Interview preparation is key if it’s going to be successful – however, interview preparation is just as important for the interviewer, as well as the candidate. While there is much advice about how to cope with going to an interview, there’s little advice for interviewers about how to best prepare.

Courtesy of a professional London recruitment agency, make sure to follow these top tips the next time you’re tasked with interviewing potential candidates.

1. Prepare your questions

Sounds simple, but many interviewers fall into the trap of thinking they can just “wing it”. Your questions need to be incisive and accurate, allowing the candidate to provide you with the information necessary to gauge their suitability for the role. Think about the company, the job you’re interviewing them for, and what key skills you deem necessary for them to display – then frame your questions in such a way to allow the candidate to demonstrate those skills.

If you prepare your questions beforehand and make a note of them, you’re also going to get a fair representation of each candidate, as you can ask them all the same questions.

2. Research each candidate

It might be a little time-consuming, but it ultimately saves time during the interview as it prevents you from asking for information the candidate has already provided. Spend some time to read through their application, their CV, and any notes that have been made if the application process has had several stages leading up to this interview.

It also helps to present you and your company as competent professionals – remember that an interview is a two-way street, you need to make sure your company is an appealing prospective employer. Asking a candidate for information they have already provided is a quick way to make yourself look either unprepared or uninterested.

3. Prepare for questions

A common piece of advice for people being interviewed is to be prepared to ask questions. So, naturally, as an interviewer, you need to be prepared to field those questions. It’s important to have a good knowledge of your company’s history and ethos, some key information about the role the candidate is interviewing for, and any key selling points of working for the company.

You should also be aware of what the next stage of the hiring process will look like – whether the candidate is successful or not, it’s important to be able to tell them a rough time-frame of when they should expect to be contacted.

4. Give yourself time

Rushing is bad for everyone when it comes to interviews. You don’t want to be flustered, and the last thing you want to do is make candidates wait while you finish up a scheduled phone-call or presentation. Ideally, give yourself at least ten minutes of free time either side of each interview you’ll be doing.

This will give you time to collect your thoughts from the previous interview, and prepare for the next one. When you rush you make mistakes, your judgement isn’t clear, and you present the image to the candidate that you’re either over-worked or incapable of managing your time.

5. Add an additional interviewer

Sometimes you might be asked to interview candidates for a technical position or a position that requires knowledge and skills outside of your experience. Jobs in engineering, for example, will require skills you likely don’t possess if your work is focused in human resources and office management.

This is where an additional interviewer from the relative department comes in – they can ask the technical questions to ensure the candidate has the relevant skills and knowledge for the job.