Interviewing job applicants - Recruitment

Interviewing job applicants

Once you've chosen who to interview, it's a good idea to prepare a set of questions to ask at the interview. Questions must not discriminate.

If possible, each interview should be carried out by more than 1 person to reduce the risk of discriminating.

It's a good idea to check before the interview that the interviewers are:

  • prepared
  • understand the law on discrimination

Check if applicants need any reasonable adjustments for the interview

By law you must ask anyone coming to an interview to tell you if they need reasonable adjustments so they can attend. For example:

  • making sure your office is accessible for an applicant who uses a wheelchair
  • giving someone more time to do a written test that is part of an interview
  • providing a sign language interpreter for someone who is deaf

In the interviews

When interviewing it's a good idea to ask each applicant the same questions where possible. This is to ensure you're treating applicants in the same way.

Holding interviews online

If you're holding interviews online, you should make sure:

  • you hold the interview in the same way as any interview you hold in person
  • the candidate has a reliable method of communication, for example make sure they have the suitable technology or can download any software needed
  • you have a backup plan in case of connectivity issues

If you require the interview to be recorded, you must get the person's permission first.

At the end of each interview 

At the end of each interview, you should:

  • ask the applicant if they have any questions
  • tell them when and how you will let them know whether they got the job or not
  • tell them how they can ask any follow-up questions they might have
  • tell them what sort of feedback to expect

Data protection

If you make any recordings or notes in interviews, you must:

  • store them securely and confidentially
  • follow data protection rules

Find out more about data protection from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)

Deciding who should get the job

When you have finished all the interviews, make sure you're fair and treat everyone the same when deciding who should get the job.

For example, check your decisions are based on how each applicant met each point in the job specification and person specification.

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