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How to Structure a Job Interview

Recruiter sitting at a table across from Candidate. Talking to a recruiter is great for researching an organisation before joining them.

Hiring for a new role and wondering how to structure a Job Interview?

Or interviewing for a new role and looking for an insight into what to expect? Either way you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to structure job interview!

Keep scrolling to read an excerpt from our free downloadable guide to interview structure!

So you’ve sourced your ideal candidates, well done! Now it’s time to get to know the face behind the resume.

A well-structured interview is crucial to making the interview process valuable to both parties.

It’s your opportunity to see beyond their experience and education and experience their interpersonal skills.

At the same time it is the candidate’s chance to meet the people who make the up the company and see if it is the right place for them to take the next step in their career.

This guide will teach you how to structure a job interview which allows you to get a real insight into the person who could be your next co-worker. It will also include some example scoresheets which you can use in your next interview.

 

Recruiter sitting at a table across from Candidate. Talking to a recruiter is great for researching an organisation before joining them.

1. Invitation and Interview Briefing

A good interview begins long before the questions get asked.

It’s important to make sure that all participants in the interview are across all the key 

details of the interview in advance of the interview date.

Do this by sending an interview invitation to all participants at the same time.

This should include;

Date, Time and Location of the Interview.

A high-level overview of what the interview will cover. 

For example, whether this will be a behavioural interview or a skills based interview or whether the candidate will be expected to present an 

example of their work or not.

You should also give them the option to respond if they require further clarity or need questions answered.

 

How to research a company before you join

2. Before you begin the Job Interview

Before you start your interview process make sure to decide upon; 

  • Where you want to interview candidates. 
  • Who will be conducting the interviews. 
  • If it’s a video interview what’s the best place to make the video call from.

You should also make clear what documents the interviewers or candidates should have with them.

This could be; 

  • Identification. 
  • A work sample. 
  • The company’s interview guide (this document!)

Preparing for a behavioural interview?

A first round interview is a more casual conversation between the candidate and the interviewers. By comparison a behavioural interview will generally follow a successful first round interview.

A behavioural interview focuses more specifically on the candidate’s past experiences, behaviours knowledge, skill and abilities by asking for specific examples of when he or she has demonstrated these skills. 

In a behavioural interview make sure; 

  • The interviewer asks each candidate the same questions, using the same phrasing, in the same order. 
  • The asked questions are created prior to the interview and have little room for variation. 
  • The interviewer is neutral but friendly. You do not provide any opinions during this interview. 
  • All candidates are evaluated on the same ratings scale.

How to structure a job interview.

3. Welcoming the Candidate

At the start of the interview it’s important to make a good first impression of yourself and your workplace. 

When you meet with the candidate for the first time make them feel comfortable so that they can be the most authentic version of themselves in the interview.

When greeting the candidate keep physical contact to a handshake.

You can learn more about reading interview body language in our hiring manager’s guide to interview body language.

At the start of the interview you should; 

  • Thank them for coming 
  • Tell them about the company, its history, the office space. Anything you wish to share which reinforces your company brand prior to the interview. 
  • Tell them about the job which they’re applying for. 
  • Share with them again what the interview process will be. 
  • Provide them with a glass of water or other refreshment. 
  • Check that they’re comfortable and ask them if they have any questions prior to the interview

How to structure a job interview. Active posture during a job interview

4. Asking Questions and commonly asked candidate questions.

To access our full guide on how to structure a job interview including free candidate scoring templates simply download it for free!

Stay up to date on the latest market insights with our monthly newsletter.

 

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What questions to ask in a job interview? – Tips from a Recruiter.

Unconscious Bias in Recruitment

Wondering what questions to ask in a job interview? We’ve got you covered.

The best way to engage with a potential employer during a job interview is by asking questions.

Managing director at Frazer Tremble Executive, Laura Frazer had this to say about asking questions in a job interview.

I cannot stress enough the importance of candidates asking impactful and thoughtful questions at the end of the interview. It can leave a lasting impression long after the interview is over.

The benefits of asking questions in a job interview include;

  • Demonstrating to your potential Employer that you are interested and prepared.
  • Allowing you to gain further insight into the workplace culture.
  • Builds further rapport with the interviewer to help you stand out from other candidates.
  • Gives you a final chance to highlight your relevant qualities and experience before the interview ends.

Before going into your next interview we recommend having at least four or five questions in mind which you can ask when given the chance. By having a list of questions prepared you will also have plenty of back up questions in the event that of all your questions were answered during the interview.

Try to avoid asking questions which focus on what the organisation can do for you until you have a job offer. Eg. Questions about salary and holiday allowances.

Laura has conducted thousands of interviews throughout her career in recruitment, placing thousands of candidates into their dream roles. Today she will share some of her favourite questions to ask during a job interview.

Can you walk me through a typical day in the life of this role?

Asking this question allows you to learn as much about the role as possible. The interviewer’s response will highlight which skills and experience you will need and also decide whether this role is within your capabilities or interests.

It will also provide an insight into employer expectations so there will be no surprises when you start, if you’re offered the job.

Questions to ask during a job interview. Green Background. White text. Frazer tremble Logo. "Can you walk me through a typical day in the life of this role?"
This question can potentially tell you everything you need to know about a job.

Why did you join this company and what has kept you here?

This question allows you to turn the tables in the interview and give the interviewer a chance to talk about themselves. This can be great for building camaraderie with your interviewer.

The answer to this question will also give you an insiders view of the culture and working environment of the company.  Depending on how detailed their answer is the interviewer may even share how they got their start in the business and how they progressed.

Questions to ask during job interviews. "Why did you join this company and what has kept you here?" Green background white text.
This question can give you an insider’s view of the organisation.

How did (recent news about the company) impact the culture here?

This questions requires some research before hand but it can really show that you are willing to put in the work to get the job.
It doesn’t necessarily need to focus on culture but really any external event which has impacted the company. The more specific the better.

Check out their website for blog posts or their social media to find a specific example to use.

Questions to ask in a job interview. "How did (recent news about the company) impact the culture here? Green background. White Text.
This is a really good way to show you have done the research prior to your interview.

Where do you see the company in five years?

The answer to this will give you an insight into the company’s progression plans and its place in the market. This will grant you a general idea about job security as well as any major upcoming projects.

Asking about future plans shows a real interest in the organisation

Questions to ask during a job interview. "Where do you see thed company in five years?" Green background white text.
Asking questions about the company’s future demonstrates that you have a real interest in the organisation.

Has anything come up to make you think I am not suitable for the role?

This is a gutsy question to ask but it can help you to put any unknown questions or worries to rest.

If they have no issues then that’s great and it should give you confidence of your chance of heading to the next stage.

If they have flagged some things then it is an opportunity for you to address them early in the process. Some issues may come down to a misunderstanding which could easily be resolved by raising the issue. Or it can provide you with a chance to reassure the interviewer that it will not impact your ability to be a successful worker at the company.

Questions to ask during a job interview. "Has anything come up to make you think I am not suitable for the role?" Green text, white background.

How long did the previous person in the role hold this position?”

A high turnover rate is a pretty clear indicator that something is not right at the company. It could be a horrible manager, unrealistic expectations or something else that is likely to make you miserable too. If it’s just one person who quickly left it’s not exactly a red flag, but a pattern of quick departures is a cause for concern.

A good follow up question could be to ask your interviewer what they think led to the high turnover. Their answer will speak volumes about themselves and the way which they treat their employee.

Questions to ask in a job interview. " How long did the previous person in the role hold this position.
This is a very important question to ask. High turnover is a clear sign of poor management.

Looking for a new role? Connect with Laura or one of our wonderful consultants here 

Browse the latest jobs here.

See our job listings first on linkedin.

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