If you want to get more out of your interviews with candidates, it’s important to think about what you’re trying to achieve with them.

Most interviews are focused on assessing the candidate, and that’s of course a key element. However, there are actually three things you’re trying to achieve in an interview:

  1. Assess the candidate’s suitability for the job
  2. If they are a good fit, get them interested in the position
  3. Promote your company, so they say good things to friends and colleagues about you

Too much emphasis on assessment will leave candidates feeling they’ve been interrogated, whilst too much emphasis on promotion will feel like a sales pitch. Balance is key.

One piece of advice we always give to companies that we work with is to remember that interviewing, like anything else, is a skill. It’s also a high pressure situation, particularly if the candidate wants the job. In some positions, that may be a good simulation of the role itself – sales being the obvious example – but in most it’s not.

You’re unlikely to be looking for someone whose core skill is interviewing well, so to get the most out of your interviews it’s essential to bear in mind that some people are better at interviewing than others, and this doesn’t necessarily reflect their job performance.

As an interviewer, therefore, it’s part of your job to make the candidate feel comfortable, and when asking questions to probe thoughtfully in order to make sure you’ve uncovered all the relevant information from them. You’re not trying to trip people up or catch them out, but to objectively assess their suitability for a job – and some people respond better to pressure than others.

Try to bear this in mind when interviewing. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask challenging questions, but think about the purpose of the interview and be aware that a high-pressure style isn’t always the best approach.

About Tom Froggatt

Singular Talent is led by our Director, Tom Froggatt, a highly experienced Life Sciences Recruitment and Executive Search consultant, with a strong track record of building teams, developing talent and creating outstanding hiring experiences.

With over 250 personal placements to his name, 1500+ assignments successfully delivered by his teams and a strong track record of both developing new business and moulding highly competent recruitment consultants and leaders, Tom is dedicated to Making Hiring Better by supporting the careers and helping build the companies of those we work with.


Get in touch with Tom at tom@singulartalent.io.