How to Interview – Step 8 – After the Interview

9 06 2010

So all the hard work and preparation has come to an end and it’s now time to Close the Interview.  As mentioned at the beginning of this series, it’s important to remember that to the candidate you are the face of your organisation.  Whatever you say, or do, or don’t say or don’t do reflects on the business as a whole.  So, it doesn’t matter whether the candidate gave a good or a bad interview, they should leave the building feeling as if they’ve been treated well and treated fairly.

Here’s some golden rules for the close:

  1. Thank the person for coming – it could well be they’ve taken time off from their job, travelled a long distance to come and meet you – acknowledge this
  2. Determine what they’re other job search options are – if they’re applying for other roles, it would be useful to ascertain at this stage what stage they’re at
  3. Reclarify their salary expectations to ensure this hasn’t changed
  4. Explain to them the next steps of the interview process and what they can expect
  5. Offer them the opportunity to ask questions and also show them the area they’ll be working in if appropriate – this can help people actual visualise themselves doing the job

Making the Recruitment Decision

Once all candidates have been assessed then it is best practice to evaluate all candidates who have been interviewed for the role.  It’s very simple if there has been only one interview, conducted by one person, however where more than one person has been involved in the process, a more involved Wrap-up or Integration Session is required.

A reminder of the importance of accurate written summaries

The quality of written evidence is a vital link to establishing discrepancies across selection activities not to mention the key basis for later feedback discussions.  It is therefore very important that as a recruiter you write up evidence that accurately reflect the behaviours demonstrated on a given assessment (e.g. interview, role play etc.) and relating to the competency definition. These must also reflect the rating assigned.

Bringing in outside knowledge of candidates

With interviews attended by candidates internal to your organisation, you may find you have knowledge of some candidates’ performance outside the interview process. It is important that you don’t discuss this information during the interview or share any of this information with others involved in the process. The purpose of the competency based approach is to assess all candidates equally and objectively and it would thus be unfair to include information gathered outside the exercises.

In many cases you will have conducted the whole assessment yourself, however it is still good practice to conduct this session so that you can be sure that you have been objective throughout.

Feeding Back to the Candidate

The purpose of providing feedback is to make candidate aware of their strengths and development needs. It is ethical and professional to give candidates the opportunity to discuss their performance and completes the recruitment process.  It’s recommended that feedback be given at least 48 hours after the final interview is completed and should cover the following:

  • Competencies/Behaviours
  • Technical Skills and Knowledge

You should highlight areas of strength, development and areas where no evidence was shown. If appropriate, you could highlight areas of possible improvement for the candidate, to enable candidates to improve their skills for future applications and selection events.  After receiving feedback, candidates are still able to request access to their notes for up to 12 months after their interview and therefore it’s critical that you are mindful of this through the recruitment process.   Candidates could ask for any part of their assessment notes, and including any notes you wrote when preparing for the interview.

Identification and Verification

All employers are required to evidence that a candidate is eligible to work in the UK.  It can also be the case that employers have other checks i.e. identity, credit or criminal record history.

It is recommended that a proof of eligibility to work in the UK is requested when an interview is being confirmed, so that a copy can be taken at interview.  This means that you avoid wasting time interviewing and offering the job to a candidate who may not have the relevant paperwork.

Generally speaking in order to verify that a candidate has the right to work in the UK, you should check one of the following original documents:

  • Passport
  • National Identity Card
  • Long Form Birth Certificate plus NI Card

You should make a note on the photocopy of the documentation that the person who you’re interview is in fact the same person that the document refers to.  You can do this by writing “Original Seen” and writing your name and the date.  The importance of this cannot be understated as failure to comply is a criminal offence.

Candidate Care

Sometimes administrative processes can drag out the time between interviewing a candidate and them joining the organisation. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the candidate and think what they may be thinking or feeling if they aren’t contacted or kept informed. If there are delays in the process call them to let them know what is happening. This will demonstrate that you value them and may help tip the balance if they are also considering other employers.

If a candidate is struggling to make their mind up, a call from their future line manager may make all the difference – is there anything else they want to know about the role? Would they like to come in and meet the people they could be working with? What are the issues that are making the decision difficult?

If they are due to join in a week’s time you could ring them, welcome them on board and ask if there’s anything they want to know before they begin i.e. parking, transport routes, when pay day is, do they need to bring a packed lunch etc.

We’re almost at the end of this our How to Interview Series.  Next week we’ll take a look at “What to do If” scenarios.  If you’ve any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with us either by calling Michelle on 01202 853647 or emailing




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