What is your reaction when you are conducting an interview and the job candidate’s lack of preparation is obvious? I am guessing not favorable, and you will most likely end up hiring a different candidate. While evaluating a candidate’s level of preparation, have you stopped to consider how you prepare to conduct interviews and how your preparation impacts the candidate’s opinion of you and your company?

Consider the following interview prep ideas to implement in your hiring process that will both impress candidates and make the interview process seamless.


  • Clarify job description: Clarifying the job description before you conduct interviews will allow you to confidently answer any questions that the candidate may have regarding the position. Have a thorough understanding of the education and skills that are needed to succeed in the position, the day to day tasks that they will be responsible for, as well as their expected role within the company. Don’t forget to talk to the other employees and managers that will be working with this person to find out what they expect from the candidate who fills the position.
  • Know your timeline: Chances are that the candidate will want to know what your hiring timeline looks like, so come prepared to discuss when you will need the person hired to start and if you will be conducting follow up interviews. Also let them know when you will be contacting them regarding the position. This communication will help them to gain an understanding of your hiring timeline and will help you to avoid several follow up calls as they anxiously await your decision.
  • Review resumes: Avoid wasting time discussing the candidate’s resume point by point by reviewing their resume before the interview begins. Not only will it help you to gain an understanding of their education and skills, but it will also make the conversation more relaxed since you won’t be hunched over their resume the entire interview. It is also important to know the basics of their resume so that you come prepared with individualized questions about their experience and avoid asking questions that are easily answered by glancing at their resume.


  • Form job specific questions: In addition to forming a list of individualized questions based on their resume, have a conversation with the team that they will be working with to find out what questions they believe are important to ask the candidate. These questions will provide insight into how well they will fit in with the team and with the culture of the company as a whole. 
  • Set the scene: Setting up the room that you will be conducting interviews in can have an impact on the success of the interview itself. Ditch the intimidating desk scenario and find a place like a conference room to conduct interviews. By doing this, you are creating an environment that is comfortable for both the candidate and yourself to have a real and candid conversation. Make sure that you have everything that you need pre interview (enough chairs, water, etc.). Also confirm that you will be using the room for interviews so that you can limit interruptions.
  • Research candidates: As you know, the candidate should be researching your company before their interview; however, it is also necessary for you to research them. In addition to reviewing their resume, find out what their social media presence is on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If nothing else, this will help you to know what they look like so that you can put them at ease by greeting them appropriately when they arrive for their interview.


Just like the interview is a chance for you to gauge a candidate’s level of professionalism, it is also an opportunity for them to determine if they are interested in working for you based on the impression that you make. Take the steps to make a good impression and dedicate time to interview preparation.