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You’ve selected the perfect candidate, their CV is flawless, their experience matches the job description and they seem to be the right fit. But how do you make sure?

Sometimes skills on CVs don’t match up with what candidates are really like and it’s those sought after people skills that can make or break successful recruitment.

Here are a variety of ways that you can be sure that you are going to select the right candidate for your business.

Telephone Interviews

  • Telephone interviews act as a great stepping stone before the formal face-to-face interview and allow you to get to know a bit more about candidate before meeting them.
  • Telephone interviews are time and cost effective. Lasting anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes, telephone interviews are much shorter than face-to-face interviews which means that you can talk to a lot more candidates in a lot less time.
  • They help you assess a candidate’s telephone manner – Does the candidate speak too quietly? Too fast? Do they sound friendly? A professional telephone manner is crucial for telephone-based customer service roles and telephone interviews are the best way to assess this.
  • Wider reach – If you’re a larger business and recruiting for multiple sites across the country, telephone interviews are a useful tool to initially assess talent without having to travel and co-ordinate face-to-face interviews at different sites.

Face-to-face Interviews

  • It is important to make the candidate feel as comfortable as possible, in order to see their real personality. Create a calm, tidy environment, with a regulated temperature and ensure that you are uninterrupted.
  • It is best to have two or three people conducting the interview, in order to get a well-rounded view of the candidate. This will provide a check to make sure you hire the correct person.
  • Make the interview a conversation, rather than an interrogation. Listen carefully to their answers to your questions and respond with follow up, unscripted questions. Engaging with the candidate will open them up and make them feel comfortable speaking freely to you.
  • Ask useful, relevant questions. Make sure they are questions that will help you learn something about the candidate and their suitability. Many interviewers feel the need to question candidates on trivial matters, which will not help them decide whether the interviewee is the right person.

Second Interviews

  • This is your opportunity to really narrow down the field and really get to know your top two or three candidates
  • If you are having trouble choosing between two top candidates, why not try setting them a task? This will allow you to see what they are capable of and how they think
  • There is an opportunity at a second interview for other members of the team to be involved. Whilst their opinion isn’t the final decision, it can help to talk through the pros and cons of each candidate with a trusted colleague
  • Give the candidate time to ask any questions they want to ask. Hopefully, having met you previously the candidate will be more at ease and able to ask what they really want to, without being affected by nerves.
  • Let the candidate know when you will give them a decision. Be as clear about the process as possible and don’t leave them hanging. Especially in today’s candidate short market decisions need to be made quickly and making timely decisions will reduce the chance of your first choice candidate being snapped up by another business.

If you need any help or advice on conducting interviews or assessments as part of your recruitment process do not hesitate to contact your local branch of Red Berry Recruitment



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