Job interviews – A two way street!

This article was published in the National Liquor News, July 2017 edition

In our experience hiring managers often regard interviews as their chance to select from several qualified candidates and forget that the best candidates are also interviewing them and usually have several options.  Sought after candidates regularly get approached and are comparing several opportunities to yours.

There is a lot of advice available for candidates around what to do and what not to do in interviews however we believe this advice should also extend to potential interviewers.  They need to put their own and the companies “best foot forward” and ensure that they are well prepared.  Here are some tips for conducting a successful interview:

Act as a sales person for your business

Treat everyone you interview with respect regardless of whether they’re suitable for the job.  The industry is small and people will openly talk about their experiences, positive and negative.  Candidates can become advocates even if they don’t land the job, because of how they were treated.  Remember to “sell” the benefits of the company.  Give some thought about why you work there.  A potential employee will pick up on your enthusiasm and is more likely to want to join the business.

Do your homework

Our clients expect candidates to come to interviews well prepared.  Can they say the same about you?  At the very least read the candidates’ CV or LinkedIn profile.  It reflects poorly if you arrive disorganised and can send a message of disinterest.

Be articulate

It’s critical that you can define the company culture, opportunities for career progression and provide a clear picture of the job requirements.  The culture and values of the business are key in the candidates’ decision making process so allow time to talk to this and give some practical examples of what makes your culture unique.  And without stating the obvious, be punctual and look the part.  Whilst suit and tie might be a thing of the past, it’s important that you display a sense of professionalism.


We’re amazed at how often candidates tell us that they did very little talking during the first interview.  Don’t talk at candidates, start asking and listening.  You need to obtain enough information to distinguish between candidates.  A general guide is to spend about 80% of your time listening and 20% talking.

Any interview process should be a “two way” process and a mutually beneficial meeting.  It’s as much the candidates’ chance to weigh up the opportunity on offer as it is your chance to assess their suitability for your business.  A good interview is one where participants feel at ease and walk away with a clear sense of one another.