Interview Guidelines

The purpose of an interview is to provide and obtain information that will assist in deciding a candidate’s suitability. Whilst each interviewer will develop their own interviewing styles, there are several essential characteristics to consider.

4 Steps To Consider: Recruitment and Interviewing Candidates


1. Post interview

All interviewed candidates will be notified of the outcome of the selection process as soon as possible, either by telephone or email.

All unsuccessful candidates’ application forms and interview notes will be retained for one year from the date of interviews taking place. After this date they will be destroyed. 


2. Prior to Conducting the Interview

Review the candidate's resume before commencing the interview. This will help you feel more confident before the candidate arrives. Also take time to review the qualifications relating to the performance factors of the job, including:

  • Education or basic qualifications for the job
  • Related work experience and areas of specialisation
  • Additional experience (such as special interests or volunteer activities) in which the candidate might have developed skills related to the position.


3. Conducting the Interview

Asking questions is an important part of the interviewer's role. However, there are other parts that need to be considered. This includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Consider appropriate adjustments for candidates with disabilities for their arrival
  • Ensure the candidate is aware of who they should report to once they arrive at the building – however some interviews still may be taken remotely
  • Maintain control of the interview
  • Create a friendly, welcoming, and conversational atmosphere.

Having the candidate respond to questions and prompts will encourage them to do most of the talking whilst the interviewer ensures that all relevant topics are covered.

The interviewer may be required to ask a question a second time by re-phrasing it or by returning to a particular topic at a later point in the interview; to avoid this, ensure your questions are simple and easy to understand.

Whilst each interviewer develops a particular style, the following steps provide a useful guide to the structure of an interview.


Step 1: Set the Stage

It is important to create a relaxed environment to allow the candidates to have their best chance at the interview. An interviewer will be able to gain more information in a comfortable setting and the candidate will be left with a favourable impression of the organisation.

  • Book a private meeting room for you to conduct the interviews in to avoid disruption.
  • Position the candidate so that they can comfortably direct conversation to anyone in the room
  • Introduce yourself and all members of the interview panel to the candidate (the panel members may prefer to introduce themselves).
  • Ensure your body language is open and relaxed
  • Be friendly and courteous throughout the interview. The tone should be like a slightly structured conversation.
  • Begin by starting a general conversation; talking about the organisation, and then asking the applicant to give a summary of their background.


Step 2: Outline the Agenda

Outline for the candidate the structure of the interview and suggest the length of time that the interview is expected to take. This will help them to relax and will put the interviewer in control of what is to follow. It is also a good idea to let the candidate know who will be asking the questions if there is more than one person interviewing the candidate.

Identify areas that will be discussed such as the duties and responsibilities involved in the job; the candidate's education and experience and how they relate to the position; the use of hypothetical situations, and an overview of the workings of the organisation.

Avoid using confusing or overly technical language. Do not oversell the job or mislead the candidate about the actual duties and responsibilities of the role.

Advise the candidate that there will be an opportunity later in the interview for them to ask questions or add information that may not yet have been covered.


Step 3: Gather Information

Asking core questions will provide structure and should take up most of the interview time; however, some flexibility is necessary to allow for follow-up questions, and for the candidate to expand on points they have made.

Listen for evidence of both positive and negative behaviour and focus on one specific performance factor at a time. Analyse how well those behaviours and skills would carry over to the position.

The interviewing process may take some time to master, but it can be extremely effective. Probing is particularly necessary when there are gaps in the candidate's life/work history, when inconsistencies appear or when the candidate changes the subject or is evasive.


 Step 4: Welcome Added Information and Answer Questions

In the later stages of the interview, the candidate may have specific questions about the job, department, or the organisation itself. A detailed discussion should be reserved until this point, so that the candidate won't simply tailor their answers to suit the position. This is a good time to probe for more detailed information, such as:

"Now that I've described the job, do you have any relevant skills that we haven't yet heard about?"

Thank the candidate for coming to the interview and explain the time frame for decision-making and what the next step in the process will be.


4. Relevant Checks

Once an offer of employment has been accepted by the candidate, Human Resources will then commence the reference checking which will include the following:

  • Right to Work
  • Work history going back 5 years
  • Professional Qualifications
  • Background checks such for senior and client facing roles

All offers of employment are subject to the receipt of satisfactory references.