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Top interview tips

We believe that assessing a candidate's past behaviour and their behavioural preferences is the best way to establish their future performance.  

Depending upon the level that you are intending to recruit at, we recommend either a 2 or 3 stage interview process.

First stage

Given that we are operating in a talent short recruitment marketplace, the first stage of the selection process should be a face to face interview with the Line Manager.  This interview should take the form of:

  • the candidate's experience to date.  What they have done, how they went about doing it, who they communicate with and what their individual impact has been on the department or business as a whole.  
  • the candidate's 3-5 year plan i.e why do they want this job.  It's important to delve deeper here into what they believe that the job will do for them, what aspects of the job spec have they done but most importantly what have they not yet gained experience in.  Typically people accept a job that they believe will stretch them and add to their CV.
  • what is the candidate like as a person, will they fit into the cutlure of the organisation and add to the dynamic of the team.

This first stage should give the interviewer a "feel" for the candidate, enough to make a call on whether or not they should be progressed to second stage.

Second stage

At second stage, we recommend that the interview is more behavioural in nature.  We will submit a Mindmill Psychometric Assessment (where agreed with you beforehand) to help you to bring some science to the art of interviewing.  

Download a pro-forma Mindmill report by clicking here.

The Mindmill report will advise you on the specfic behavioural questions to ask each candidate, giving you a framework to probe deeper into what really makes that person tick e.g


  • Provide an example of the most significant goal you have achieved. How did you achieve this goal? What obstacles did you meet, how did you overcome these?
  • Describe a time when you demonstrated confidence and assertiveness in your own viewpoint, even if opposition was expressed by others.
  • Can you provide an example of when you were required to work independently? How did you handle yourself? Did you enjoy the experience?


  • How would you describe your communication style? How does this help you in a given role?
  • Tell us about your preferred role when involved in a team. In other words, what role are you most likely to adopt and why?
  • Can you demonstrate a time when your communication skills have let you down? What did you learn from this? How did you rectify this?


  • Rules are made to be broken. Please comment on this statement providing examples of where this was true or not true for you.
  • Tell me about how you typically approach your day. Have you a standard way of doing things? How do you deal with unexpected demands within your day?
  • There are many times when doing things in a routine, standardised way is essential for getting the job done properly. Tell me about a situation where this was the case.


  • Can you describe a situation when you have effectively solved a problem? What did you do? How successful was this approach?
  • If successful in the selection process, what would be the first two things you would do in this position?
  • If you could change anything about this role/company, what would it be and how would you do this? Provide reasons for your answer.


  • Describe a situation where you had difficulty with another colleague/team member? What, if anything, did you do to resolve these difficulties?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you demonstrated too much concern for others? What did you do? How did this affect your own work? What did you learn from the experience?
  • Learning to compromise can be important when trying to resolve a problem. Can you tell me about a time when you were able to resolve a difficult situation by finding some middle ground?


  • When in a stressful environment, what type of coping skills do you have to overcome the pressures faced and achieve the desired outcomes?
  • Describe a situation where you picked yourself up from a set back. What did you do? What did you learn from this experience?
  • Can you describe a time where you were able to respond to both home and work demands in your life? How did you deal with the situation?

Third stage

We recommend that if you decide to conduct a third stage interview that it involves meeting more of the team and important internal customers.  A great way to choose between candidates at this stage of the process is to ask them to prepare and deliver a presentation, to last no longer than fifteen minutes, on what they would do (and how they would approach) the first 30/60/90 days in the job.

It is very important to note that the candidate, throughout the process, will also be making his/her decision on whether or not you are the company/person for them.  So the interview process must be a two-way communication.

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