Interview Tips and Techniques for Employers

Recruit the right staff with better Interview Techniques.

Many employers will miss out on the best applicant and cost themselves time, energy and money because they lack basic interview techniques. The obvious solution is to utilise a professional recruitment firm who not only have these techniques down pat but can provide confidentiality.


In the current market with competition for good applicants so strong, it is important the interview is a positive experience which sells the benefits of the company. Many job applicants have turned down job offers due to a bad interview experience.


The B Series Group of Recruitment Consultancies recognises that compared to the amount of interview tip information for job seekers, employers are constantly overlooked when it comes to being educated on how to recruit the right person. To combat this shortfall B Series have consolidated some of its key Interview techniques and tips to assist Employers with this important part of the recruitment process.

Interview Agenda.

  • Establish a rapport – explain how the interview will be conducted – 3 minutes
  • Obtain details on education history, interests/hobbies/sports Extracurricular activities – 7 minutes
  • Obtain details on employment history/current job – 15 minutes
  • Ask structured behavioural questions which test core competencies – 10 minutes
  • Determine career plans – 7 minutes
  • Provide information regarding the job and organisation – 8 minutes
  • Applicant’s questions – 8 minutes
  • Closing the interview – 2 minutes

Conducting an Interview – Do’s.

  • Do seek applicant information on all the important criteria (competencies) needed for successful job performance
  • Do ask behavioural experience-related questions to elicit what a candidate ACTUALLY DID. Ask for specific examples
  • Do ask structured competency-based questions to ALL candidates
  • Do ask follow-up, probing questions to pin down ACTUAL behaviour and the outcome
  • Do spend more time analysing recent experiences than earlier experiences
  • Do obtain clarification if the candidate uses technical or trade jargon that you don’t understand
  • Do phrase questions positively rather than negatively
  • Do spend more time analysing situations most likely to show the behaviour sought
  • Do greet the candidate yourself (don’t get your secretary to do it)
  • Do take notes
  • Do sell your company – the candidate may have other positions on offer
  • Do discuss salary expectations and confirm that you are comparing like with like in terms of salary packaging
  • Do determine the candidate’s motivation and assess the “match” with your company’s style and culture
  • Do rate candidates on each competency immediately after the interview
  • Do give prompt and detailed feedback to your recruitment consultant. A professional consultant will make the difference between your offer being accepted and turned down

Conducting an Interview – Don’ts.

  • Don’t ask questions with complex sentence constructions
  • Don’t ask direct or closed questions when a YES/NO answer is not intended
  • Don’t ask questions already answered in a resume or application form
  • Don’t ask questions already answered in a resume or application form
  • Don’t misinterpret data
  • Don’t be affected by biases and stereotypes
  • Don’t apply the halo effect
  • Don’t make decisions too quickly
  • Don’t be overly influenced by negative data
  • Don’t ask leading questions
  • Don’t ask theoretical questions
  • Don’t assume the candidate wants to work for your company
  • Don’t keep the candidate waiting (especially not in an open reception area, where they don’t know who might walk in!)
  • Don’t talk too much – good candidates expect to have to sell themselves. Spend about 25% of the time on the job and the company – let the candidates have the balance
  • Don’t introduce multiple job opportunities into one interview – it may confuse the candidate or put them off. If you think the candidate might be suitable for another position, bring this up at a later stage
  • Don’t make a job offer during the first interview – making an offer is a delicate, often diplomatic procedure best handled further down the track (even better by a third party eg. a Recruitment Consultant)
A short list of candidates for a particular position should include two to four individuals and will be based on your initial interviewing and reference checking. An effective tool to assist in shortlisting is an initial interview summary sheet. The summary sheet lists the candidate’s skills, qualifications etc. against a list of key requirements as set out in the person specification. The summary sheet should be on one page allowing for easy comparison.

Second Interview.

Second interviews for shortlisted candidates are usually a good idea before a decision to hire is made.
  • A “second opinion” from another senior person in your company may confirm your thoughts or expose weaknesses you may have missed
  • The second interview allows you to explore aspects of a candidate’s background that require clarification.
  • The second interview gives the candidate another chance to assess his/her interest in the role and to ask questions

Make an Offer.

It is usually the case that the consultant will make a verbal offer to the candidate to ensure that there are no problems or misunderstandings on behalf of either party. If the candidate accepts the offer then a formal letter or offer will be drawn up and signed by both parties. Once this has been completed we will then advise the candidate on the best way to resign from their current employer and the foolishness of accepting a counteroffer. Once a start date has been confirmed we will then follow up after one and three months to ensure that both parties are happy.