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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for Your Next Candidate Interview

5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for Your Next Candidate Interview

Interviewing potential employees allows you to assess someone’s fit with your company while also allowing the candidate to evaluate your company as a potential employer. Hiring the right person is critical to your time and success.

There are a few do's and don’ts to keep in mind to ensure that both sides walk away feeling good about the decisions made in the hiring process.

5 Do’s When Interviewing

1. Use a Validated Talent Assessment

Always use a Validated Talent Assessment to ensure that a candidate has the innate ability to excel in the role you are filling. Talent Assessments provide insight into what comes naturally to someone and what may not. This allows for the round peg, round hole hiring method. You can’t make someone something they are not, so finding out what is instinctual puts you a step ahead.

How Sales Talent Assessments are Used for Both Recruiting and Coaching

2. Have Realistic Expectations

Although you may have a list of what a perfect candidate looks like, it is important to be realistic in your expectations. They may have all the talent in the world, but do those talents align with your goals for the role?

In a time when finding top talent is harder than ever, ensuring you are setting someone up for success is important. Also, consider the person who will manage them. Does their work style align? Without the right coach in place, they may not achieve their true potential.

3. Prepare with Real-life Scenarios

To uncover more about how someone would react to certain situations in a role, consider creating real-life scenarios you can share with them. Ask how they would handle something if encountered. This will allow you to assess how they work in situations you face often.

4. Make People Feel Important

Preparing to be interviewed can be nerve-racking. People can be on edge, and it is important for you to put them at ease. Letting them know you value their time helps set the stage for a successful conversation. Remembering their experience as a positive one is something that will separate you from the crowd.  

Why the Most Successful Companies Hire for Culture Fit

5. Ensure the Culture Fit is Right

You believe you have found your person, but ask yourself if they fit your culture. They can be uber-talented, and come with a load of experience, but what if they don’t align with your company's core values?

If Integrity is a core value for you, take time to explore this in your candidate. Craft and ask questions that allow you to see if this person will act with Integrity in this role. Bringing someone into the fold who adds, not detracts, from your culture is paramount to your success.

And 5 Don’ts When Interviewing

1. Don’t Be Late

Make a positive first impression right away. There is nothing worse than preparing for an interview than to be kept waiting. It shows a lack of respect for a candidate and sets the tone for their time with you. People want to feel important, and being on time makes someone feel your time is well spent with them.

2. Don’t Make Assumptions

Do not make assumptions based on someone’s appearance or factors that relate to age, gender, or race. Evaluate them on their qualifications and their ability to fit into your job role. Go into your conversation with a clean slate and let them share their story along the way.

Understanding Talent and Fit with Better Interview Questions

3. Don’t Interrupt or Talk too Much or Be Dismissive of Their Ideas

Some people take longer than others to process questions. It doesn’t mean their answers won’t be fantastic; it just means they may need a bit more time. Let the candidate finish speaking before you ask additional questions. Sometimes, your silence will allow them to open up even more to you.

4. Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

Sadly, I’ve read a lot lately on how hiring leaders are overpromising to get a candidate to accept their offer. Do not get caught in this trap. People want a clear path and have expectations of you and your company. There is nothing worse than beginning a new job and learning that you made a mistake due to misinformation. You are working hard to find the best people, so make sure to be clear on what you can and can’t do for them during the interview process so that they will stay with you.

5. Don’t Forget to Follow Up

Always follow up with the next steps in the process. Whether they are going to proceed in your candidate queue or not. Share feedback with them or leave them with their Top Talent Report if possible. Having them walk away feeling good about your company is important, even if they do not get the open position.


Add a few best practices to your interviewing regimen. You were once a candidate yourself, so remember what made your experience a good one. Do things that will make the candidate feel important and change things up that may not have been top of mind to you before. Finding top candidates is hard, so make sure to treat them well as you uncover if their fit is right for you.

 Talent is only a strength when the fit is right.

Topics: selection hiring for culture fit