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The interview process: tips on getting it right

08 June 2004
The interview process: tips on getting it right

Attracting and selecting the right people for your organisation is crucial, yet so many people still rely on a mixture of set questions and gut feelings when interviewing.

Simply structuring the interview appropriately can double the chances of success. The following tips will help you to do this:

Before the interview:

  • Plan the interview to ensure all candidates are asked the same questions and are treated fairly.
  • Plan situation questions around the role - for example: If the kitchen caught fire how would you react? If bookings were down what action would you take?
  • Make sure you read the candidate's CV and covering letter fully and note anything you'd like to explore or anything you'd like to be explained.

During the interview:

  • Welcome the applicant and open up the conversation with some general conversation to put them at ease
  • Explore the candidate's history. Use your notes to question their education, work history, aspirations, interests, circumstances and why they want the job. Make sure you take notes.
  • Assess personal qualities such as energy and drive, work discipline and commitment, decision making, social skills, flexibility and so on.
  • Present any necessary information about the company and job. Remember: you are selling the job to the candidate too - be professional at all times and present your establishment in the best possible light.
  • Give the candidate an opportunity to ask any questions.
  • Close the interview by telling the candidate how the selection procedure will progress. If you tell the candidate that you'll give them your response at the end of the week, make sure you stick to what you say. Finally, thank the candidate for coming and showing interest in the company.

After the interview:

  • Review your notes and award points for and against employing each candidate.
  • Make a decision or shortlist when you have seen all applicants.
  • When you have offered the role and it has been accepted, inform the other applicants they have been unsuccessful.
  • If there are any candidates who are unsuccessful this time, but who you would like to employ should another position become available, be sure to tell them - and remember to do so at this later time.
  • Finally, review the selection process and see if there's anything you could do better next time.

- Produced by Caterer-online in association with learnpurple

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