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Effective recruitment: 5 top tips for interviewing candidates

Use the tops tips below for an effective interview process. SBM, Cate Hart outlines what schools need to do to ensure a fair recruitment process and how to put candidates at ease

Author details

Cate Hart is an SBM consultant with over 13 years' experience as a school business manager in London, including nearly six years spent as director of operations at a secondary school. She is a former trustee of NASBM and was made a life member in...

Check their personal details before you start, a transposed phone number can lead to the perfect candidate missing out!

1. Use the same basic questions for all candidates to protect against employment tribunal discrimination claims, and ensure you have one question about safeguarding. One panel member should be safer recruitment trained, with this evidenced on the documentation.

2. Questions should be wide ranging: technical, personal, ambition, probing etc.

'Our school has been judged as outstanding, what outstanding skills and knowledge can you bring to the school?'

'What is your greatest weakness and how do you manage this?'

3. All the panel members should score the answers e.g. 1-10 (1 being poor and 10 being excellent) to make a fair overall decision. You may also have a secondary grid which scores their appearance, presentation, enthusiasm etc.

4. Make the environment friendly and comfortable – you want to get the best from the candidates, not make them suffer! Encourage them if they stumble on an answer. (Have enough glasses to be able to change the water each time.) Tell them in advance they will be able to ask questions.

5. If you have set a written or practical test, give feedback or ask questions at the interview stage.

Last Updated: 
15 Mar 2018