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Finding The Right Candidates via The Interview Process

At Key Recruitment (UK) Ltd we know the most valuable asset in any company today is its employees. The most common method of selecting the right people is through an interview process and therefore it is this procedure which is vital to the ultimate goal of any company.

However a problem lies in the fact that most of those decision makers are not always experts at interviewing. They may not do this very often, probably don’t enjoy it and can sometimes make mistakes that could cost them the right person.

It is for this reason that Key has put together some simple but effective interviewing techniques to help resolve some of the difficulties that have been expressed to us by clients.

The Purpose of the interview

In the space of 45 minutes to an hour you have to try and evaluate a person’s suitability for your company by questioning them and possibly viewing their previous work. The Interview is a two way process therefore it is equally important for the candidate to ask their questions at interview. Just because the candidate is perfect for the job doesn’t mean your company is perfect for them. Rapport building certainly helps this two way process and if you wish to get the best out of a candidate then make them feel comfortable at the start and give them the opportunity to perform. The more at ease the candidate feels, the more likely you are to see the real person.

Interviewing Techniques

Assuming that you understand the purpose of the interview and the need to build rapport, there are a number of useful tips for the interview itself.

  • Perfect your interviewing techniques – Carefully explain the job to the candidates during the interview. Discuss why the role has come about and explain what you want to achieve with recruitment process and what impact it will have on the company. Check to see if they have understood and ask what do they think makes them suitable to for the role and having heard what you are looking for why should you employ them?
  • Questions – To interview successfully employers need to ask a good mix of questions to determine if the candidate is right for the company and the position they are being interviewed for.  Below is a range of typical questions that will help you during the interviewing process.
  • Tell me about yourself – It is always good to get the candidate to open up at the start of an interview and the best way to do this is by getting the candidate to talk about his or herself to put them at ease. This question can be answered from a personal perspective or a working perspective.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? – The answer to this question will clearly outline what the candidate thinks he or she excels at or is weak at. Candidates can sometimes turn their weakness into a positive.
  • What is your biggest achievement? – This can be answered from a personal or working perspective. The candidate should be proud of what they have done.
  • If your friends had to describe you what would they say? – Always an interesting question to ask. Some candidates have to really think about how others perceive them.
  • What is it about our company that interests you? – This is an ideal question to ask to see what the candidate knows about your company.
  • What is your understanding of this position? – Let’s see if the candidate has a clear understanding of the role and see what it entails.
  • What specific skills have you used that would relate to this position? – Has the candidate thought about what transferable skills they can bring to the role.
  • What have you learned from your previous jobs? – The answer to this question can be vast ranging from dealing with others, through to technical skills and capabilities to commercial awareness.
  • Can you give us a technical breakdown of the products you have had exposure to? – It all always good to determine from an early stage if a candidate is technically competent for a position. As well as asking them about their technical background you could always ask them to do a technical test you have devised prior to the interview or ask to see diagrams of the products they have had exposure to.
  • Have you achieved target this year / year to date – If you are interviewing for a sales professional I am sure you will agree that you will want to know if they have hit their targets. If not, why not? How did they achieve their target? Do they know their industry?
  • Why do you want to leave your current job? – It is important to find out why the candidate is looking for a move and their real motivation to change company. Have they have not hit sales targets, have they got a new manager who they don’t get on with? Is their role becoming redundant due to company structure change? Are they bored and want a fresh challenge? Are they being undervalued and under paid?
  • If unemployed:  What have you been doing since your last job? – Has the candidate been looking for a new job? Have they had a gap on their CV for a specific reason?
  • Why should we employ you? – This gives the candidate the opportunity to sell themselves at the end of an interview. This should make a lasting impression on you.
  • Odd ball questions – Odd ball questions can be fun to ask. There are some strange questions that companies ask. For example “I am thinking of a number. What number is it?” Most employers do not want a random guess, they want the candidate to ask probing questions to find out what the number is. It’s all about thinking on the spot.
  • What would happen if you handed your notice in? – This may sound like a strange question to ask but it will help you understand if the candidate is valued by their current employer and more importantly, will they take a counter offer?
  • Remember body language and communication – During the interview you will naturally make little indications through your body language as to whether or not you are interested and enjoying the conversation with the candidates. They will be doing the same so be mindful of your own and watch for theirs! Also, talking to people, whether it be the candidate or the recruiter, throughout the entire recruitment process should mean that you have a smooth process. Feedback should be given as soon as possible after an interview. Remember that candidates are building up their first impressions of interacting with your company.
  • Be a good listener – see if the candidate has prepared: what do they know about the role and your business.
  • Stay in control – have a plan / agenda of points and questions you want to cover
  • Take notes

Key is here to help you every step of the way during the recruitment process. We can help you with the decision making process, offers and counter offers and we can help you land the candidate for the role.

As part of the dedicated service we provide, the consultants at Key will always help you through this process. We may have a vested interest in placing people with you, but we’ve always taken the long term view that getting it right is more important and ultimately more profitable than getting a quick win. For more help and advice on this and any other part of the recruitment process, please give us a call today on 0161 443 0000.

Trusted by

Jurgen Knabe
Stuart Clark
Richard Kingsbury
John Bannister
Mike Jenkins
Tony Cooper
HR Manager
Liane Avery, Project Manager
Douglas Mackay
HR Manager
Neil Riddolls
Beverley Ideson
Managing Director
Sales Director
James Boydell
What do they say about us?

Our Client say

"We wanted to thank Anna for securing her candidate with us. He has settled in well and jumped straight in at the deep end for the first few days. Thank you very much and we are glad we have got him."
James Boydell
STi Group
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