How to conduct successful candidate job interviews


Job interviews can be a nerve racking experience for both the interviewee and the interviewer. Often, it’s the interviewee that is regarded as the person under pressure. However, the interviewer has an important role to play in ensuring that they get the best out of the candidate, whilst also selling the benefits of their organisation to their prospective employees.

Make sure you’ve read the CV before you meet the candidate

Knowing as much as you can about the candidate, their skills and experience prior to the interview will help to create a successful and meaningful interview. Try to set aside at least 20 – 30 minutes to review their CV and make a note of relevant questions that you’d like to ask them. 

Understand the job role

In order for you to be able to ask the right questions during the interview, you really need to understand the job vacancy that you’re recruiting for so that you can target the right questions and shape them to get the best out of the candidate and their experience. 

Make the candidate feel comfortable

To have a fluid conversation, it’s important to make the candidate comfortable. A good way to do this is to start the interview with an informal approach. Maybe ask a question about something away from the interview itself. Some might find it ‘small talk’ but it’s amazing how a few simple questions such as  ‘How are you today?’ or ‘What have you got planned for the weekend?’ (if the interview is nearer the end of the week) can make somebody feel less nervous.


‘You were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason.’ – Epictetus. The power of listening can not be underestimated, make sure you give the candidate enough time to respond to your question and to share their experience to demonstrate competency. If you talk over them, or don’t let them finish an answer, it can be off putting to the candidate. 

Sell the benefits of working for your organisation

As much as the job interview is an opportunity for the candidate to sell their skills and experience to the interviewer, it’s also your opportunity to elevate your brand and organisation to them. The chances are that the candidate may be interviewing for a number of roles so if you like them and want to offer them the role, then try to show the positives about working with you, your team and your organisation.


Have you considered age diveristy as part as your hiring process? Read our latest research on mythbusting assumptions about age in the workforce to find out more.

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