Interviewer tips for conducting a perfect job interview

Our step-by-step guide to running a job interview will make the search for your next employee easier. It covers everything from what questions you should ask to the post-interview process, helping you hire the right person for the job.

6 mins read
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8 months ago

What is a job interview?

A job interview is a formal meeting between a job applicant and an employer to evaluate the applicant's suitability for a job role advertised by the employer. Interviews are commonly used for employee selection.

Conducting a job interview is a crucial part of the recruitment process as it allows employers to gather information about the candidate's skills and prior experience, providing insights into their potential performance in the role.

So, how can you conduct a seamless and professional interview process?

Here are some top tips for interviewers to help you conduct the perfect interview:

Familiarize yourself with the job description

Before the interview begins, it's important to thoroughly understand the content of the job description and the associated roles and responsibilities.

By reviewing the job description, you can formulate relevant questions and gain a clear understanding of the qualities you are seeking in a candidate.

Define your expectations

While a well-written job description is a good starting point, it may not be sufficient for conducting a comprehensive interview. It is crucial for interviewers to have a thorough understanding of the desired qualities in a candidate.

Consider the ideal behavior and characteristics of an employee in the role. As an interviewer, you should ask questions that assess the candidate's alignment with your expectations and determine if they are a good fit for your organization's culture.

Creating a checklist of these expectations will facilitate the comparison of interviewees and simplify the decision-making process.

Prepare relevant questions

Preparing a list of questions is essential for a successful job interview. The balance of question types is equally important.

Include competency-based questions to assess the candidate's approach to the role. Use character-based questions to evaluate how well the candidate would fit within your team. Inquire about their career goals to gain insights into their motivations. Remember to ask open-ended questions that encourage the candidate to provide detailed responses rather than simple yes or no answers.

By following these tips, you can conduct an effective job interview that helps you identify the most suitable candidate for the role.

Preparation is key: from greetings to the final question, make sure you have all bases covered.

Be Prepared Beyond the Job Interview

Do not underestimate the significance of small details during the job interview. It is important for the interviewee to feel comfortable enough to express their true personality.

For instance, check the interview room. Is it private and comfortable? Do you have water available on the table? If the interview is being conducted remotely, ensure that your sound and camera are working properly and that your Wi-Fi connection is strong. Introducing candidates to your team members on the interview panel before the interview begins is a great way to observe how they interact with people, while also giving the interviewee an opportunity to learn more about your company.

Practice Makes Perfect

Going over your questions and expectations with a colleague before the interview will boost your confidence.

It is worth considering having a second team member join you in the interview to take notes. This will give you more time to focus on the interviewee and respond to their answers.

Colleagues can provide valuable tips on how to conduct a job interview. They may also be interested in receiving your interview advice!

Foster a Conversation

A job interview can be an insightful and enjoyable experience for both the interviewer and the interviewee.

Help the interviewee make the most of the session by putting them at ease from the beginning. Asking conversational questions will allow you to get to know the candidate better and encourage them to speak freely before moving on to more challenging interview questions.

“Follow the 80-20 rule of interviewing: let the interviewee talk 80% of the time.

Listen more

As the interviewer, your focus should be on your questions and guiding the job interview.

Keep in mind that your goal is to learn about the candidate. A commonly recommended rule is to speak only 20% of the time and listen for 80% of the interview. While silence may feel uncomfortable, allow the interviewee time to think and answer your questions. Resist the temptation to break the silence yourself.

Encourage the candidate to ask their own questions during the interview and at the end.

Expect questions from interviewees

In addition to encouraging questions from the interviewee, anticipate that they will come prepared with inquiries about various aspects, such as company culture, development opportunities, and career progression.

Take this opportunity to provide additional information about the company that the interviewee may not have discovered during their research. This can include details about the working environment and how the business has been affected by the pandemic. It's important to give interviewees insight into the company's purpose and how the team operates effectively.

Be aware of 'unconscious bias'

As the saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover. Your first impression of someone is formed in just seven seconds, driven by your unconscious brain.

During a job interview, it's crucial to be mindful of this bias. Remind yourself not to make hasty decisions. Stick to your planned questions and use a standardized checklist to ensure every interviewee has a fair chance.

Do not make promises you cannot fulfill

It is natural to want to present a positive image of the job and company, but be cautious not to misrepresent the role.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development refers to this conversation as a "psychological contract." If the actual job differs from the expectations set during the interview, the psychological contract is broken, which may result in the new hire leaving.

Conclude the interview appropriately

Inform the candidate when they can expect a response and how it will be delivered. Provide or confirm the contact information they should look out for, and ensure that the contact information you have for them is accurate.

Before ending the interview, express gratitude for the candidate's time. This leaves a positive impression of the company and acknowledges that the candidate is also evaluating you. It is important to present the company in a favourable light.

What happens after the interview?

Conducting a job interview does not end when the interviewee leaves the room. Following up with the candidate after the interview is a crucial, yet often overlooked, step in the process.

Put yourself in the candidate's position and consider their experience during the next steps. Inform them of when they can expect a decision and communicate any delays in the process. Failing to follow up can harm your reputation and lose potential prospects.

Avoid making a final decision hastily during the interview itself. Take the time to evaluate the candidates' performance before informing every one of the outcomes. Additionally, be open to providing constructive feedback if requested by the interviewee.

In this competitive market, it is essential that your interview process, whether conducted in person or online, is effective, keeps candidates engaged, and ultimately helps you secure top professionals.

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What does a Hotel Manager do?

A hotel manager is responsible for overseeing the overall operations of a hotel, including managing staff, ensuring guest satisfaction, and maximizing revenue. They are typically in charge of setting and achieving financial goals, developing and implementing policies and procedures, and maintaining high standards of customer service. Hotel managers also handle issues such as staffing, budgeting, marketing, and public relations to ensure the hotel runs smoothly and efficiently.

Is a career as a Hotel Manager right for me?

A career as a hotel manager can be both rewarding and challenging. If you have a passion for hospitality, strong leadership skills, and a knack for problem-solving, a career in hotel management may be a good fit for you. It's important to be able to work well under pressure, communicate effectively with staff and guests, and adapt to changing situations in a fast-paced environment. Additionally, a willingness to work long hours, including nights and weekends, is often required in this role.

Key responsibilities of a Hotel Manager

Some key responsibilities of a hotel manager include:

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A career as a hotel manager can be a fulfilling and challenging path for those with a passion for hospitality and leadership. By understanding the role, responsibilities, and potential for career progression, you can determine if a career in hotel management is the right fit for you.

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Employee tenure: long-term relationship or short-term fling?

​We all want committed employees but is length of service a true indicator of engagement? Does simply staying around in an employment relationship mean you’re all in? Of course, there are no simple answers to these questions – each situation is as individual as the parties involved – but it is worth thinking about what benefits both short and long tenure bring – and not rushing to build assumptions (or recruitment practices) on one or the other. 

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Long-term employee tenure

Increased productivity

Tenured employees tend to have a clear understanding of their roles and company goals due to their experience and time with the organisation. This familiarity with processes and procedures can allow them to work efficiently and contribute positively to productivity, as they are able to navigate the idiosyncrasies inherent in all companies. Quite often, they will have developed practices that enable the most efficient use of time to achieve objectives and outputs; and are then able to influence wider practices to spread the word. 

Stability and commitment 

Tenured employees will often feel more secure in their positions and so, can demonstrate greater commitment to the company. Their loyalty contributes to a stable work environment, which can positively impact team dynamics and overall organisational success. My current HR team has an average tenure of around 10 years, and this contributes to a very supportive and effective working environment – although how they’ve put up with me over the years is still a mystery! 

Skill set and knowledge base

Over time, tenured employees accumulate valuable knowledge and skills specific to their roles. This expertise can not only be passed down to new hires, benefitting the organisation as a whole, but also help with integrating new technologies and processes, ensuring they work for the business. We all have a ‘go-to’ person in our companies who is the fount of all knowledge and can help give a perspective gained from years of experience and insight. 

Company ambassadors

A company that retains its workforce builds a reputation for employee satisfaction. In a world where Employee Value Proposition (EVP) plays an important role in both retention and attraction, having employees who are aligned with the company ethos and happy to talk about why they’ve stayed so long, is a real asset. Plus, they are able to share this insight with new hires, acting as mentors and imparting knowledge and enthusiasm for the company. 

Short-term employee tenure

So, if long tenured employees are the utopia, why does an interim market exist, I hear you ask? What about those contractors who enjoy short-term assignments or project-based roles? Well, as I mentioned earlier, there are benefits to both forms of tenure and while the above benefits can be true of long-term relationships, there is also a lot to be said for a short-term fling (from an employment perspective, I hasten to add): 

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Versatility

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Openness

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Final thoughts 

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​Build the perfect hospitality resume with our free template

[Full Name]
[Home address]
[Contact Number] • [Email Address]

Personal Statement

Stick to no more than four sentences in this section of your CV.

“I am a professionally qualified chef with over 15 years’ experience. During this time I have worked in fine dining restaurants up to a 2 rosette standard and spent two years working for high society event caterers across Europe. I hold an up to date Level 3 Certificate in Food Hygiene, and am now looking for my first Head Chef role.”

Education

This is your chance to talk about your qualifications, academic and vocational. This is a particularly important section for those with little experience. You should give detail about what you studied, where and when, and list them in chronological order.

If you have many of one qualification, such as GCSEs or professional qualification e.g. HND in Hotel Management/NVQ Level 3 Professional Cookery etc. you might find it useful to group them together.

[University Name]
[Date M/Y– Date M/Y]

[Degree Class]
[Degree Name]

[College/School Name]
[Date M/Y– Date M/Y]

A-levels:

  • [Subject] – [Grade]

  • [Subject] – [Grade]

  • [Subject] – [Grade]

GCSEs:

  • [Number] GCSEs, grades [range], including Maths and English

Work Experience

Try not to repeat yourself when you are bullet pointing each job. Mix it up, and try to think of different skills/styles of environment you’ve worked in. This should be brief and, as a general rule of thumb, focus on the last five years of your career, or last three roles, in chronological order with the most recent at the top. You should highlight your key achievements and use bullet points rather than lengthy descriptions.

October 2010 – Present

Senior Sous Chef, REED Restaurant, London, 3 rosettes

  • Brief overview: [state any promotions you’ve had and your responsibilities e.g. staff training, recruitment, stock/cost control P&L, marketing strategy, managing suppliers etc.]

  • Environment worked within: I worked in a [size of brigade/team] to produce [style of food] in a [establishment e.g. hotel/bar/restaurant] with [status e.g. Rosette, Michelin etc.]. Or I worked on [event/contract catering/food retail/production/New Product Development] with [result].

  • Worked/managed [different sections/departments/teams e.g. F&B, events, reception, general/kitchen, corporate or leisure sales, revenue management etc.]

  • Received a [include achievements e.g. Bib Gourmand/Rosette/Michelin/Trip Advisor score, increase in revenue etc.] for [reason]

Hobbies and Interests

If you are a chef, clients would expect to see that at least one of your hobbies relates to cooking or eating out.

If you work front of house it would be advised to include interests in different styles of restaurants or bars, give examples of your knowledge.

“I have a keen interest in craft beer and whisky, and have recently discovered The East London Liquor Company.”

Make it relevant.

References

References are available upon request.