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Interviewing – Tips to Secure Aotearoa’s Top Talent

Conducting an interview effectively is pivotal in securing top talent. Irrespective of market conditions, the best candidates will often hold multiple job offers. A well-executed interview not only helps in identifying the best candidates but also sets the stage for a positive candidate experience and demonstrates your organization’s commitment to making the right hire.

Here are some strategies to help candidates feel engaged and positive about the interview process:


  1. Prepare Thoughtfully:
  • Review the candidate’s resume and cover letter prior to the interview, whether it’s face-to-face or virtual, and ensure via your questions it is clear that you’ve really tried to understand them pre the meeting.
  • Familiarise yourself with the job description and its requirements.
  • Consider preparing a set of questions that align with your evaluation criteria.


  1. Foster a Welcoming Atmosphere:
  • Begin by extending a warm welcome, whether in person or virtually.  Introduce yourself and any other interviewers, ensuring a friendly and personal atmosphere, before you get into questions.


  1. Build a Connection:
  • Start with icebreaker questions to establish rapport, and ask about their background, experiences, or interests to create a connection.
  • Encourage candidates to ask questions about your company and the role, whether they’re on-site or participating remotely (this can be done at the end of the meeting).


  1. Use Open-Ended Questions:
  • Utilise questions that encourage candidates to provide detailed responses, whether it’s a physical or virtual interview. e.g.:
    • “Can you share an experience from your previous role where teamwork was crucial?”
    • “Tell me about a work-related challenge you’ve faced recently and how you handled it.”


  1. Explore Cultural Fit:
  • Inquire about their values and how they might align with your company’s culture.  Ask them to describe their ideal work environment and communication style.


  1. Assess Problem-Solving Skills:
  • Present hypothetical scenarios or practical challenges related to the role.  Assess how candidates approach and solve these problems.


  1. Discuss Career Aspirations:
  • Explore the candidates’ long-term career goals. Discuss how your company can support their professional development towards these goals.


  1. Highlight Company Advantages:
  • Share insights into your company’s benefits, unique perks, and opportunities for advancement. Emphasize what sets your organization apart.


  1. Maintain a Smooth Flow:
  • Keep track of time to ensure all relevant topics are covered.
  • Avoid rushing through questions or spending too much time on a single topic.


  1. End Positively:
  • Conclude the interview by summarizing key points and expressing appreciation for the candidate’s time.
  • Provide information about the next steps in the hiring process and when candidates can expect feedback, whether in person or online.


  1. Act Swiftly:
  • If you’re enthusiastic about a candidate, express your interest in moving forward, regardless of the interview format. If you think they could be a good fit, the sooner you tell them this, this better.
  • Communicate your timeline for decision-making and any upcoming stages in the process, whether it’s an in-person or virtual interview.


  1. Swift Follow-Up:
  • Stick to the timeframe you specified for providing feedback and making decisions. Consider providing constructive feedback to all candidates, whether they are selected or not.
  • If you decide to extend an offer, do so promptly to prevent candidates from considering other options (and those other options having added time to counter offer against your offer).


  1. Keep Engagement High:
  • If there are delays in the process, keep candidates (and or your recruitment partner) informed with regular updates. Maintain open communication to sustain their interest.


Remember, interviewing is about assessing candidates and showcasing your company as an attractive place to work, whether it’s an in-person or online meeting. These suggestions can help you create a positive and efficient interview experience while increasing your chances of securing top talent promptly.

If you have any questions, you’re welcome to reach out to our Talent Acquisition Lead, Belinda McKenzie, on belinda@scitex.co.nz or (09) 200 3121.



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