Interview tips

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Last updated on May 4, 2017
When planning your interview questions, you need to determine the best way to find out what you need to know.

There are two types of interviews.

  • Structured interviews allow the interviewer to record each applicant’s answers to pre-determined questions in line with the selection criteria. The same questions are put to all applicants. This is a reliable way to rate and compare interviewees.

  • Unstructured interviews are like an informal chat and have the drawback that they do not allow you to easily compare candidates.

When conducting an interview, you may like to consider two styles of questioning: behavioural-style and situational-style questions.

Behavioural-style questions are designed to give you examples of the candidate’s behaviour as opposed to just their knowledge or opinions. These questions allow you to describe situations, or the type of work involved in the job and allow candidates to provide examples of how they have approached similar situations or work.
Situational-style questions involve questions about hypothetical situations based on challenging job-related occurrences. A scenario is presented to the candidate and he or she is asked to describe how they would handle it. These are useful for applicants who may not have enough work experience to be able to draw on past experiences, for example, school leavers or graduates, and for internal applicants for a job different to their current position.

Things to avoid during the interview

During the interview, you should avoid discussing the following topics or discriminating against an applicant based on any of the following:

  • race or ethnic origin
  • skin colour
  • criminal record
  • marital status
  • gender
  • pregnancy
  • disability (when unrelated to the ability to do the job)
  • sexual preference
  • union membership.
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