Step 8 - Conducting the Interview

Make the candidate feel comfortable – Put candidates ease by making them feel welcome. Information flow can be hindered if the candidate is apprehensive. When someone is calm and relaxed, they are more likely to respond honestly and openly to the questions you ask.


  • Establish rapport and set a conversational tone.
  • Start a friendly exchange of information by making small talk (weather, traffic, etc).
  • Offer a beverage – something simple like a water or soft drink.
  • Describe your interview process so candidate knows what to expect.
  • Keep in mind that the candidate should do about 80% of the talking.
  • Let the candidate know that you will be taking notes. 

Conduct a structured interview - Questions do not always need to be asked with the exact same words in the same order. However, a standard set of questions should generally be posed to all candidates to prevent discrimination in hiring and selection.


  • If the candidate freezes on a particular question, you can always go on to the next question and come back later.
  • Keep the questions open-ended by avoiding questions that require a yes or no answer.
  • Be sure to ask only job-related questions.
  • Afford candidates the opportunity to ask questions but maintain control of the process.
  • Refer to step 6 when developing your questions.

Listen and take notes – By concentrating too intently on the questions intended for the candidates, interviewers may commonly lose focus or attention. Remember to listen, probe and evaluate responses. In order to capture the content of the interview take good notes instead of relying solely on memory. Listening attentively and documenting the interview helps objectively choose a final candidate based on job related criteria. The documentation also provides a clear record of the candidate’s assessed strengths and weaknesses to help justify the hiring decision.

Score the responses - Scoring helps clarify the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. When more than one individual is participating in the hiring decision, scores help to summarize the opinion of the group for each candidate for each question/area. You may use the following format for rating each candidate’s responses and determining an overall scoring profile for each candidate.

Candidate Evaluation Summary

Close the interview – When you have concluded your questions, give the candidate an opportunity add any further comments and ask any questions. Thank the candidate and outline possible next steps.