Hiring? Find out how to structure a selection interview

[vc_row][vc_column width= »1/1″][vc_column_text]An interview without a good structure can often lead down cul-de-sacs from which it can prove difficult to retrace your steps.


Even worse, unstructured interviews can become little more than a friendly conversation that fails to assess the candidate’s skills. Candidates need to feel that the interview has been firm but fair. If it lacks structure, it can sometimes result in the interview being disjointed or confusing for the candidate.


A suggested interview structure follows, based on a 45 minute interview. The structure suggested has a logical progression to it, which is important to both the selection board and also the candidate:


Introductions & agenda                                          2/3 mins                                                                                          

  • Who they are
  • Who you are (names and job titles)
  • Outline the structure of the interview
  • Timings
  • Note taking
  • Mention possibility that you may need to interrupt them in order to ensure you cover everything


Icebreaker Question                                                3/4 mins

  • Simply to relax the candidate


Explore CV                                                                5-10 mins

  • Ask candidate to explain previous roles, reasons for leaving, how roles fitted in with career plan


Technical and behavioural questions                  20-25 mins                                                                                     

  • Explore up the recruitment criteria with pre-planned scene setters, past performance and more detail/probing questions.


Giving Information                                                     5 mins                

  • Inform the candidate about your organisation/company
  • Let the candidate ask any questions


Close the Interview                                                   2 mins

  • Thank candidate for attending and check their level of interest in the job
  • Finish on a positive note
  • Tell candidate what happens next
  • Remind them when they can expect to hear from you


Assess the Candidate                                              15 mins


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Richard John Parr has been working in HR since 1999. He has considerable experience in both the public and private sector, having successfully designed and run complex training workshops and assessment days. He has highly developed skills in HR and Management, particularly in the areas of recruitment, assessment, performance management, appraisal, chairing meetings and management development.


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