Skip to content

Mastering the Interview: A Comprehensive Guide for Hiring Managers

Interviews can be stressful situations for interviewees and interviewers, and while candidates are tasked with showcasing their skills and leaving a good impression, it’s equally essential the interviewers and hiring managers develop a comprehensive plan for the interview to select the best fit for their organization.

The outcomes of these interactions have a significant impact: a great hire adds great value to an organization, whereas a poor one can result in wasted time and resources. The estimated costs of a bad hire range from 3 months’ salary to 3 times the annual salary of the position.

Whether it’s the first time you are conducting interviews or you possess some experience in the field, these tips will assist you in executing a thorough and effective interview process, ensuring your company selects the most suitable candidate.


Interview Tips For Hiring Managers


1. First Process Structure

If you are a new hiring manager and it’s your first-time interviewing, it’s recommended to ask for help to other people involved in the process or that have more experience. The more information you get about the role and the candidates before interviews begin, the smoother the process will go.

  • Understand the scope of the role and the necessary skillset: Reach out to your superior and explain why you need this new hire. This will give you a clearer idea of what you and your team are looking for in order for it to be an effective hire.
  • Understand the structure of the hiring process: How long will the interview process will take? How many interviews will there be? Which steps will be involved? What is your role through this process? Plan this with your recruiter or the team involved, and make sure to be clear and aware of all steps.
  • Start evaluating candidates: As a hiring manager, you shouldn’t be using all your time recruiting – you have other tasks and responsibilities to take care of. Identify the dealbreakers and make sure the candidates meet those before inviting them for an interview. You can also consider evaluations of job-related skills, like assessments or a short call. This way, you can save time by only meeting the most promising candidates.
  • Schedule the interview carefully: For the process to be as smooth and effective as possible, make sure interviews are not interrupting your other responsibilities (such as important meetings). Scheduling tools can be very helpful for this when you’ve got multiple interviews to organise.
  • Provide consistency: It’s possible that there are other people involved in the process, and different interviews or stages will take place. Communicate with your team and ensure you all are synced on the same schedule. And then be sure to provide the same information to candidates before the interviews take place.


2. Interview Preparation

While many may believe that only candidates should prepare for interviews, this phase is also crucial for hiring managers to get successful outcomes and find the most suitable candidates.

  • Role-specific questions: Write a list of specific questions for the position, the more specific the better. Only asking general ones might lead to insufficient insight into their skills and an inability to determine if they’re a good match.
  • Questions focused on the hiring decision: Use the interview’s time by focusing only on valuable questions. At the end, when you ask yourself if they are a good fit or not, they should have helped you to have a clear answer.
  • Open-ended and Practical questions: Avoid simple yes or no questions – you want the candidates to explain more in detail and to provide you as much information from them as possible. Also, ask about real experiences, not hypothetical situations: instead of saying, “How would you react if…?” ask, “Tell me about a time when…”. This way, you’ll get genuine responses instead of idealized ones or what they believe you want to hear.
  • Be prepared for the candidate’s questions: You should always keep some time at the end of the interview for candidates to have the opportunity to formulate questions about the role and the company. Make sure you are prepared to answer them, which could include the company’s culture and goals or the career progression opportunities of the role.
  • Consider group interviews: It’s easy to miss some crucial points during a one-to-one interview, especially if it’s the first one you are conducting. Invite a colleague or someone with more experience. They could also be very helpful during the evaluation afterwards.
  • Review the CV before the interview: This helps refresh your memory, formulate any final questions about the details, and put yourself in the right mindset.


3. During the interview

It’s showtime! While the previous stages are key, don’t forget to follow these tips for the best outcome:

  • Greet the candidate warmly: Candidates are usually very nervous in these situations. Help them to feel more at ease with a friendly welcome and take a few minutes for a general and more informal chat before jumping into the interview’s questions.
  • Listen to the candidate: You should guide the conversation using open-ended questions and letting the candidate do most of the talking. If it helps, keep the 80/20 rule in mind (the interviewee should be speaking 80%, while you only 20%).
  • Check for culture fit: The candidate may have the desired skillset but, are they compatible with the company? Not necessarily. Make sure to check for culture first. Also, you might want to consider if the candidate has prepared for the interview (are they already slightly familiar with the company and the role?).
  • Observe body language: Even if it’s online through a videochat, body language can speak volumes and give you valuable information from a candidate. Remember to be conscious of your own body language as well.
  • Sell to the candidate: It’s evident that candidates will pitch their skills and suitability for the role, but it’s equally crucial for you to highlight the advantages of this opportunity and convince them. What sets this role apart from others in the market? Why would they want to work in your company? Remember, it’s a two-way street, you must also impress the candidate and make the role and your company appealing to them. If the candidate potentially fits well with your company, other businesses may likely be interested in them as well, so you want them to select your role above any other.
  • Take notes: Writing down some notes during the interview will help you recall important details later on or go through them when evaluating the candidates with other people involved in the decision-making.
  • Inform the candidate: Candidates appreciate transparency from a company regarding the hiring process. Let them know as much as information as possible in regards to when they should expect some feedback, if there are more interviews or stages in the process, or any possible timeline. By doing this, they will be very grateful, and it also helps to enhance the perception of your business.


4. Post-interview:

The interview is finished, but the journey isn’t over yet. Don’t overlook these key points to ensure that your invested work, time, and energy pay off.

  • Post-Interview Notes: Save some free time immediately after to write some more in-depth notes before the details get a little foggy. Some hiring managers prefer not to take notes at all during the interviews so they can be solely focused on the candidates. If this is you, then you’ll most definitely need some time after to write all necessary notes as the information is still fresh.
  • Candidates’ interview evaluation: While evaluating the candidates and their interviews, remember how important it is to avoid biased hiring decisions. Unconscious bias may prevent you from choosing the right hire for your organisation. Click here to check out how we use technology to prevent bias in hiring.
  • Don’t take longer than necessary: The current market is highly competitive; if you have found the best candidate, be ready to extend an offer promptly.
  • Provide feedback: Once you’ve reached a decision, ensure you communicate it to all interviewed candidates as soon as possible. Some may still be awaiting a response, and even if they weren’t selected this time, your company may be interested and consider hiring them in the future. Providing feedback not only enhances your company’s reputation but also keeps them engaged for potential future roles.


In today’s competitive market, the recruitment/hiring process can have some complexities that you may lack the time or resources to address.

With Allen Recruitment, you can access our expertise and let us bring your recruitment to the future – we have great experience in placing candidates in the right roles for some of Europe’s largest brands.

Being in the recruitment industry for more than 25 years, Allen Recruitment is an international recruitment consultancy with offices in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden, Belgium and Poland, providing recruitment solutions and job opportunities all over Europe.



Posted in: Allen Agency / Blog / Client

Unlock your recruitment potential

You’re only a step away from accessing our expertise