In a competitive environment, demand will always be high for top quality staff, and a well-planned interview can make the difference between a candidate accepting an offer from you – or choosing to decline it. Companies are always adopting new strategies to help them attract top quality employees, so it’s in your interest to spend time planning ahead of conducting an interview.


Interview structure


There are basically two types of techniques used in employment interviewing:

  • Structured interviews - In a structured interview, the order and type of questions will be pre-determined. They should be based on the requirements set out in the job description, and the criteria identified for an ideal candidate.
  • Unstructured interviews - As a general rule, unstructured interviews tend to focus more on personality fit – as opposed to technical compatibility


Securing the candidate's Interest

Never assume that just because you have a highly marketable vacancy and a strong company brand name, that candidates will automatically accept offers from you. Presentation is key – you need to sell the opportunity to a candidate, just as much as they need to sell their attributes to you. 

Here are some areas to highlight: 

The company

  • Growth potential
  • New business areas
  • Future business plans

The position

  • Diversity of the role
  • Scope to expand the role
  • Importance of the role to the company

Career opportunities

  • Scope for training and progression
  • Possibility of moving into new areas
  • Potential to take on further responsibilities.


Recording responses

It’s important to take notes and record responses – these will help you recall and distinguish candidates post interview when you come to make decisions. Below is a checklist to help you gather all the necessary information you will need: 

  • At the start of the interview, advised the candidate that you are taking notes
  • To avoid any confusion, always write up your notes immediately
  • Keep all notes short and concise
  • Keep notes factual and do not cloud them with personal feelings
  • Never make assumptions. It’s always best to ask further questions in order to assist your understanding


Conclude the interview properly

Once you have finished your questions, provide the candidate with an opportunity to ask some of their own. This is a final opportunity to sell the benefits of working for the organisation.  

Finally, it is recommended you do not offer a position to a candidate at the end of an interview. Taking time is always a good idea when making such an important decision.


To discuss any aspect of interviewing with one of our friendly consultants, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01491 874 111.