There’s no doubt that meeting a candidate face-to-face is the best way to gauge their suitability for a role. But is there more to look for than simply a rundown of experience and ticking the boxes with general questions?

As with most aspects of life, the way in which people interact and tackle challenges says much about how they are likely to succeed.

Consider these tips to help you select your next candidate with confidence.


Set a relaxed tone for the interview. Even meetings for high profile roles can benefit from a relaxed atmosphere. The candidate (and the interviewer) is more likely to show the positive attributes of their personality when they don’t have to concentrate on acting formally. Also, allow the candidate to respond fully to your questions without filling pauses with lots of chatter.

Keep it real.

Speaking only of the perks of the job can set an unrealistic expectation that the role is all fun and games with no challenges. Conversely, only asking questions about tackling problems may give the impression that the role is a miserable drag. Taking a balanced approach is a key to ensuring great candidates keep their interest in the job on offer.

Be honest.

If you’re concerned about an aspect of their application, bring it up at the interview stage. You may be surprised at their response. Or, if your concerns are further validated, you’ll then be able to make the confident decision to not employ the candidate.

Look for differences, as well as similarities, to your own working style.

It can be tempting to employ a younger version of yourself in a role that you have previously held. But in doing so, you may be depriving yourself and your team of new and innovative ways to produce your best work. Having team members with a variety of skills (some of which surpass your own) brings a great balance to a team.

Take it outside.

Conduct the interview out of the office ie. a coffee meeting at a café. In these environments, a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, how they relate to others and general common sense speaks volumes about how the person will fit into a new role. This can give you an insight into a person you may not otherwise get when seated face to face in an office.