Choosing who to interview - Recruitment

Choosing who to interview

You do not have to interview someone before giving them a job unless your organisation has a policy or rules that say you do.

Even if you do not have to interview, it can still be a good idea so that you:

  • can find out if the person really is right for that job
  • reduce the risk of discrimination

Using information to help you choose

You should use the information you've told applicants you will use to make any decisions, for example application forms and CVs.

You should only use online information if you've already checked that it's appropriate.

Avoid using someone's personal social media

Avoid using information that's on someone's personal social media profile, for example Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, to decide whether you interview or hire them.

You might be breaking the law, particularly if either of the following points apply:

  • they did not agree to you using the information in this way
  • you looked at some applicants' social media profiles, but not others

Using information on jobs and business networking sites

When recruiting, you can usually use information that someone puts on a jobs website, or a business and employment social networking site such as LinkedIn.

When posting information on these sites, users will be aware that the purpose is to show their work experience and professionalism. You must still make sure that you use this information in a way that does not discriminate.

Decide who's involved in selecting and interviewing

It's a good idea for the staff involved in selecting and interviewing applicants to:

  • come from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • use a consistent decision-making process, such as a scoring system

If you currently do not have enough diversity among your staff to include in the interview process, you could focus on growing that for the future.

Ideally 2 or more people should be involved in choosing who to interview to reduce the risk of personal biases or unintended discrimination.

How to select applicants for interview

Select the applicants who best match the job description and person specification. Do this in a fair way for each person.

One way of doing this is a scoring system where you:

  1. turn each point in the job description and person specification into a checklist of, for example 20 criteria, then an applicant could score up to 20 points
  2. assess the information in each application form against the checklist
  3. score each application form against the checklist. For example, if the applicant meets 17 of the 20 points, you can score the application as 17 out of 20

The point range you use should be wide enough to help distinguish between the number of candidates you're interviewing.

For example, if you only use a score between 1 and 5, then you might get a lot of 4s and 5s, which might not help you decide between them. But if you score between 1 and 20 you might end up with clearer results for each candidate.

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