Tips & Guides

Understanding and mastering the headhunting industry

Preparing for a candidate interview

Although this may seem elementary, it is necessary to prepare for a candidate interview in advance. It is important to have read their resume before you meet them. I have seen this error being made by hiring managers because the human resources department has done the pre-screening for them. If I had a dollar for every candidate who said “it did not appear that they had read my resume before the interview”, I would be rich.

You should highlight places where you want to spend more time such as a gap in employment. You want the interview to be worthwhile for both you and the candidate. Perhaps there are interests listed on their resume that you want to explore more.

If you are doing a panel interview, ensure that the candidate knows who will be present and their titles. Some candidates might be thrown off their game by walking into the interview room that is full, without being forewarned. Of course, this may be a tactic to test the ability of the candidate to handle stress.

Try to stick to the same kind of interview questions so that you can effectively compare candidates for the same job. Of course, you should leave room for personality, spontaneity and new discoveries.

You could also do a quick internet search of the candidate to see, perhaps their LinkedIn profile and any other relevant information that you can learn about them. If you are not the hiring manager and part of the screening process, you should spend time with the hiring manager to understand the subtleties of the job and what they seek. A good candidate will have relevant questions.

Remember that both parties are selling themselves to one another. Even if you do not hire the candidate, you want them to leave your office with an image of a professional and prepared workplace.

by Dawn Williams, President of Sirius Personnel

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