Conducting an Interview 101

19 Feb 2020
By Sarah Sosnowski

In a talent short market, conducting a professional, thorough interview is more important than ever. We have put together our top interview tips to make sure you get the right candidate, every time.

Purpose of an Interview

  • Build rapport
  • Make a good impression
  • To gain the following information; Motivational fit, behavioural fit, cultural fit/values, technical fit, experience & background
  • To provide important information to the candidate
  • To promote and sell the role and company
  • Branding opportunity for the company

Preparing for an Interview

  • Ensure all attendees have accepted the calendar invite and know where and when the interview will be held
  • Ensure a meeting room is booked
  • Obtain technical/role-specific questions from the Hiring Manager for the interview guide
  • Meet 15 minutes prior to the first interview to discuss the candidate and how the interview will run
  • Plan who will ask which questions to ensure the interview flows
  • Read the candidates CV before the interview
  • Make note of things from the CV that you would like to discuss in the interview; these might be - career gaps, job-hopping, particular projects etc.

Make a Good Impression

  • Ensure the front desk is aware of the interview so they can greet
  • Be on time and prepared
  • Greet your candidate by name and introduce yourself
  • Thank them for their time
  • Smile and shake hands
  • Put your candidate at ease and start to build rapport – small talk
  • Explain the process
  • Make the interview a conversation
  • Have an overview of the company prepared for the start of the interview
  • Be prepared to answer questions 
  • Keep to time
  • Thank them again and explain the next steps

Interview Structure

  1. Introductions
  2. Provide an overview of how the interview will run
  3. Ask the candidate what they know about the company
  4. Provide an overview of the company and the role
  5. Motivational Questions
  6. Background Questions
  7. Technical/Outcome Focussed Questions
  8. Behavioural Questions
  9. Logistics Questions – availability, location etc.
  10. Candidate Questions
  11. Conclusion and overview of next steps and timeline 

Discrimination in Interviews

  • Asking applicants certain questions in a job interview may disadvantage some people and could amount to discrimination
  • Employers are required by law to avoid discrimination when recruiting staff
  • Employers should not seek unnecessary and potentially discriminatory information
  • It could be discrimination if employers do so and then rely on this information in deciding not to offer a candidate a job

Types of Discrimination

The personal characteristics protected by the law include:

  • Age
  • Parental & carer status
  • Disability
  • Employment activity
  • Gender identity, lawful sexual activity & sexual orientation
  • Industrial activity
  • Marital status
  • Physical features
  • Political belief or activity
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Race
  • Religious belief or activity
  • Sex

Avoiding Discriminating Questions

  • Don't ask: What country are you from? Where were you born? Do ask: Are you eligible to work in Australia?

  • Don't ask: What is your native language? Do ask: This job requires someone who speaks more than one language. What languages are you fluent in?

  • Don't ask: What religion do you practice? Which religious holidays do you observe? Do ask: Can you work in the days/schedule required for this role?

  • Don't ask: Do you have or plan to have children? Do ask: Are you available to work overtime on occasion? Can you travel?

  • Don't ask: How many children do you have? Do you have childcare arrangements in place we need you to work out of hours? Do ask: This job may require some overtime work on short notice. Is this a problem for you? What days/hours are you available to work?

  • Don't ask: If you went on maternity leave, would you come to work afterwards? Do ask: What are your long term career goals?

  • Don't ask: We've always had a woman/man in this role. How do you think you will handle it? Do ask: What can you bring to this role?

  • Don't ask: How do you feel about managing men/women? Do ask: Tell me about your previous experience of managing staff?

  • Don't ask: How much longer do you plan to work before you retire? Do ask: What are your long term career goals?

  • Don't ask: When did you graduate? Do ask: Do you have a degree or other qualifications related to this role?

  • Don't ask: How many sicks day did you take last year? Do ask: How many unscheduled days of work did you miss last year?

  • Don't ask: Are you a member of the Army Reserves? Do ask: Do you have any upcoming commitments that would require extensive time away from work?

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