Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

6 Insider Secrets Revealed: How to Conduct the Perfect Interview (VIDEO)

By James Ball | Oct 27, 2015 | Assessing Applicants

(I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.)

There is NO perfect way to interview…

However, there are some really (really) important things that you should be aware of.

This short, two-part video, starring myself (James Ball) and fellow director Mark Wilkinson, reveals the top 6 things we’ve learned over the years.

How to Conduct the Perfect Interview…

Your Key Takeaways…

Hiring the wrong person could cost you up to £27,000… and that’s just for a lower level position.

So when it comes to interviewing, the stakes really are high; you’ve got to glean as much as you can in as short a space of time as possible, whilst also making a great impression yourself!

Sounds easy… right?

Here are our top 6 tips to help you along the way…

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

“Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail…” It may be a cliché, but it’s bloody true.

Before your interview…

  • Thoroughly read the candidate’s CV.
  • Highlight any sections you’d like to further question/ dig deeper into.
  • Focus on education, work experience and professional skills…
  • …as well as the social aspects.

Doing all of the above (which really is a bare minimum) will ensure that you (at the very least) seem prepared and are genuinely interested in the candidate.

To find out more about preparing for an interview (telephone, panel, individual or group) click here.

2. Make introductions.

Giving a warm introduction of yourself, the company and/or the job role is a good way to ease a candidate into the interview.

You really don’t want to rush straight in with the Spanish Inquisition, completely putting them off their stride.

Make them comfortable and you’ll soon see the ‘real them.’

For more advice on how to make your candidates feel at ease, check out this blog.

3. Ask good, probing questions.

Obviously, the entire interview will hinge on your questioning technique.

First things first, remember to use your prep; if you mention things that you’ve noticed on their CV you’ll seem more prepared and enthusiastic.

It’s also important to adapt to your candidates; if they’re quiet, ask open questions which will allow them to expand.

If they’re particularly confident and chatty, ask more direct questions to stop them from rambling on!

Recruiter Pro Tip.

No matter how much you like a candidate, try not to ask them leading questions.

One of the most common mistakes interviewers make is to allow favouritism to sneak into the process.

Yes – it’s great if you get on with a candidate, but it’s important to give everyone an equal chance to wow you… you don’t want to end up hiring someone mediocre, just because you like them.

If you’d like to get your hands on some example interview questions, click here to check out the bare necessities or click here to discover some more unique examples.

4. Sell the role.

Recruitment is a two-way street.

As much as you’ll be judging your candidates, they’ll also be judging you right back – deciding whether you and your business are the right for for them.

You don’t want to let a superstar slip through your fingers because you failed to impress.

Recruiter Pro Tip.

Of course, you’ll also want to know whether they’re genuinely interested in the role, so try asking…

  • What interests you about the job?
  • What do you like about the company?

…and listen carefully to their answers. You want a candidate who is really interested in the company, not just getting any old job!

If you’d like to read more about the most revealing interview questions, which should help you to root our your time-wasters, click here.

5. Performance under pressure.

If you need to know how well someone performs under pressure, then you could throw in a curve-ball interview question.

Asking something a little more difficult which they won’t have prepared for, will reveal their ability to think quickly and yield a real, genuine response for you!

Check out these brainteasers or these left-field questions if you want to catch your candidates off guard!

6. Closing the interview.

We think the best way to close your interview is with four really easy steps…

Step One: The good old fashioned cliché… ‘have you got any questions for us?’ Make sure you answer any of their questions thoroughly and honestly.

Step Two: Ask candidates if they are interested and if so, what interests them in particular. This will give you an idea of how you can win them over (if necessary).

Step Three: Explain what will happen next (thoroughly).

Step Four: Thank them for coming!

You really do want your candidates to remember you fondly, rather than someone trying to usher them out of the door.

To make an even better impression, check out these essentials tips for interview follow-up.


I hope you found our short videos very helpful!

Feel free to get in touch via email or in the comments section below for any more guidance or clarification.

We also have an entire YouTube playlist and blog devoted to interviewing, CV assessment and general recruitment guidance (just click the links.)

Or if you’d like to receive a short update each week, click here to sign up to this blog and we’ll send over an email every Tuesday with the latest and greatest recruitment advice.

Good luck interviewing!

- James Ball

James Ball

James is the founder and owner of Coburg Banks and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes.

> More blog posts by James Ball

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