6-step Guide to an Engaging and Successful Face-to-face Interview


The face-to-face interview polarises opinions as to its real value in the hiring process. From huge corporations down to the smallest start-ups, every company uses interviewing in its many compositions to form the bulk of its recruiting rationale.

Even though the interview is seen by many as an imperfect (though necessary) evil, there is no sign of a feasible alternative replacing it any time soon. On this basis alone, it is still imperative that your small business can build a robust, engaging and repeatable interview process that yields results both in terms of hiring outcomes and candidate experience.

We’ve put together a list of 6 practical tactics and strategic considerations to implement and bear in mind every time you’re interviewing a potential new employee.

1) Be creative in your phraseology

Unless you are recruiting for an absolute rookie, it is likely that the candidate in front of you has been interviewed before, and even if they haven’t, they can prepare easily for rudimentary questions through some brief online research. If you exercise some individuality and originality in your questioning style, you can put candidates outside their comfort zone and stimulate them to respond authentically and with originality. Using this method, you are much more likely to learn about the candidate’s psyche rather than listening to what they’ve managed to prepare and rehearse.

2) Ask open questions

It’s an obvious one. Open questions require independent thought, quick thinking and improvisation. Over and above the answer, open question responses tell you how this candidate solves problems and constructs arguments under pressure.

3) Remember you are a small business

Remember to look outside of the narrow job function when making assessments and judgements on a candidate’s capability. Small business employees, in particular, are often required to wear many different hats. By designing appropriate behavioural questions, you can learn how the candidate will fit in with your entire environment, not just their immediate job role.

4) Be inquisitive, and a little bit tough

Dig deeply into your candidate’s answers and demand a lot. Never get lost in the artificiality of the interview process and continually remind yourself of what is at stake. You need this person to play a role in allowing you to compete with much larger businesses. Don’t let them off easily, and make sure that you judge their credentials and responses on how you see them fit into your big picture.

5) Consensus should be reached by objective means

Avoid having your stakeholders immediately spring into conversation upon completion of the interview. In the minutes immediately following that, each interviewer should review and summarise their notes and begin to form their own conclusions prior to the debate. This way the conversation will have a maximum number of perspectives unfettered by any external influences.

6) Build in effective resistance to biases

Beware biases. Not only is it natural, but it is also 100% inevitable that you will form them when you meet your interviewee. Various studies have found that within only 10 seconds traditional interviews have morphed from an objective fact-finding mission into a quest to confirm an intuitively reached hypothesis – a phenomenon known as confirmation bias. Keep this potential pitfall in mind and include interview techniques which yield objectively measurable results, such as structured interviewing questions, work sample tests (if applicable), etc.


Since its inception in 2000 Guided Solutions has placed 8500+ candidates in more than 500 medical device companies across 37 countries, and counting.

We identify and recruit medical device specialists at all seniority levels, enabling our clients to connect with associate through to board level talent.

Visit our website to find out how our comprehensive range of search & selection services can help your business reach its potential.