Mastering the interview process

Recruitment consists of three main stages; Sourcing/attracting candidates, selection, and onboarding, and performing each stage perfectly is key to help attain and retain the best people for your business.

A great interview process involves effective communication between the employer and the candidate, ensuring everyone is aware of what is expected from them.

Here are some useful tips to help you create the perfect interview process.


Book Verbally and Confirm in Writing

Once you have shortlisted the best candidates for your opportunity, make contact by phone to invite them to attend an interview. It is important to do this verbally as it helps to ensure that the interview date and time is convenient for all parties, minimising the risk of ‘no-shows’, which will waste your time.

It also gives you an opportunity to start building a rapport with the candidate and answer any early questions they may have regarding the process.

Once the arrangements have been made, confirm everything in writing with the candidate.

Along with including all the usual details (time, place, video link if remote, who will be attending), you should also outline the format of the interview and detail everything the candidate will need to know or have prepared in advance.

Finally, as the candidate to reply to your email to confirm receipt.


Contact the day before the interview

Make contact with all your candidates the day before the interview (or on Friday, if the interview is due on Monday) to re-confirm their attendance. Ideally this should be done verbally, but if this is not possible you can send an email and/or and SMS.

Calling the candidate is a lot more personal and demonstrates to the candidate how important the process is to your business. It also gives the candidate another opportunity to ask any relevant questions prior to the interview.


Prepare your environment

Remember, all good candidates will have choices, so you must always aim to impress your candidates. Regardless of whether the interview will be face-to-face or remote, always prepare your interview environment to help both the interviewer and the candidate get the most out of the process.

Book an appropriate room or space where you will not be interrupted and if any devices are required, make sure that these are set and ready for use.

Help candidates relax

Even the most experienced professionals can get nervous at interviews, it’s only natural and it shows that they care. In order to get the most out of the process, it pays to allocate time to help everyone relax a little prior to commencing the interview.

Open by asking questions about the candidate that will help them to settle, such as about hobbies,  interests, friends or family, anything that is going to relatively easy to answer.  This should be no more than around 5 minutes, as you want to help the candidate settle, but you don’t want to become complete distracted from the main task at hand.

Make sure there is plenty of water available, should the candidate need some.


Next steps and timescales

Once the interview has finished and everyone has had the opportunity to ask gain the information they require, clearly outline what will happen from this point forward. If your process includes a 2nd interview, let the candidate know when this is likely to be and when they should hear from you.

Once you have outlined the next steps and timescales, confirm these by email and be sure to stick to them.

If anything should change that will cause a delay to the process, contact the candidate to give them an update. Effective communication is essential for all parties to get the best outcome from the process.

Never offer a candidate a position immediately after an interview. Even if you are 100% convinced that they are the one, allow yourself some time to reflect and, if are still sure, give the candidate a call to make the offer. Immediate offers can come across as desperate.


Having a great recruitment partner such as 2M Employment Solutions can have a positive impact on recruiting, and retaining, your next superstars.

Contact us on 02392 387722 if you would like to discuss who we can support your recruitment process, or request a callback below.