Tips from The Bagg Group on the Art and Science of Interviewing Candidates


In our business, an interview is a science and an art.  With a long track record of successful placements, we have learned a thing or two about how to conduct this very unique assessment tool. That’s why many hiring authorities across the GTA consult our staffing solution experts on how to interview effectively. 

Everyone knows that interviews are nerve-wracking for candidates, but the fact is that they can also be challenging for those doing the interviews.

Those with a responsibility to fill full-time positions, contract opportunities and temporary positions have a lot at stake. At The Bagg Group, we only send excellent candidates to be interviewed, so for our clients the challenge is to choose from our well vetted short list.

Those who aren’t supported by expert recruiters have it much harder.  A wrong hire typically reflects poorly on the person who did the recruiting. 

Whatever the situation, here are a few proven tips from interview experts at The Bagg Group:

Start with an ice-breaker.  Open the meeting with a little friendly chit-chat, a stroll to the kitchen to get a coffee, or quick tour of the facilities.  In making the candidate feel more comfortable, you are setting the stage for a candid chat.

Take jot notes:  It is common practice to sit face-to-face and just talk, without any props. But it’s advisable to jot down questions, as the candidate speaks, on areas you want to probe.  If you don’t, there’s a good chance these may slip from your mind altogether. Also, notes help you remember key details, and pluses and minuses to discuss with your recruiter or colleagues after the interview.

Let your feelings be your guide:  An interview is an assessment, not only of qualifications but also of corporate fit.  Picture this person talking to a client, or in a weekly department meeting. Cut the candidate some slack for being nervous, but a person fails to sit up in the chair and make eye contact, you are right to be concerned. 

Stick to your agenda:  It is so easy for an interview to slide into an informal, friendly chat between two people getting to know each other and their work situation.  But it’s a good idea to avoid getting too casual.  

Remember, anything you say is fair game to be repeated to outsiders, or if this person is hired, to colleagues. The interview isn’t a case of what is said in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas.  Also, you will want to be positive about your organization, or you risk turning off a top candidate.

Consult your recruiter for input with questions: All questions should be “why, how and what” questions. At The Bagg Group, we partner with our clients to help them devise insightful questions that will elicit useful information.

The key is always to ask questions that determine how they would handle specific work situations and how their approach and values align with those of the organization.  Asking the candidates to walk you through actual relevant examples helps you determine their problem-solving process. 

Give your recruiter feedback: Check out our May 12 blog (In Giving Feedback- You’re Doing Yourself and the Candidate A Favour) for tips on debriefing following an interview. You’ll see why feedback can make all the difference to the search process.

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