Category: Advice

How to Conduct a Great Interview

Article by Tim Dare – Managing Director, Mosaic Search & Selection

When it comes to job interviews, the focus is usually placed on the candidate. But at Mosaic Search & Selection, we like to remind all our clients of the responsibility that rests on the shoulders of the interviewer.

Giving a great interview is particularly important when it comes to senior level recruitment with highly qualified candidates, who may not have been through the process in many years.

Research the Candidate

If you’ve had a candidate presented to you by a headhunter, different rules apply during the interview process.

There should be an atmosphere of mutual respect in the room, which means you should do your research beforehand – as you would expect the candidate to do theirs.

Take some time to read through and digest their CV, and any other materials supplied by the headhunter.

A conscientious interviewer will also investigate the candidate’s online presence, ie LinkedIn, to get a fuller sense of their background. One of the side benefits of doing your homework beforehand is that it saves you time during the interview itself.

Don’t Make Snap Judgements

There are many social settings in which we like to rely on our instincts, establishing an impression of somebody before we’ve really got to know them. In a job interview situation, that can be a recipe for disaster.

Whatever the reason for your snap judgement, it’s important not to let first impressions, whether positive or negative, cloud your opinion. Give them a clean slate and allow them to impress you on their own terms.

At the end of the interview, look at their performance as a whole (where did they get it right, and where did they struggle?), drawing your conclusions based on that – and not, in other words, the outrageous pattern on their tie.

Give them Tough Questions

We often hear about companies throwing purposefully difficult, left-field questions at interviewees – Google’s “How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?” being a prime example. The point of these questions is not to seek out a correct answer, of course, but to get an idea of how the candidate approaches the question.

In an interview with an experienced senior candidate, steer clear of the brainteasers, but don’t shy away from asking tough questions about your company, the industry and their style of working and also ask for examples of how they have delivered in a particular area of responsibility.  Being put on the spot doesn’t always result in a genius answer, but it can give you an accurate picture of that person’s character and temperament.

Sell the Role

Candidates attending a job interview are always advised to “sell” themselves, but many people don’t understand that the same should go for the interviewer.

When presented with a particularly impressive candidate, take some time advertising your company and building a picture of how they would fit in. This is especially important when interviewing a headhunted, senior candidate, who isn’t ready to make a career move until the right opportunity comes along.

If your business is seeking an outstanding candidate for a senior role, whether in the UK, Europe or worldwide, Mosaic can help. We have particular expertise in the areas of publishing, business process outsourcing and call centres, and we’re a company with global reach. Our experienced Consultants will carry out an executive search to locate the ideal person for you.

Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you find your next critical hire! Tel: +44 (0)1242 239147 or email

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