One of the questions I get asked frequently is how to conduct an interview well. So I thought that I would share some quick tips.
Remember that the candidate is also assessing you and the Company to see whether it's somewhere they would like to work. Therefore you need to create a good first impression. Ensure that the area you are conducting the interview in is quiet, private and tidy. Remember to offer the candidate a drink and put them at ease, explaining the format of the interview and introducing any members of the panel.
Take the time to plan questions in advance. This means that all candidates are being assessed on a level playing field. It's often best to start by asking the candidate to talk about themselves e.g. tell us about your career to date. This is something they will be able to talk confidently about and will help them to relax. Make sure you take notes and be aware that a candidate can request a copy of their interview notes up to 6 months after the interview.
Give the candidate a chance to ask you any questions. Ideally they will feel confident enough to do this as you go along which makes the interview into more of a two way conversation. However always check at the end that they don't want to ask anything else. The interview is a chance for you to explain more about the Company, yes they should have done some research in advance but it's an opportunity to for you to expand on the role they have applied for, why it has arisen and where it fits into the overall strategy.
This section might sound obvious but I was once told by someone that they felt pressured into offering someone a job at the end of an interview because they didn't know what else to say to bring things to a close. Once the interview is over, explain what the process will be from here on and also the likely timescales.