Interviewer Skills

Read the CV 

For managers new to recruitment the arrival of their first batch of CVs in their inbox can be a traumatic experience.  The CV can come in a variety of guises ranging from a complete autobiography with attendant testimonials and copies of primary school swimming certificates through to the ultra-brief one side document with little more information than the fact that the individual exists and has had a job at some time.

A recruiter's first task is to weed out the relevant information from the decorative elements so that a decision can be made about who to call in for an interview and who to put to one side. After this the CV provides a framework, and road map, for successful interviewing

Initial sifting

The first step is to draw up your own checklist against which you can compare candidate details. The checklist should include such basics as desired academic and professional qualifications and a brief summary of necessary work and sector experience. To this essential list can be added location, the ability to drive, and linguistic ability.  Work out in advance which skills and what experience is essential and what is “nice to have”

Using a proper checklist will allow you to pick through all but the most incomprehensible CVs (all of which should be discarded anyway) and will give you a shortlist of details which are worth further consideration.

Next up is to ask your recruitment consultancy the feedback on individuals where there is some doubt about the suitability – the good ones will already have asked the questions and filled in the gaps for you, but if you are dealing with candidates directly do some initial screening by telephone (ideally) or follow up e-mail before you waste their time, and yours, calling them in for an interview.

Interviewing and the CV

Preparation is the key to successful interviewing at any level.  Make sure that you read the CV and any agency reports before the interview starts and never start from scratch with a candidate sitting in front of you

Make notes on the CV about any areas that are unclear or where you feel that information is being deliberately withheld from you so that this can be dealt with during the interview.  Many candidates realise how important the CV can be as a “sales” document and become adept at forgetting to put on such useful information as degree grades, professional examination records, and exact dates of commencing and leaving employment. If you are going to be doing a lot of interviewing it is well worth getting a photograph as part of the process – but be aware of sensitivity on this issue

Make sure you write your notes on the interviewee as soon as the meeting finishes and keep them with the CV. Notes made while the candidate is still fresh in your mind and a photograph serve to jog the memory and stop individuals merging into each other which can often happen if interviewing is conducted over a long period of time or many candidates are being seen.

All Attwood Cozens clients are offered Interview training as part of our recruitment service. 

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