Job interviews are a vital part of any recruitment process and play an important role for both the employer and the prospective employee.

For those seeking a new role, the interview offers a chance to find out about the job and the culture of the company.

For managers, it is the best chance they have to assess how well the candidate would fit the position.

If you’re new to hiring, read on for our tips on how to conduct the perfect interview for staff hires.

Read CVs and cover letters thoroughly

This is important as it will give you a good understanding of the person that you are going to be interviewing.

Be sure to match their skills and experience to what they will be doing in the job and comprise questions that will give the person a chance to go into more detail.

Having their CV and cover letter printed off is also good practice as it means that you can keep referring back to it during the interview.

Plan questions beforehand and have a structure

While interviews will be different with each person, having a structure in place that you use across each of them helps you to stay focused and also judge candidates fairly.

You could ask them about what they’ve been up to recently in terms of jobs and other activities, then move onto questions about their skill-set.

Finally, ask them about what they think they can bring to the role.

Have your questions jotted down so that you can refresh your memory if you need to.

Ask if they have any questions

A strong candidate will have their own questions planned out as this shows initiative and also demonstrates that they are interested in the role.

Leave this part until the end of the interview.

Have a firm handshake and smile

First impressions matter and also feed into how comfortable a potential employee will feel.

If they are nervous then it may affect their ability to answer questions well, so being smiley and greeting them with a firm handshake will mean that they are put at ease straight away.

Use a relaxed, non-distracting environment

There’s nothing worse than an interview being interrupted or held somewhere that is loud and busy, so make sure you hold them in quiet, comfortable rooms that are clean and well-lit.

Offer them a drink

This is another way that you help the candidate feel comfortable and also demonstrates that you are friendly, approachable and good to work with.

Show them around

Breaking the ice by showing the candidate around the office is good and also gives them more of an insight into your company and the people that they would be working alongside if they were successful.

Always follow up

Seeking employment can be nerve-wracking, so be sure to always keep all candidates informed of what’s going on either by email or telephone.