The job interview is often the deciding factor that will influence candidates in their decision to accept a new role or not. As the employer it important that you are able to interview well. After all, the selection of quality staff is integral to your firm’s success. Therefore, it is incredibly important that you have a solid game plan when interviewing for vacancies.
It is not only the candidate that should prepare for the interview. The more preparation you do for the interview, the easier it will be for you to get the information you need to decide who gets the job and also hopefully have encouraged the candidate enough so they will want to accept.
Before the interview
Follow these simple steps to help you prepare:
- Plan the interview climate. Think about things like the layout of the room, how will you develop a rapport etc. A stress free interview in comfortable surroundings has been shown to facilitate a better flow of information. Make sure that you have plenty of time and the interview is not rushed, book the room in advance if you need to and make sure there are no interruptions.
- Plan what questions you will ask by thoroughly reading the applicants CV or application form.
- Look for any gaps in education or employment, or things that don’t seem to add up that you may wish to explore.
- Beware of possible discrimination in the questions you ask.
- Know the job and person descriptions of the job really well so that your questions help you compare candidates and if they have questions for you, you can answer them.
- If two or more people are interviewing, decide who will deal with what topics or who will lead the interview.
- Think about what information candidates may want to know about the job and your organisation.
- Plan the appointment – When you are arranging the appointment, make sure that the candidate has a map of where to come, a copy of the pharmaceutical job description and role specification, details of who they are meeting and when.
- Most importantly of all, make sure that you start every interview with an open mind.
At the interview
Once the candidate has arrived at your premises, try to put them at ease quickly and build rapport with them by asking questions such as:
- Did you find our offices easily?
- I see from your CV that you are interested in the theatre, I am too, what have you seen recently?
The interview can now begin. A good way to structure the interview is as follows:
- Start by introducing yourself and other people present.
- Explain the structure of the interview and how long it will take.
- If you plan to take notes, ask the candidate if they are comfortable with that (We suggest that you always take notes).
- Outline the company background and role, and where the science job fits.
- Encourage the candidate to talk about how their skills and experience apply to the vacancy.
- Ask open ended questions – ones that cannot be answered with a yes or no. These will normally start with “What, How, Who, Where, Tell me about…..?”
- Allow the candidate time to think and speak. Remember to use your mouth and ears in proportion i.e. listen twice as much as you speak.
- Keep control of the interview. If you feel the candidate is going off-track turn the conversation back to the information you need.
- At the end of the interview, ask the candidate if they have any questions.
- Inform them of the next stage in the recruitment process, e.g. appointment, second interviews, tests and the estimated time scales.
- Thank the candidate for their time.
- Record what was said in the interview, NOT your personal beliefs or thoughts about the candidate.
- Only record or keep personal data after an interview if it is necessary and relevant to the recruitment process, or in respect of a discrimination challenge. Data that is kept should be securely stored.