How to Interview a Candidate

How to Interview a Candidate

More often than you’d expect, we come across employers who have little experience, knowledge and also confidence in relation to the best ways to interview a candidate. If that’s you, or you’d like to know some great industry tips for improving your interview techniques then read on!



Sell yourself!


A lot of companies don’t put much thought into this. Whilst a lot of the focus of the interview is on the candidate, you also need to sell your team/business to them too. It’s highly likely that (if they’re a great candidate) they will have other options on the table. So, you also need to stand out to them as a great place to work.

Think about what you love about working for your organisation and what benefits are provided aside of salary and other standard benefits that may be listed on the job description. Some easy things to set you apart might include flexible working, extra holiday days, profit share, casual dress, team/company social events, how the teams work together, discounts, career progression, and so on.

Ultimately, you want the potential new employee to be really keen and excited to start so make sure you are ready to communicate all the amazing things that sets your organisation apart from the rest!





You might immediately get on well with the candidate (or not) but ultimately they’re here for you to find out if they would be a great fit for your vacancy and a bit about them as a person. It isn’t just a casual chat so make sure you have some great questions ready to find out more about them.

A great way to start is to find out a bit about them as a person – what do they like doing in their spare time, their interests, background, personal goals etc. Then move on to some more specific questions related to your industry or business – What have they done that relates to the role? Where do they think they can add value? What type of worker are they? (I.e. great in teams, leader etc.)

It’s important to look at both the personal and business side. You want to identify if they’ll work well and grow your business but also that they’re the right cultural fit for your team/business.



Interview Style


Here’s another one people often get confused on. How you approach the interview in terms of style can really impact upon the tone and types of responses you will get.

An aggressive interview style might feel more corporate and gain more results based responses. This might also make certain people uneasy and cause them to close down and not be themselves.

A relaxed interview style can set a positive and comfortable tone for the interview, however, this might not get you the answers or results you need. It’s fine to be friendly and natural as you are in the office but you also need to know where to draw the line.

Interview style is likely to be something that will vary depending on the type of organisation and level of role. Often the most natural and professional approach usually comes from leading the interview in a way that you feel comfortable with or a good balance of the two styles mentioned above.





Another confusing one for interviews… How many stages, what should you do/ask at which stage etc.

Again, this will depend on your organisation, the size of your team, the number of candidates interviewing and other factors. The number of stages are down to you, but in our opinion some of the best interview approaches include around 2-3 stages and include a face-to-face chat, a small task to check competency and maybe a stage to meet the team for a drink.

In the above order, this process seems to work really well for getting a good feel for the candidate’s personality, their ability within your business sector and also how they interact with your current team members.


Show your hand

Show your hand


Often, there is no need to hide your feelings. If you really like the candidate it’s okay that they know about it.

Similarly, if you don’t have other people in the mix at the moment, then you don’t need to say you do just to fill a void. Waiting another week to give a response just for the sake of it could be a mistake, you might miss out on the candidate to another company. If you like them and you know you are going to offer them the job then, why wait?


Ultimately, your interview style and techniques will vary from industry to industry but the above tips might give you a little edge to get through your next hiring process with efficiency and style, and it goes without saying: If you need any help with your next hire, you know who to call!


We have a huge network of amazing candidates across numerous industry sectors and levels of abilities so, for a free consultation of how we can help you achieve more:

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We’d love to meet up for a coffee (or beer) and chat about how we can work together so get in touch to arrange a time to meet up and discuss your needs!