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Interview techniques proven to identify A-Class Players

When it comes to hiring new professionals the interviewing stage of your hiring process is the best way to gauge just how much value they’ll bring to your business.

April 2018

Interview techniques proven to identify A-Class Players

Employing the wrong candidates can be costly for your business as if they are not the right fit your company or the role, you’ll soon find yourself spending more money to advertise another vacancy. Alongside this, a bad hire can affect the morale throughout the company harming both the culture and performance of the business.

Your initial meetings with a candidate is your opportunity to get to know everything you need to know about them and their potential. To do this, you need to make sure that you have a variety of techniques to help you distinguish the A-Class Players from those who wouldn’t offer as much to your business.

Personalise every interview

It seems obvious, but if you’re interviewing a large quantity of candidates it can be easy to repeat the same questions over and over again. If you truly want the best workforce for your business, then you need to invest time into studying everyone whose CV earned them an interview.

While discovering a candidate’s personality is still important, tailoring questions around the details on the CV will help you gain a greater, more personal insight. During the interview you want to find out about their work ethic and whether they will be able to fit within your company’s culture.

When you’re preparing your interview questions, make sure you delve into each CV, find the unique sections and create questions around them. Your interview process is designed to help discover what makes each applicant unique and if you settle on a generic list of questions, then you could miss out on some of the benefits a candidate can bring to the business.

Look for the right characteristics, not just the right skills

While ensuring a candidate has the necessary skills to work within your business is important, so is making sure they have an A-grade mentality. Your best performers are usually bought into the company’s vision and values, so if a candidate is showing this at the interview stage, it’s a good sign that they could be perfect for your business.

When hiring, you’re not just looking to fill a gap in your organisational chart, you need someone who can fit into the culture you’ve built. The interview stage offers an opportunity to get to know a candidate and as you prepare your questions, you should think about what will help to reveal whether they’re the right character or just have the right skills. Example questions you could ask include:

  • Could you tell me something about you that isn’t on your CV?
  • If you could work for any company in the world, who would it be?
  • Who do you admire and why?
  • How do you feel about our company’s core beliefs?

These questions will help you see if the candidate has become invested in your company and its mission, or if they’re just looking for another role.  Finally, see how they interact with the rest of your team. This can be a good indicator as to how they will treat them if they get the job.

Creating cohesion within your teams is necessary if you want to get the most out of them. Skills can be taught and improved on over time, but making sure someone comes in with the right attitude to effectively join your team is also important to developing world class staff.

Recognise genuine enthusiasm

When interviewing, you need to be able to look beyond the qualifications. They may be the best person for the role on paper, but if they don’t sound excited about working for your company, they might not be as hardworking as their CV lets on.

Candidates who make it to the interview stage should be enthusiastic to work within your business and if they’re not, then you could find yourself back at square one in a few months’ time.

Give the candidates an opportunity to ask questions, someone with genuine enthusiasm will already imagine themselves in the role and this will be reflected when they are given chance to lead the interview. 

Understand each candidate’s motives and ambitions

Candidates that move from job to job every few months are not uncommon, and whether that’s due to them deciding to leave or getting fired, you need to be wary. Whether their CV is not a correct representation of them or they just constantly look for a new role, you want someone who will be committed to your business for the foreseeable future

If the candidate has a wide variety of positions on their CV, but hasn’t spent more than a year at any business, then there may be an increased chance that you’ll soon be advertising for the same role again.

Get to know the reasons a candidate is interviewing for your vacancy. If they’re looking to really build their career, they will talk eagerly about the challenges your business can offer them. Meanwhile, if they spend time talking negatively about their previous jobs, then they may drag their heels if you employ them.


While these techniques will help you narrow down the candidate list, adding a few extra steps can help identify the best talent early on. From psychometric profiling to assessment days, you’re able to get a better insight into how a person will work as a team, on their own and whether their personality is really for the company.

The interview stage of your hiring process will help you identify market-leading candidates are excited about the challenges your business can offer. Conducting personalised, thorough interviews that help you to discover each candidates’ differences will give you a better insight into whether the person you’re meeting is a genuine A-Class Player.