the majority of managers have never had any interview training. Our years of recruitment experience have given us excellent insight into how to prepare for and conduct effective interviews.

Be prepared

Great preparation is the key to a successful job interview. Before you meet any candidates take the time to read their CVs carefully and compare them to the job spec. Make sure the candidate has got a copy of the job description and access to information about the company so they can prepare themselves. Create a comfortable interview environment in a quiet room. If you can, ask someone to come and take notes for you so you can concentrate on listening to your interviewee’s answers and observing their body language.

Plan ahead

Plan the interview structure – after introducing yourself and offering refreshments you should start with simple questions to put your interviewee at ease – then proceed to the more difficult questions. Think about how long you want the interview to take and try to stay on schedule. You should build in some time for your interviewee to ask questions and a little extra time for contingency.

The questions

Other than the basics, such as name and job history, try to ask open-ended questions that encourage the candidates to think on their feet and demonstrate some of their personality. Asking them to talk about a time when something has gone wrong and how they resolved it or to discuss how they handled a difficult situation is a great way for candidates to demonstrate their experience – or to show where they lack it.

If you are struggling for question inspiration Glassdoor has a list of the 50 most common interview questions here. Remember to keep the queries focused on the job and try to avoid gimmicky questions – in our experience candidates are not keen on them. You can list your questions in order but be prepared to relax a bit – it’s important to let the interview flow naturally.

Think about what questions the candidate is likely to ask. This list of questions to ask at interview from Guardian Careers is a good list of topics you might have to tackle.


Listening to your candidates is just as important as asking the right questions. Watch their body language – someone who is slouching may not be enthusiastic enough for your role, but someone who is fidgeting may just be a little nervous. Workable has a useful guide to interview body language here

Pay attention to the candidate’s use of language and tone of voice, especially if communication skills are going to be useful for your job.

Think about using an agency

At RecruitAbility we have many years’ interviewing experience. We know the right questions to ask to reveal the real candidate behind the application and carry out all initial interviews for our clients, saving you time and money and ensuring that you only see those who are ideal for your role. Call us on 01279 758855 to find out how we could help.