How to Effectively Interview Candidates

See past generic responses and learn how to get the most out of the interview process

 At Caliper we often find ourselves carrying out profile tests on wholly unsuitable job applicants. This is a waste of our clients’ time and money. In this third section of our ten part series we discuss how to ensure that every candidate who reaches the end stages of the recruitment process is a realistic prospect.

An interview acts as a brief insight into the capability of a candidate. Often their skill at making a first impression overshadows any understanding you might gather about their suitability for the position in question.

There are numerous training courses and literature outlining in detail how to act within an interview, but all this ephemera does not make them a valuable long-term investment for your time and money. Learn how to see past the canned responses and eager theatrics and identify who would be the best fit for your organisation.


The key to identifying an ideal applicant lies in structuring the hiring process with precision; the interview is a final stage, and every candidate should be a viable contender. This means that after creating the right job ad, and knowing how to read a resume, the interview is a process of accountable comparison and detailed investigation. It is essentially a science, meaning gut instincts should play no role at all when assessing skill suitability.

Use the research you have carried out on the key position competencies to create a set of specific questions that elicit example-driven responses. These should be asked of every candidate, making cross comparison easier. Ensure you are familiar with the applicant’s resume and any other relevant documentation. Remember, you are not just interviewing them; they are interviewing you. If the ideal candidate thinks you do not see them as an individual, they may not accept the position.

Lastly, be thorough. Listen closely to their answers, consider them objectively and try not to hear what you want to hear.

Recruitment is a time consuming process and a manager is not looking for an individual who can be enthusiastic for an hour, but a team member who will match company culture and contribute to the success of an organisation. If the interview process is effective, then the Caliper testing tool acts a means to help you choose between a range of truly viable candidates. Which is a comfortable position for a hiring manager to be in.