Brain Food: Mind your manners - Holding a job interview

Know what you want. Define the post and the kind of person you need. This will save wasting everyone's time and help you plan decent questions.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Don't wing it. Sharp candidates will be put off by a shoddy interview. Proper preparation also means less chance of a slip-up, saving you that slow countdown to the end of the new recruit's probation period.

Get the room ready. Book the meeting room and make sure water, hot drinks and enough chairs are available.

Don't discriminate. Avoid questions about race, religion, disability, children and - especially with this month's change in law - age. Any bias on these grounds and you may be letting the best candidate go. And it's illegal.

Be consistent but flexible. Asking set questions will give candidates a fair chance by giving them equal hurdles to jump. Still, it's important to go off-script to investigate that four-year gap in a CV.

Let them shine. The interviewee should do most of the talking, so make that possible with open questions: 'What is the most difficult decision you've made in your work?'rather than 'Did you like your last job?'

Keep a record. During and after the interview, note down what was said and how you reached your decision. Keep it objective, and don't comment on dress sense or personal hygiene. An unsuccessful candidate complaining to an employment tribunal can ask to see your notes.


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