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Fishing for talent: interviewing tips to land prize recruits 

If recruitment isn't the core of your role, finding new recruits can seem like an awful vacuum of time and resources.

It can be a repetitive, draining and potentially fruitless activity. The good news, though, is that there are some simple steps you can take to make your recruitment practices more effective –and less tiresome.

Read up first. Before the interview starts, make sure you know the role and the applicant. Familiarising yourself with the position description and the key selection criteria will make it easier to assess applicants' responses and to seek further clarification if you need to. It's also important to take a good look at the applicant's CV – it'll help you join the dots and formulate questions to fill in any blanks.

Structure the interview. If there's a panel of interviewers, allocate roles before the interview starts. Who's going to introduce the company? Who's going to outline the role? Who's going to wrap up and explain the next stages? A seamless interview process creates an impression of professionalism that can change an in-demand applicant's mind.

Sell the role and the company. In this age of skills shortages, the interview process is as much about the applicant assessing your suitability as it is about you assessing their skills. So sell it to them – showcase the best of the company, the premises, and the perks.

Think about cultural fit. It's very easy to focus on the empirical must-haves of a given role, but it's worth sharing the culture of the workplace too. It'll help applicants better assess the values of the company and whether it's a good fit for them. Of course, be wary of discriminating, but try to give a clear impression of what it's like to work there.

Wrap up confidently. What happens next? When should they expect to hear from you? These are all key questions for potential recruits. Let them know what happens next and make sure you stick to it; there's nothing worse than being kept waiting. Remember, like a bad restaurant experience, applicants who endure poorly planned interviews will share their experience much more readily than applicants who coast through a properly structured process – so try to make every applicant's experience as positive as possible.

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