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Carrying out a job interview

As an international recruitment agency working internationally, we assist companies across all types of digital-based employment. We recruit IT specialists just like sales people specialised in the digital industry.

The advice given in our recruitment guide can therefore be applied to the recruitment of any type of profile.

 

Our advice:

 

Be welcoming and put the candidates at ease so they feel more ready to talk.

 

Let the candidates express themselves, don’t go into too much depth about what you are looking for right at the beginning, or you will run the risk of them telling you what they believe you want to hear.

 

In addition to factual information about past experience, don’t hesitate to ask them how they felt about it, asking them to analyse, in retrospect, specific situations in order to know more about their point-of-view and personality.

 

It is essential you keep your own objectives in head and have a clear picture of the career project you would be able to offer the candidate, so as to reassure them and make them want to join your company.

 

Also mention the difficulties they would need to face, so they know what they are getting into and so as to avoid any unnecessary turnover.

 

Ask them about their expectations in terms of management, working environment and company culture.

 

Before beginning the interview, keep in mind or list what you are seeking to check or validate: skills and know-how, traits of character and personality.

Remember, at the end of the interview you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Could the candidate complete the work asked of them?
  • Would the candidate enjoy this position, based on their past experience and personality?
  • Is the candidate motivated and willing to commit long-term?
  • Would you enjoy working alongside this candidate?

 

 

Job interview example:

This is only an example. It can, of course, be either adapted or completely modified depending on you and your way of doing things, your company culture, and what you are seeking to get from the interview.

 

Receiving the candidate

Start with a short discussion to soften the atmosphere (talk about the weather, difficulty in finding the place, etc.) and remind the candidate that “this interview is an opportunity for us to introduce ourselves and our company, and also to know more about you and your career projects”.

 

Presenting the company

Present the company and its history, its main activities, teams, a few facts and figures, current events, current projects, and medium to long term objectives.

 

Presenting the recruiter

Briefly present your career history, position within the company, hierarchy between recruiter and candidate, and the object of the interview.

At this point, don’t say too much regarding the position, the potential prospects and the criteria you will be basing yourself on, so as not to bias the interview and information given by the candidate.

 

« Before we go on to talk about you and your career, do you have any questions about me or the company? »

  • No…
  • In that case, I would like to discuss your most meaningful past work experience in chronological order. Would you like to begin by introducing yourself?

For each relevant work experience, the following should be noted down or discussed:

  • Information about the company: business and activity, number of employees
  • Position and responsibilities held, projects and tasks they worked on
  • Technology or methods employed
  • Who they worked with, number of team members or people under their responsibility
  • Atmosphere, an average day, what they liked and disliked
  • Difficulties faced and linked to the position or circumstances
  • Reasons for their departure or change in position

Current situation and professional projects

  • Are they currently in contact with other potential companies?
  • What type of position would the candidate be interested in?
  • Technology and areas they are most comfortable with or best at
  • Type of company or industry the candidate is interested in
  • Geographic availability
  • Availability
  • Current and expected salary

 

Evaluating their personality:

  • Evaluating their personality must be carried out whilst discussing the different positions they have occupied and the tasks they have carried out. You can do so by leading the discussion towards the most enjoyed aspects, the tasks they least enjoyed, difficulties, most interesting projects they worked on, etc. This can be done by asking questions such as: “Within this company, what could be improved? What was the management style like? What did you like and dislike about it? How was the work organised (in teams/individual work)? What skills did you use here? Which of your qualities were you able to maximise? What did you think about such and such? Etc.”
    By being genuinely interested in each experience and exchanging freely, candidates generally open up and let you see their personality.

 

  • More general questions can be asked to obtain further information as you near the end of the interview, also allowing you to check the information you have noted down, how sincere the candidate is and how coherent they are in what they are saying. Here are a few examples:

 

  • Could you tell me a bit about your personality? How would you describe yourself? If I call one of your past employers, what would they say about you?
  • Strengths?
  • Weaknesses?
  • Assets in your work?
  • Things you would like to improve about your way of working or about your personality?
  • What do you expect from your manager?
  • Are there any work environments you would not like to work in?

 

Presenting the position

Explain the position in detail, putting forward the aspects which seem to apply to the candidate’s projects and expectations, but also those which may disqualify their application in regards to what they are looking for or what they would enjoy. This is a good opportunity to get their opinion.

Go into more-or-less detail regarding the salary.

Ask them if they are still interested in the job opportunity. What do they find most interesting about it?

How would they analyse the opportunity, and which processes must be implemented in priority? If they were to be employed, what would they start by doing (first steps, opportunities, most urgent/priorities to implement, potential difficulties to be faced)?

This will allow you to see if they project themselves into the role and if they are able to correctly understand what would be asked of them.

 

Reference checks

In order to carry out reference checks, you must ask for the candidate’s express agreement and ask them for their employer’s names & details for their past positions. This is sometimes the moment when the candidate will go into further detail regarding the less positive aspects of their past positions.

 

Concluding: an example

“Before concluding, is there anything you deem important that I forgot to ask you? Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for taking the time to come in today. The recruitment process will proceed as follows: I will be meeting with a few other candidates this week, we will then proceed to an initial shortlist. We will then organise an hour-long technical test to evaluate your in-the-field skills. Does this suit you? Does this work for you?”

 

You may like to briefly review the interview with the candidate: “To finish off, I would like to give you a little feedback regarding our interview. Personally, I found that… your strengths… your weaknesses… etc.” (If you want to go further with the candidate, always end on a positive note).