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Interviewing employees


Onboarding employees is an expensive task, and getting it right the first time is crucial. Interviewing potential candidates is the best way to determine how well this person may fit into your organisation. You can also see how they are going to fit into the role for which they are applying. There are some questions employers need to ask themselves first. For example, how many people to interview, how many times to meet with candidates, timing etc.

How many people should I interview?

Of course, this depends on how many people you need and how many roles you have to fill. Generally speaking, it is normally only a small number of people that are to be interviewed. Only shortlisted candidates should be interviewed, with two to five people. Conducting shorter telephone interviews first is a good way to shortlist potential candidates.

How many times should I interview a potential employee?

Interview questions are often open to interpretation and the answer can vary depending on the respondent, and can even vary to be interpreted differently. This is where multiple questions from your management staff can be a good idea. Having a potential candidate meet a number of people they will eventually work with, and answering questions based on scenarios they will likely be faced with, is a great way to find out how well they will fit the role and organisation.

So, while there is no definitive answer as to the number of interviews or the interviewing process, and there is certainly no legislated number, it is ultimately up to each employer to ensure they have seen the candidate engage with suitable people in suitable scenarios. However, generally at least two interviews is accepted as giving a fair snapshot of how someone will fit your company.

Setting a time and place for an interviewing

The time and place should be appropriate to the role. This means that if you are recruiting for a night-time manager you would ideally set the time of the call or meeting at night to reflect the hours of the job. Of course, this is not a requirement but it can be a good way to determine how suitable this person is for the job.

There are some general considerations to be made such as how many interviews are to take place, enough notice for potential employees to take time off their current jobs, and ensuring that your candidates do not pass each other on the way in and out of the vicinity in which the discussions are taking place.

Sample interview questions

There are no perfect interview questions, however the following behavioural interview questions can be used to get a better picture of the prospect employee:

• Why are you interested in this job?
• What is the greatest strength you bring to this job?
• What type of thing do you find most frustrating?
• Can you share the biggest thing you have learnt at work?
• Could you list your greatest achievement at work?

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