Interview tips for the hiring manager

Posted on 2019-07-09 by Abi Cunningham


There have been a tremendous number of articles written for job seekers about how succeed in an interview — appropriate dress, conducting background research on the company, questions to ask the interviewer, etc. — but an interview is a two-way conversation. A skilled interviewer who makes the candidate comfortable will gain valuable information about the person and present a positive image of their company, improving the odds of the best candidate being hired. We have put together a checklist of things to consider as the hiring manager when interviewing for a role. Before the process even starts you must really understand the position you are trying to fill… Skill set is very important but can often be taught by training and on-the-job shadowing. What cannot be taught is a fit with the position and/or the company at large. It is essential to consider this before taking the following steps.




  • Call on colleagues. Once you’ve established your potential candidates, assemble an interviewing team, including colleagues who will be working directly with the new hire, who can help you narrow down the choices into a shortlist for interviewing. Ask co-workers whose opinions you trust. They should be able to provide honest judgements on whether or not the applicant will be able to fulfil the duties of the position, while also being a good cultural fit with their existing team.
  • Ensure the same hiring manager conducts all the first round of interviews for consistency and comparison
  • Research the candidate. Take a good look at your candidates’ resumes, LinkedIn pages and continue your research from there. If appropriate this time frame also gives you a chance to look at their social media profiles to get a feel for their personality, which can help you understand how to conduct the conversation.
  • Create a Crib Sheet of questions. You may find it useful to prepare a list of questions before the interview. Going in blind and trying to wing it may cause you to lose your focus or draw a blank. Having a plan of attack front and centre can help you retain control and get the most out of the discussion. It also ensures an easy comparison if you are asking all candidates the same key questions.
  • Pre-screen telephone interview candidates you are not 100% sure of. Don’t rule them out, you may be overlooking a gem!!


The Interview


  • Don’t be late!! This may sound obvious, but first impressions really do count and work both ways.
  • Consider the interview environment. It ideally should be a quiet, informal environment where you will be uninterrupted.
  • Consider communicating the dress code prior to interview in order to put the candidate at ease and manage their expectations.
  • Sell the opportunity. With unemployment at a current low, good candidates may have many opportunities on the table. Be sure to highlight the benefits of your role to ensure that IF you decide this individual is your number one, the feelings mutual!!
  • Be conscious of body language Show you’re interested in the conversation by:

    Sitting up straight or leaning forward.
    Keep appropriate eye contact, don’t stare.
    Don’t cross your arms or legs, as it could show signs of boredom or apathy.
    Nod in agreement sometimes, not all the time. This is a sign of weakness.

  • Know the job description. Be prepared for questions and be honest if there is something you are not sure about.
  • Let the candidate know you are interested. While it’s fine to want to interview several different candidates, realistically you might interview the best candidate first and lose them by the time you make a hiring decision. The market is moving fast and you should too. It’s not essential to offer the position there and then but be honest with them if you feel they are a strong contender. Candidates are more likely to hold out for a company if they know that they’re wanted and feel good about the opportunity and the interview process.
  • Each question should have a purpose and use active listening skills. Don’t talk too much. You as the hiring manager should only be speaking for 30% of the time, the rest should be the candidate.
  • Ask appropriate questions. Asking about a candidate’s age, marital status, race or religion is illegal and can have serious repercussions for your company.
  • Know the recruitment process. The secret to keeping a candidate’s interest and commitment is to properly manage their expectations and outline the process. You should ideally end each interview by letting candidates know when they can expect to hear from you…and then be sure to follow up at that time or before!
  • Sell the company. First impressions count and even if this candidate is not successful you want them to go away with a great impression of your company, they may turn out to be a future employee or customer.

    At Dovetail Recruitment we continually strive to add real value to the recruitment process. We partner you with a dedicated and experienced point of contact, with the expertise to support even the most challenging of hires. Your dedicated consultant takes time to understand your requirements and culture then provides support, guidance and advice as needed throughout the full process.


    It’s no secret that employee selection in human resource management is critical to a company’s success. Let us maximise your chances of making the perfect hire. For a personal and efficient recruitment process that you don’t pay a penny for until we find the right person for your business contact Dovetail Recruitment today!!


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