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How HR/Hiring Managers should interview

Posted over 5 years ago by Harry Silvester
a woman being interviewed for a job

I thought I’d start this blog with a dictionary definition of the word, job interview.

a formal meeting in which an applicant is asked questions to determine their suitability for a particular job.

It’s no lie - the creative, marketing and PR industries lack talent, in volume. It’s been the same for many years now. Therefore, in a time where securing talent is more competitive than ever, outlining a solid recruitment process that will naturally attract talent is advised.

This may sound obvious, but in my role as a recruitment consultant, I have received frequent feedback from candidates who have pulled themselves from a process.

A good interviewer will consciously attempt to make the interview process as effective as possible. Interviewing isn’t easy, on either side of the table, but an effective and successful interviewer could be the difference between hiring someone that stays for 10+ years, versus the candidate that leaves in their probation period. Preparing for an interview process is vital.


If you expect candidates to prepare ahead of an interview then you should do the same.

All employees involved in the interview process should 100% understand the requirement for their team/business. Being able to feed the interviewee all of the information during an interview is so important, in case they are left wondering.

Research the candidate’s CV. I’ve worked with candidates who have pulled interviewers on this before and it’s really not a good impression.

Have A Process 

This must be slick. Outline a clear recruitment process that is consistent. How many stages will the process entail? Will the candidates need to produce a task/respond to a brief? Who will they meet?

A standard process for agencies I partner with, entails 2 stages, often with a task/response to a brief. Stage number one being exploratory and educational and stage number 2 is an opportunity to take a deeper dive into the candidate's skillset/experience, also offering them the chance to meet with the wider team. Tasks are more regularly set for designers/developers.


So you’ve firmly shaken the dithering hand of the first candidate and they are ready for their interview. It’s important to introduce the business and understand what the candidate knows already. This is the first test for the candidate, naturally assessing their ability to research and prepare.

Some companies don’t need much of a ‘sell’ during an interview, but it’s important to think about how your business/employer is perceived from a candidate’s perspective. Google won’t need to sell in their above industry holiday package, as much as Dale’s Door Cleaners will.

Take an unbiased approach. Unconscious biases can cloud judgement and may lead to making a wrong decision. Resist making your decision during an interview. Interviewing with a colleague may help if you struggle with this.

To conclude, open the floor to questions, every time!

Harry is one of the many consultants who man our agency desk. You can follow him on LinkedIn or email him here.