The Job Interview Process

Scroll to the end of the page for useful tips on interviewing candidates

If you are new to the interviewing process, follow People First Recruitment's step-by-step guide to ensure you harness the most talented individuals for your organisation.

Pre-interview Preparation

Talented individuals are always in demand, so preparation is vital to ensure that you have the best chance of attracting candidates and eliciting a positive response from your candidate of choice.

  • Brief People First Recruitment – explain the interview process to us and the predicted timescales involved. How many interviews will there be? Will there be any tests? How quickly will a decision be reached? 
  • The interview – Ensure that the candidate has the names and titles of all the people s/he will meet; make sure the candidates are forewarned about any tests or presentations before the interview.
  • Background research – Make sure that you have read the candidate’s CV thoroughly. Don’t hesitate to ask your People First Recruitment consultant for additional information, so that you can get the most out of the interview. Prepare your questions in advance, so that you know which aspects of the CV you will focus on and which skills and motivations you want to probe further.

The Interview

  • Put your candidate at ease – The interview process can be an intimidating and stressful experience for candidates. To ensure that they perform to the best of their ability, make sure that the setting is right. Find a private, welcoming space where you won’t be interrupted. Alternatively, for a more informal feel, you might want to choose a more relaxed setting, such as the canteen or a break out zone.
  • Explain the interview process – The interview process can be nerve-racking – particularly if your candidate is unsure what’s going to happen. Introduce yourself, then explain to your candidate the structure of the interview clearly so there are no hidden surprises. 
  • Be clear– Each organisation uses its own terminology and jargon, but candidates won’t necessarily understand the acronyms you use, so avoid using “company speak”.
  • Bring out the best in your candidate – Structure your interview so that you start off with general questions to put your candidate at ease. You can then progress to more in-depth questioning to find out more about the candidate’s skills and motivation and to identify any potential skills gaps for the role.
  • Sell your brand – the interview is a 2-way process and some candidates will be attending multiple interviews and, in some cases, will have multiple offers. Find out what motivates the candidate and promote your organisation accordingly; do you have a recognisable brand, international working environment, beautiful offices with on-site facilities, competitive salary and benefits, opportunities for learning and development, regular social events, a pleasant working environment? Any of these factors may play a part in the final decision the candidate makes.


  • Feedback – Contact your People First Recruitment consultant to receive feedback from your candidate and to pass on your own comments. If you have met a strong candidate but are still in the middle of your interview process, let your consultant know that s/he is a front-runner for the role. If the candidate hasn’t heard anything, s/he might accept an offer elsewhere. Keep your consultant updated on the interview process especially the timeframe, so that we can communicate with the candidate and manage his/her expectations. One of the most common niggles which candidates have about the interview process is not receiving feedback and this can cause damage to the perception of your employer brand, so make sure that your post-interview process is robust.
  • Making the offer – Discuss the offer fully with your consultant at People First Recruitment and ensure that you provide all the information s/he needs regarding salary, benefits and future career opportunities for the candidate. We will manage any counter-offer situations on your behalf and will keep you fully updated until a positive outcome is achieved. 
  • Unsuccessful candidates – some candidates may not be suitable for the current role, but may be suitable for future roles, so it’s vital to leave them with a good impression. Unsuccessful candidates will want to receive feedback on their performance so that they can learn from the experience and improve their technique for future interviews. Giving detailed feedback, even if negative, can create a positive impression of your organisation and enhance your reputation in the market place.

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