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SimkissGuy guide to interviewing


We’re here to help you perfect your interview style.

Most business leaders and owners will declare that their people are the most valuable assets to their business. A dynamic and motivated workforce will certainly elevate the success of an organisation. At SimkissGuy, we believe that an interview should be an enjoyable experience for all, so here are our thoughts as to how to make the most of every interview. We’re here to help you secure the very best talent for your business with our guide to conducting the most effective and engaging interviews possible.

Interviews are a great opportunity for you to promote your business in the most positive way. There is huge value you can gain by making sure that the manner and style of the interview is an encouraging and helpful experience for the candidate. Ultimately only one candidate will be successful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t manage the expectations of all the candidates you meet and leave them with a great impression of you, your company and a real desire to work with you.

Unique person, unique CV.

CV’s are usually your first introduction to your prospective employees. When working with a good quality recruitment partner, then there will be no more than 5 or 6 CVs that have been sent to you and each of these will have been handpicked for your vacancy. Your recruitment partner will discuss each CV with you in detail and provide you with reasons why they feel each candidate is suitable for the role.

Try not to make hasty decisions at this point. The chances are that those with less obvious CV based experience have been selected by your recruitment partner for having the personal qualities, culture fit and attitude that will be essential for your role and business, alongside those capabilities you need for the day to day essentials of the job description. After all, if you are working with a trusted recruitment partner, and they really know and understand your business, you will value their opinion. Any concerns should be easily allayed by the initial conversation where you discuss the shortlist.

We often hear that employers can be very wary of CV’s with a little more movement. However, try not to automatically discard these. It is not always the case, but a really dynamic candidate may move around more if they are not able to find an employer who will recognise their potential and channel their ambitions.

Finally, always question gaps on a CV. Redundancy has been an all too familiar word for many in recent times. So how has the candidate applied themselves to looking for a new role during this time? These questions can provide real insight.

The big event!

It goes without saying that you would always expect a candidate to arrive prepared for their interview with you. But how well will you have prepared? It is important to allow an interview the time and attention it deserves.

Ideally, meeting with 5 or 6 candidates at first interview stage will give you a good idea of the general calibre of prospective employees who are available for your role. Allowing 45 minutes to an hour for each is a good rule of thumb. If you cannot meet with all candidates in one day, provide interview slots over the course of 2 or 3 days. Ideally leave 30 minutes between each interview to finish your notes, gather your thoughts and prepare for your next meeting. If you like to conduct second interviews, then absolutely do so. It is best to not let too much time lapse between first and second meetings.

The old saying is true; you never have a second chance to make a first impression, so make your greeting warm, encouraging and memorable. A candidate attending a job interview is most likely to be nervous, so do all you can to put them at ease. You would expect a candidate to be punctual for their interview, so greet them at their allotted time.

An interview should flow and have a relaxed conversational quality. Each question should lead to the candidate providing you with the motivations behind their decision making, their competency for your vacancy as a result of their previous experience and their ambitions and aspirations for the future.

Competency based interviewing should allow the candidate the opportunity to demonstrate their skills of:

  • Initiative
  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Integrity
  • Analysing and problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Resiliance

Many job descriptions will use these as desirable characteristics for the role, so ask the candidate to give you examples of when and where in there career they have been put into practice.

Asking the candidate to talk to you about their pastimes outside of work towards the end of the interview shows real interest in them as a person and will demonstrate that you have considered their CV in depth. Hobbies, sports interest and cultural pursuits will give you an insight to the bigger picture of a candidate. Remember, allow the candidate to also ask any questions they may have at the end of the interview.

Once all first and second interviews have been conducted, proceed to offering your chosen candidate a position within your business quickly to ensure that you don’t lose them to another opportunity.

For candidates that have not been successful in securing your role, provide them with constructive feedback and explain why they were not right for your opportunity at this time. After all, you never know if there may be another role that is more suited to their particular skills in the future.

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