This is probably the most important part of the recruitment process. Interviewing someone should help you decide which candidate will perform best in the role. It should also allow you to get a feel for who’ll be the best fit with the other members of your team, and with our values.

How to arrange interviews

It’s a good idea to hold interviews within two weeks of the closing date so you can make sure candidates are still available and interested in your role. When you know who you’d like to interview, you’ll need to tell your Resourcing Consultant and give them the information they need to set up the interviews – dates, times, interviewers – although you’ll need to book rooms.

Before the interview

You’re twice as likely to pick the right person if you plan your questions to examine the candidate’s skills, knowledge and values.

We think it’s a good idea to consider the practicalities of how the interview will work. You could think about:

  • Whether your schedule is realistic – plan enough time between candidates and for rest breaks
  • How many rooms you need
  • Who will bring the candidates from reception
  • Where they’ll wait
  • What refreshments you’ll provide

As face to face interviews are generally on hold at the moment, we have put together guides to remote interviewing for both candidates, and interviewers.

During the interview

After you’ve made your candidate feel welcome, you should take copies of their proof of right to work in the UK, and their certificates. Give them a brief overview of what’ll happen in the interview, and explain to them when they’re likely to hear a decision.

What to ask

You need to ask all the candidates the same questions during the interview to be sure you’re assessing them fairly. But it’s reasonable for you to ask individual follow-up questions that examine the answers you’re given. Your questions should focus on finding out more about whether a candidate has the right skills, knowledge and values to do the job well.

If you’re interviewing for DBS protected roles, look at how you might explore any potential areas of concern with the candidate, such as gaps in employment or issues from references.

Assessment techniques

We have a number of different ways of assessing candidates, and it’s a good idea to use a mixture of them. You can discuss these with your Recruitment Consultant. The options include:

Presentations. Asking a candidate to carry out a presentation to a wide audience.

Carousel interviews. A series of short informal interviews with several small groups in one session.

Focus groups. A discussion group led by the candidate on a topic relevant to the post.

Observed group exercise or discussions. A small group of candidates working together on a problem or discussing an issue.

Written exercises. A written response to a planned technical exercise or question.

Psychometric testing. Tests designed to look at a candidate’s ability to analyse information.

After the interview

When you’ve reached a decision about who you’d like to hire, let your Resourcing Consultant know and give them feedback justifying your decision on the candidates you’ve rejected.

You also need to:

  • Destroy any identity documentation for unsuccessful candidates.
  • Keep the interview notes for all the unsuccessful candidates for six months.