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Selecting the right candidate


Short-listing and interviewing

Drawing up a shortlist means cutting through the pile of applicants until you have a selection of candidates that you would like to request for interview. Unfortunately people often apply for jobs that they are obviously under-qualified for.

When you contact prospective interviewees, provide clear instructions covering:

  • date and time of the interview
  • where you are located and how to get there
  • who they should ask for
  • how long the interview is likely to last
  • what they should bring with them
  • whether they will be reimbursed for travel expenses


Interview technique

Interviewers often have a number of set questions which they ask every candidate. These questions are based around the requirement of the job, and by asking the same questions, they can draw a direct comparison between each candidate.

  • The interviewer should ask questions, which are open, for example how, when, what, why etc. giving the candidate the opportunity to answer fully, rather than responding with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’
  • Avoid interrupting the answers or leading them in any direction
  • Summarise the responses back to the candidate, before making notes, to ensure that you have fully understood

Normally the interviewer shouldn’t be tempted to talk too much to fill any potentially uncomfortable moments of silence. The silence can from the interviewers point of view be a very effective way of encouraging the candidate to offer up more information.

Interviewers must remember that what appears to be a more informal chat than a ‘grilling’ tends to put a candidate at ease to get a more honest response. This gives valuable insight into the candidate’s personality traits, rather than simply an understanding of their skills and experience.

The recruiter should remember to notice the body language of the candidate:

  • The initial hand-shake and introduction reveals a lot of a person
  • So does the seating position, body language, gesticulation and of eye contact

Links to more interview techniques:



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