How to Interview Candidates as a Prospective Employer

Two prospective employers interviewing a candidate

In today’s competitive job market, finding the right candidates for your office support roles can seem a daunting task. When candidates have a pick of the market, it leaves businesses competing to attract the best talent. So how should prospective employers interview their candidates? In this guide, we’ll explore the key steps to conducting effective candidate interviews, ensuring you make the best choice for your team and, ultimately, fill that vacancy! 

Understanding Your Needs

Before diving into the interview process, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the skills, experience and personality traits that you’re seeking in potential candidates. Collaborate closely with your recruitment agency to define these criteria, ensuring they align with your company culture and the specific demands of the role in question.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Every candidate you interview is likely to be meeting with multiple companies. They’re looking for the opportunity that meets all their requirements, and we’re not talking solely about the salary. Before you meet them, have a think about the reasons why somebody should want to come and work for you. Does the company offer progression opportunities? Do the team organise regular social events? Prepare to shout about the perks from the rooftops…. enthusiasm is infectious!

Two-way Street

Be prepared to answer questions yourself.  Interviews are just as much about the person getting to know your company as it is for you to assess their suitability for the role. It’s a good sign that the candidate is asking pertinent questions, it means they are genuinely interested in your position!

Be Natural

Gone are the days of grilling candidates during interviews. You are more likely to get better responses, and build a rapport with your candidate, by putting them at ease from the outset. Consider open questions that prompt them to share real experiences of their achievements and challenges. By making the interview more conversational, you are still assessing whether they’re the right fit for you, but you’re also allowing them to relax and get their personality across.

Cultural Fit

Assessing the cultural fit is crucial for long-term employee satisfaction and retention. This is something that can be discussed during the interview, but why not allow the candidate to experience it for themselves! If things look promising, give them a tour of the office and observe how they interact with the team, can you see them fitting in here? It’s much easier to gauge the cultural fit within the actual office environment than through a laptop screen.

Don’t Prolong the Process

High-quality candidates don’t stay on the market for long. So keep your process as short as possible, ideally two stages as a maximum, with the time between those stages kept to a minimum. You don’t want to miss out because they’ve been snapped up before you could make them an offer.


Remember, interviews are a two-way street. If you keep your process concise, put candidates at ease and build their enthusiasm for your opportunity, you will keep them interested and engaged throughout the process. Hopefully, this will ultimately lead to your ideal candidate accepting that all-important offer!

Get in Touch

Let us help you find your perfect interviewees! If you are looking to recruit customer service or administration staff from entry level to PA, EA or Office Manager positions, get in touch with our team today.