5 Top interviewing tips for hiring top talent


As recruiters you’d think we would be quite good at interviewing, but it’s astounding how many obvious mistakes we make, often not even being aware of them. You will be surprised at how many stories I’ve heard about how poorly recruiters go about recruiting other recruiters for their business.

Interviewing doesn’t need to be a complex process and I do think that if you keep it simple and have a few guidelines to keep on track you can be very successful at interviewing. Here are my top interviewing tips for hiring top talent:

Don’t over or under interview

Having a quick chat over a cup of coffee may seem like an easy way to do an interview, but it won’t really give you the opportunity to really find out about the candidate. The interviewing process should asses not only their skills and experience, but also their personality and work habits. By under interviewing you’re more likely to hire people that will be less committed to your business and helping it succeed. On the other end of the scale is over-interviewing can draw out the process unnecessarily and frustrate potentially good candidate. I’m absolutely for testing and assessing skills, but don’t draw out the process to more than three interviews.

Use behaviour based questions

Skills can be easily taught, but behaviour is more difficult to change. The interview gives you an opportunity to ask behaviour based questions that won’t be covered in skills assessments. One of the simplest ways to do this is to ask scenario based questions. For example: “Can you give me a specific example of when you had to convince someone to do something.” Or “Give me a specific example of when you had to use a process to get something done.” How they answer these questions will give you far more insight into their natural behaviours and if they will be a good fit for your business.

Look for values that align with yours

People work best when they are doing something they believe in, therefore finding out what their core values are will help you establish if they are the right type of people to work in your company. Values really define personality and this is much more important than skills, because values are not something you can easily change whereas skills can be learnt.

sweetsUse interview question templates

One of the most useful tools for interviewing is a questionnaire template. If you are interviewing several candidates this is the only way to guarantee that you ask them all the same questions. It’s easy to get sidetracked when interviewing and when this happens you many find you miss out on asking specific questions. But if you have a template outlining all the questions and scoring each it will make it much easier to evaluate and decide between candidates.

Hire for diversity

Many business owners tend to look for people that are the same as themselves, because they think that more of them will help build the business more successfully. However, this is rarely the case. Teams require different personalities with different strengths that complement one another. If you embrace diversity you can build a much stronger team. Don’t expect them to think the same as you because they are not the business owner like you are. Even if they are really good at their job they won’t have the same passion and drive as you, and it’s not fair to expect that of them either.

Interviewing well really is the key to finding good people for your recruitment business so you don’t want to skimp on the process. Take the time to clearly define the type of people you are looking for in your business and then have a structured approach to interviewing. The more thorough you are, the better chance you have are finding top people that can help you grow your business.