Interviewing Tips for the Interviewer

Josh Hawkins
May 22, 20143 mins read

... how do you ensure you’re hiring the top talent?

It happens all too often. A hiring manager wishes to hire a star performer into their team, someone exceptional, who will lift the bar and drive the team to new heights. The candidate needs to be highly ambitious, confident, intelligent and an articulate communicator.

However, an all too common issue is, that once this high achiever is sitting in front of the hiring manager, it is often the interviewer who fails to perform at this stage! It results in a disappointed candidate and ultimately the hiring manager, and their organisation, fail to secure the best talent in the market. How can this best be avoided?

  • Hiring managers expect the candidate to be prepared, so it’s only fair that you prepare as well. Reading over the candidate’s CV, and considering the areas you may wish to question, is a MINIMUM requirement.  “Sorry, I’ve not had time to read your CV” is unacceptable and is the best away to ensure a good candidate will walk away disillusioned.


  • Have an understanding of the style of interview you wish to run and the kind of questions you will ask. Which skill, behavioural or situational based questions are best suited to help you determine the candidate’s potential in this particular role? If team management is important, you could try “If I were to interview individuals who have reported to you in the past, how would they describe your management style?”. Or try “Tell me about a time in which you helped others to succeed at a project.” if you want to gain an idea of their sense of teamwork. Do your research and plan!


  • It is OK to SMILE! We’re all humans at the end of the day, not robots. The idea of having to remain stone faced and cold throughout the interview process is old school. Build rapport with the candidate initially, ask about their weekend and their family. Show some interest. Then, lead them into the interview with a few easy skill based questions before moving onto more difficult behavioural or situational based questions. You’ll find that both the candidate and hiring manager will then relax into the interview, making it more productive.


  • Sit up straight and be enthusiastic! Well seem that way in the least! You will set the pace of the interview by the way you come across. Don’t slouch in the chair, cross your arms and spend the whole interview with your head in the CV taking notes. A bit of eye contact goes a long way! If you don’t give off the impression that you’re enthusiastic, the candidate won’t give you any enthusiasm back. The interview will be a disaster and both parties will leave dissatisfied.


  • Remember the interview is a two way process. It’s a chance for the hiring manager to determine whether the candidate is suitable for the opportunity but ALSO for the candidate to determine whether the opportunity and organisation are suitable for their aspirations. If the interviewer ‘interrogates’ the candidate, is confrontational in style and never cracks a smile, you may find exceptional candidates with any personality will walk away. Who wants to work with a grumpy drill sergeant for 10 hours a day? Not me.


  • Lastly, ensure you leave them wanting more and finish on a positive note. Talk about your aspirations for them should they take the role. What is their career path? What is the vision of the company? Where has it come from and where is it heading? What do you love and enjoy about the organisation? Why do you feel the role is right for them?

By following these tips, you may just get the vital lead on your competitors when hiring and attracting the best talent to your organisation. 

Josh Hawkins's picture
Associate Manager | Accounting & Finance - Commerce & Industry (Contract)