recruitment interview


In recruitment, an inaccurate process or error in judgement can result in the wrong employee hired and create a plethora of issues for your business. It’s important to get it right.

The right employee will be a positive face for the organisation, creating the best impression with clients and other stakeholders.

On the other hand, the wrong hire can exhaust organisational resources in performance based issues, as well as have a negative impact on other employees and customers.

In iHR Australia’s recruitment training program, Non HR Managers build skills and confidence in the recruitment process. The following 7 rules will help Non HR Managers to recruit successfully, ensuring that the best talent is attracted and retained, whatever the business.

One: Equal Employment Opportunity

Fully understand the guidelines of equal employment opportunity to ensure a fair recruitment procedure for all candidates.

Federal and state laws in Australia mean businesses are required to ensure workplaces are free of discrimination and harassment. These laws also apply to recruitment with each state providing their own respective laws for employers regarding Equal Employment Opportunity.

The Human Rights Commission provides a quick checklist for employers looking to prevent discrimination during the recruitment process.

Two: Position Description

Check the position description (PD) carefully and consider whether it contains the relevant responsibilities and duties.

A job description provides the organisation and the applicant with a list of the primary responsibilities and tasks to be completed in the specified role. The description is also useful for informing the applicant of who they would report to and who in in their team may report to them, where applicable.

A detailed job description may also describe relevant skills, qualifications and experience that the applicant may require in order to obtain the position.

Each vacancy is an opportunity to review the PD for anything that needs to be updated. Even if the PD does not require any changes, this is a good time to check that it contains all relevant information.

Three: Job Advertisement

Ensure that the job advert reflects what you can offer to a candidate and includes specific duties.

The advert is the first impression potential candidates have of the business. Consider what it is communicating and why a candidate would find your business and the position attractive enough to put time into applying.

Include details that the applicant may be interested in, such as the company’s history; how the role will contribute to the organisation; the duties involved in the job; the required skills and experience of the applicant; and what the applicant may expect in terms of working for the business, such as its culture.

Four: Candidate Selection

Review applications carefully and select candidates with relevant skills and experience for the role.

Develop a criterion to split candidates into ‘YES’, ‘NO’, ‘MAYBE’ categories.

Scope the role to establish what type of experience you need to bring into the role. Establish what type of person will fit in with the team and why. Look at what characteristics you think will work coherently with the current work environment. Decide what fresh outlook this candidate could bring to the team.

With this, it is important to have the right people involved in the candidate selection, to ensure the best resources and knowledge are being provided in the selection process.

If an applicant’s previous employment history isn’t within the same industry, review their skill set. For example, they may have significant customer service skills gained in a different retail environment.

It is also beneficial to look at their application as a whole. Have they written a well-constructed cover letter that responds to the job ad properly and demonstrates a strong understanding of the role?

A candidate that puts some effort into their application, rather than using the same generic application for every role they apply for, can really show their attention to detail and initiative.

Five: Interview Process

Conduct a three-step interview process, including telephone screening, face-to-face interview and reference checks.

Telephone screening

Where possible, phone screen candidates in the “Yes” group within a few days or maximum one week after the ad has been placed. The phone screen can be brief and is focused on establishing a candidate’s reasons for applying, proactiveness and professionalism.

Face-to-Face interviews

First impressions count. During the interview, the candidate will be assessing you as much as they will also be assessed. Therefore, make sure you meet with candidates in a clean and professional environment, with some level of privacy and minimal noise. If candidates are coming on-site for the interview, let the other employees know so they can be welcoming and display behaviour that reflects organisation well.

Have a list of questions ready that are based on the PD. Leave enough time so that the meeting is relaxed, the candidate has time for their own questions, and to ensure they don’t meet the next candidate on the way out. It is important to be honest in your reflection of the business and what is expected; there is no point promising nirvana and not delivering it.

Reference checks

Call referees of the selected candidate and conduct other license checks (if applicable).

Six: Onboarding

Ensure you have an onboarding schedule to thoroughly take your new employee through all areas of the organisation and their role.

Once you have selected a candidate and an offer has been accepted, you should advise the other team members of your new employee.

Next, design an onboarding plan. The first few hours, days and weeks can set the tone for a new employee. Consider teaming them up with a more experienced employee, whose work and ethics you value.

Ensure you have an induction process in place, that covers:

  • Product
  • Staff
  • OH&S
  • Tea room/bathrooms etc
  • Any general ‘ways of doing things’ that are specific to your employees
  • Where/how to report any issues including pay, customers and rostering
  • Paperwork – allow time for questions


Seven: Probationary Period

Have regular one-on-one meetings with your new employee during the first six months of employment.

The probationary period is an important part of the recruitment and selection process. This time is crucial for continued evaluation and assessment of a team member’s capacity to adjust to their new role. This period provides the opportunity to assess suitability for the job, work standards, behaviour and cultural fit.

Probation also provides the chance to monitor and assess a team member’s performance during their initial period of employment. Being the first real opportunity to assess a new team member’s suitability for the job, it measures their capabilities going forward.

Schedule a meeting once-per-month to discuss what they have done well and areas where further training or assistance may be required. Deliver this as training for the benefit of the employee and not as a discipline meeting, and always allow the employee time during the meeting to discuss their thoughts and considerations.


Organisations need to be mindful when going through the recruitment process. Managers that have little to no experience in hiring for a role should be attentive to available resources in order to guide them through a recruitment and selection process.

Getting the right person for the job will not only benefit the employer, but also their fellow employees. It plays a key part in staff retention.

iHR Australia offers the in-house training program ‘Recruitment for Non-HR Managers’ designed for employees who are designated with recruitment responsibilities.

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