How do you set the scene for an interview that really delivers? As an interviewer you want to ensure you’re assessing your candidate’s fit for your business, while letting them put their best self forward.  Getting this foundational stage of successful hiring is vital and it’s something I dive deep into in C&C’s Interview Masterclass.

There’s a few things I encourage clients to consider when preparing for the high-quality interviews they want to deliver.

Get your preparation right

Firstly, we need to cover a few bases to create a clear framework and process for your interview.

Let’s avoid the “Come in for a chat” step where possible. If you’re at interview stage, it should have happened already. Instead, invest the time in preparing your questions. Make them job specific so they assess your candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities.  You also want to be clear on how their values match yours.

 Panel interviews work really well – two heads are better than one and you can compare notes. Finally, remember the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour so do your research.  Designing past-situational questions really works here, so for instance, “Tell me about a time when you effectively managed your team to achieve a goal. What did your approach look like?”


We’re all human

Technologies like AI are making brilliant advances in overcoming interview behaviours such as unconscious bias and our innate tendency to hire on type. However, we still have to build in some safeguards to drive better outcomes than relying on potentially imperfect judgements. Intuition’s one we hear a lot!

We need to unlearn a few interview myths too. Take “the first 10 seconds of an interview predicts the outcome” This is steeped in confirmation bias, where we essentially search for, interpret, or prioritise information in a way that confirms our existing beliefs.  Some simple processes can minimise this…


Interview stalwarts
Anchored ratings systems bring standardisation to your process, especially when you’re hiring for larger volumes. Less sexy, yes, but also time-tested processes proven to deliver great outcomes:

  • Research shows that sample tests are the best predictor for a candidate’s suitability. Candidates are given a sample piece of work, similar to that which they would do in the job, and their performance assessed against this.
  • General Cognitive Ability Tests are also great predictors as they include the capacity to learn. Combined with raw intelligence, it’s what makes most people successful in their roles.
  • We’re fans of the STAR method here at C&C Search. It’s a structured manner of responding to a behavioural-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action and result of the situation you’re describing and brings real insights into your candidate’s way of thinking.


Ultimately, a diligent interviewer will probe deeply to assess both the veracity and thought process behind their candidate’s stories.

There’s no magic formula when it comes to interviews.  You want to be authentic, open and any cookie-cutter process naturally detracts from that. But, by building in these steps, you’ll have an interview process that helps you make effective hiring decisions, that meet organisational goals and tie into your vision.

To find out more about our new Interviewing Masterclass, please do get in touch! / 0203 475 3885