Interview Processes & Employment Law

By Amanda Beattie
28 Oct 2019

The interview process is understandably a nerve-wracking experience for interviewees. While getting to that stage is an impressive achievement, it’s only half the battle.

The process can also be a lengthy one for you as an employer. It’ll involve the vetting of candidates, conducting phone and in-person interviews, following up with them and much more.

In this piece, we’ll explore the process of conducting interviews. We’ll go through the different hiring strategy options you have and explore essential interview questions.


What is the interview process?

It’s a multifaceted approach to hiring new employees. Methods vary depending on the industry or role you’re recruiting for, but the process largely remains the same.

An effective interview process starts with a phone screening. Here you’ll get a general idea about the candidates’ knowledge and weed out those that don’t meet the criteria. At this stage, all you want to do is to identify those whose skills match what you’re looking for.

The next step is the in-person meeting, a more traditional mode of interview. Here you’ll develop on the phone interview. You’ll ask questions that relate to:

  • Their ability to do the job
  • How they work as part of a team
  • How they’ll fit in with the organisation
  • How enthusiastic about they are about the job

Some businesses may even have a meet and greet interview process where the candidates talk to members of the team they could work with.

This so you can get a sense of how they might get on and fit into the culture.


Different types of interviews in the selection process

It’s important to consider the style and type of interview before meeting any applicants. Think about who’ll interview the potential candidate, the time, length and logistics.

Within certain areas, HR professionals found the traditional methods of interviewing are proving ineffective.

According to the Global Talent Trends 2019, traditional interviews are bad for assessing candidate soft skills. They also leave room for bias.

With that in mind, some organisations now have innovative interview processes where candidates:

  • Audition for a day to see how they fit in
  • Fill out surveys
  • Play mini-games
  • Meet in casual settings
  • VR assessments
  • Video interviews

While some may consider it a long interview process, it’s said to be more effective to weed out those that aren’t right for the role.

By conducting creative interviews, you’re ensuring applicants are genuinely interested in the role and not just applying for every job.

During the recruitment process, interview questions must adhere to legislation surrounding fair treatment and discrimination.

Some examples of interview question include:

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your long-term goals/where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What can you bring to the company that other candidates can’t?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What experiences will help you in the role?

While questions aim to reveal details about the applicant, they must also be pertinent to the role.

This means avoiding questions relating to their family commitments, marital status or any long-term medical conditions unless it’s relevant to the job or they choose to bring it up.

After all, unsuccessful applicants may claim that they suffered discrimination by not being selected due to their responses to these questions.

When it comes to employment law even during the interview process, remember the Equality Act 2010 protects individuals. If in doubt as to what that covers, refer to our previous piece on the nine characteristics protected under the law.

It’s worth noting, an internal interview process may differ deepening on whether you’re recruiting both internal and externally.

If you’re only considering internal candidates for a role, you might not even need a formal interview. It can be more of a conversation to discuss their suitability for the role.

In the final stages of the interview process, you’ll already have a clear idea of the type of person they are and whether you’ll hire them. Whether they get the job or not, it’s important to provide closure, you can do this by:

  • Offering the qualified candidate the job.
  • Informing them of further interviews or the next step in the hiring process.
  • Promptly informing the candidates that didn’t make it.

Because of the importance of these interviews in the hiring process, at the end of it, consider requesting feedback on the interview process from all applicants.

No matter which interview method you use, this allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses in the system and take steps to improve the experience for all involved.


Expert support

For help with this complex issue or any other area in employment law, call us for immediate assistance on 0808 145 3380.

About the Author

Amanda Beattie

Amanda represents corporate clients and large public bodies, including complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Amanda also drafts and delivers bespoke training regarding all aspects of employment law, including ‘mock tribunal’ events; in addition she also frequently drafts employment law articles for various publications for Croner and their clients.

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