When it comes to recruitment interviews, it’s important to remember that candidates are assessing you too. The best way to make the right impression – and make the most of your interviewing time – is to make sure you’re thoroughly prepared. Here are some pointers on how to prepare for recruitment interviews – and create a professional environment – thus maximising your chances of making a successful hire.

You will need to set aside an area in which to conduct the interviews. Use somewhere where you’re not going to be interrupted, either by other people walking in or by the telephone. If this doesn’t sound like your office, then find somewhere else. Try to keep it in your workplace, since this will be the most cost effective and also give the interviewees a chance to see where they would be working.

Make sure your other staff know that you are interviewing, divert your office phone and turn off your mobile. You will then be able to give your interviewees your undivided attention.

Before the day of the interviews, you will need to make sure that you are totally prepared. Compose a series of questions, bearing in mind what you want to find out about the candidate. This will include general questions on their personality and motivation, as well as questions that will probe more deeply into how well suited they are to the job description.


You should have their CV and application form with you at the interview; make sure you have read through these beforehand. This will give you some background from which you can ask for more detail from the candidate.

You should also prepare some information about your company – whether it’s a leaflet, examples of what you do or simply some background about yourself – and a job description for the position for which you are recruiting.

The interviewers

As a small business owner, it is possible that you are the only manager and will therefore be the sole interviewer. This is not necessarily a bad thing. At some point though, you may wish to involve a colleague in the interview. The advantage of having more than one of you is that you can get a second opinion on each candidate.