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Could the interview process be re-engineered? Is it fit for purpose and effective? (mailchi.mp)

I’m delighted to say that recruitment, selection and interviewing is very much a part of my day to day tasks presently. Refreshing, too, is the increase in the number of excellent candidates who are applying for the roles – a welcome shift after a period post covid when I would be lucky to get even one or two candidates apply, who, when contacted would disappear into the ether.

Could the interview process be re-engineered? Is it fit for purpose and effective?” started me thinking about my own experiences as an interviewer, and looking at the process through the eyes of the interviewee.


Good open questions are essential to allow the candidate to talk from experience and provide essential information about them and their suitability for the role. An example of this might be “Your CV tells me that you mobilised a new restaurant opening. Can you talk me through how you were involved?”

Where possible, I interview a candidate along with a scribe, who will write down the answers to the questions. It’s impossible to really absorb the answers when you are concentrating on the next question. And the scribe can also observe body language.

I also agree that the process should be as short as possible, as the longer it takes, the more likely you are to lose the best candidate. We are a service company and we always invite our potential candidates to spend a day working with us (for which they are paid), to give both parties the opportunity to decide if the relationship is going to be a positive one.

I’m assuming that “talk at talent” refers to someone who has been highlighted as being suitable for a role because of their past experience or attributes? There may be a number of factors that the candidate may also be considering , for example their five year career plan, salary, benefits, travel time, and current domestic situation, and they don’t want to be shoehorned into a role they are not really committed to.

While automated interview systems can save time and remove interviewer and candidate bias, one thing they cannot do is replace human behaviour. I have never used this tool, and if I did it would be a small part of the process.

I do agree that generic job descriptions and specifications need to be revised to include the employees approach to the customer and service, and that company policies on sustainability and their role in community and society should be part of the interview process as a positive selling tool for the organisation.

The world is changing and as we start to recruit more Gen Z and Millenial candidates, and focus on equality and diversity within our organisation, old fashioned processes can’t be tolerated. They are independent, grew up with social media, the internet and technology, are very aware of the social, economic and environmental issues happening globally, and are vocal about social justice and gender issues. We all need to revisit our recruitment processes to ensure we increase the talent pool and focus on the culture of our organisations, speed up and personalise the process, look at people not CV’s and look at the actual job behind the job title.

What have your experiences been as an interviewer or a candidate?

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