Interview planning for Employers

interview planning

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As an employer you have shortlisted your applicants for the big day of interviews. What are the essentials to make sure that your big day goes on very well? Four essential components to be mindful of are: your venue and setup, panel, questioning structure, and post interview. This framework will help you have a successful and hitch free interview session.

1.0 Set up the interview space

The first step to planning your interview is to ensure that you have adequately set up the space for interviewing. Will the interview take place in the office or somewhere outside the office or will it be virtual using collaborative internet tools? Be sure to set up the interviewing space well in advance of the interviewing day. Determine the sitting arrangement and other instruments that will be needed. For interviews that require presentations make sure to provide projectors and other props to make interview successful.

interview plan

2.0 Interview panel

It is important to determine the panel of interviewers to inform them well in advance and to have any meetings prior to the interview. Choose you interview panel carefully. The interview panel could be made up to personnel for inside or outside of the organization.


Set up the panel quickly and inform them on the role each person will play and have discussions around the interview arrangement.  In choosing your panel have persons with technical knowledge of the position, HR experience and choose people with integrity who will not corrupt the process.


Inform interview panelist at least a week to the event to enable them to prepare and that you can collaborate with to deliver a successful interview.

3.0 Interview Question Framework

The questions for the interview should be organized along the core competencies, technical requirements, and values of the job. The interview questions should touch on the following core areas:

  • Interviewee profile
  • Motivation for the job
  • Problem solving
  • Competency based questions
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Feedback


Interviewee profile questions

Your questions should be around knowing the interviewee profile in terms of the professional, educational, major contributions and goals. The questions can be asked individually at these areas or generally ask for the candidate to tell about themselves. Here are some sample questions around this area:

  1. What are your career goals?
  2. Tell us about yourself?
  3. What is your background and experience?


Motivation interview questions

Another important questioning area is around testing the motivation of the candidate. It is centered why an applicant is interested in the job and organization. Here are some questions that you can ask around this area:

  1. Why are you interested in the position you applied for?
  2. How can you make a difference in the role you applied?
  3. What is your motivation for applying for this position?


Problem solving interview questions


Another core question area is to ask about their past experiences solving problems and getting things done. This type of question can be asked either hypothetically or for a specific example from their working life. Some questions you can ask to test problem solving are:

  1. When you are faced with a problem, what do you do?
  2. Describe a time when you faced an unexpected challenge at work.
  3. How do you weigh the pros and cons before making a decision?
  4. How would you handle a disgruntled or dissatisfied customer?
  5. What metrics do you track on a regular basis? How do you use the information to adjust your approach?



interview questions

Competency based questions

A key type of interview questions is usually around competencies based around real world scenarios. These types of questions will test how specific competencies are used in the real world by asking interviewees to tell of a time they displayed a particular competency. Some competency questions that can be asked are:

  • Describe a situation in which you led a team.
  • Give an example of a time you handled conflict in the workplace.
  • How do you maintain good working relationships with your colleagues?
  • Tell me about a big decision you’ve made recently. How did you go about it?
  • What has been your biggest achievement to date?
  • Describe a project where you had to use different leadership styles to reach your goal.
  • Tell me about a time when your communication skills improved a situation.
  • How do you cope in adversity?
  • Give me an example of a challenge you faced in the workplace and tell me how you overcame it.
  • Tell me about a time when you showed integrity and professionalism.
  • How do you influence people in a situation with conflicting agendas?
  • Give an example of a situation where you solved a problem in a creative way.
  • Tell me about a time that you made a decision and then changed your mind.
  • Describe a situation where you were asked to do something that you’d never attempted previously.
  • Tell me about a time when you achieved success even when the odds were stacked against you.

Interpersonal skills questions

The interpersonal skills questions seek to test how a candidate works in a team. It tests communication and maintaining relations for effectiveness and productivity in the workplace. Some questions to ask around interpersonal skills are:

1. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a coworker you did not like or trust.

2. What would you consider as a conflict situation in the workplace and how do you navigate it?

3. How would the people you have worked with describe you? 

4. How do you build relationships in the workplace? 

Wrap up question

Before an interview ends it is good to give the interviewee an opportunity to ask questions. Here is where you ask the interviewee to ask any questions of the panel.


4.0 Post interview

It is good to give information on the expectations after the interview. For instance, are there other stages of the interview process or will the applicant need to complete some task after the interview. Outline how and when successful applicants will be contacted and any other information.

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Nicholas Guribie
Nicholas Guribie

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