Roy Duncan

31st July 2012

Interview planning and preparation

Interview planing and preparation is essential if you are to sell your role and company.

Although we may be forgiven for thinking that recruitment is still an employers’ market, the reality is for the best and strongest candidates it is very much an employees’ market.  If you are a regular recruiter, you will be aware of how to showcase you organisation to get the best from the interview and woo the best candidates!  For the occasional or first-time recruiter, here are a few simple tips to make sure you get what you want from the interview and leave the candidate with a positive impression.


Before the interview

  • Make sure that the candidate has been given a copy of the job description and person specification.
  • Make sure that you send the candidate with an outline of the interview process and likely time scales.
  • Provide the candidate with advance information on the format and structure of the interview, how long it is likely to last and who will be conducting it.
  • Make sure that reception has been briefed so they are not surprised when the candidate arrives.
  • Make sure that you have reviewed the candidate’s CV and have several key questions prepared.


Interview structure

First of all welcome the candidate, invite them to sit down and offer them tea, coffee or a glass of water.

  1. Introduce yourself, your organisation, organisational structure and the role – allow up to 10 minutes.
  2. Invite the candidate to introduce themselves in terms of career to date and future objectives – allow up to 10 minutes.
  3. Ask the candidate questions about themselves and/or facts on their CV – allow up to 15 minutes.
  4. Invite the candidate to ask questions about the company and /or role – allow up to 10 minutes.
  5. Employer may wish to highlight any key aspects of the candidate’s suitability and explain the next stage in the process – allow 5 minutes.
  6. Invite employee to summarise their interest in the role and how well it matches their career plans – allow 5 minutes.

Finally thank the candidate for their time and confirm the next stage.


Making time  for interview planning and preparation will most certainly give you an edge over rival companies.  It does not take long, yet it can completely alter candidates’ perceptions of you and your organisation and can be the difference between finding a high calibre candidate  or a less capable one.



Contact details

Roy Duncan FCCA

RG Duncan Accountancy Recruitment, 33 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4JS

T:         020 7930 4401      W:

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