Interviewing can be tiring. It’s easy for small loose threads to unravel, throwing the process into chaos. We make sure to brief our clients thoroughly – but here’s an insider guide to what you need to keep track of so that your interviews run smoothly. It’ll also help you make sure that you’re interviewing only the very best candidates for the position!

1. On the day: think ‘first day or worst day’ to eliminate hiccups
Your candidates will be briefed on where your office is located as part of their interview prep, but consider this: your recruiter might not have been to your office before. Your business may be split between different sites that are close together (or on opposite sides of town, or in different places altogether), which means a candidate may arrive in good time at the wrong place – and be late at the right one.

If you know that traffic or public transport may cause issues along certain routes, or that offices and entrances aren’t signposted with crystal clarity, be sure to pass this knowledge on. If you struggled into the office this morning or ever had issues finding the office to begin with, your candidates might too.

A great way around this is to have your candidates’ mobile numbers at hand, and to share your preferred direct contact details with them. It’ll save time if you need to cancel or reschedule for any unforeseen reason – but keep your recruiter in the loop!

Also, let your recruiter know if you or anyone else have difficult-to-pronounce names, and if the company has a strictly-observed dress code in place.

2. Information is power – make sure you have it (and give it)
Interviews are a minefield of potentially embarrassing or awkward moments. Do you know why each of the candidates on your shortlist are looking for a new position, and where they stand with other companies in the interview process? This helps you plan your next steps; if you meet a must-have-them-now superstar candidate who has a few interviews in the pipeline, you can make an offer straight away and avoid losing them.

Before interviews are set up, candidates must fully understand exactly how their skills meet your needs, so the job spec and CVs must be reviewed in detail with the recruiter. That way, the candidate has an idea of why they’re being interviewed beyond “they thought you were really good”, which is positive but vague.

Be specific, and articulate aspects of the candidate’s experience and background that really leap out at you. Your recruiter will then pass this information on to the candidate, who can assess their strengths and weaknesses and communicate these clearly (we know you’ll ask).

3. Cultivate openness
Don’t worry about giving too much away. Playing your cards too close to your chest means you’ll come across as closed-off or guarded, which could be read as hostility. Recruiters will find it difficult to fulfil your requirements, and candidates will be forced to use guesswork in the interview; both could lead to misunderstandings.

Communicate your wants, concerns and needs openly with your recruiter, and you’ll increase your chances of meeting someone who can add real, tangible value to your team and company.