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“You will never have a second chance to make a first impression” - and this general truth is taking place not only for the employees but also for recruiters. 

The skill of a good interviewer will come with time, but how to prepare for your first job interview as a recruiter and how it feels to be on the other side of a job interview. Take a look at some tricks which will help you conduct your first interview as a recruiter in the best way.  

You were a job applicant too

Some time ago, you were definitely looking for a job and going through job interviews, excellent or not. Refresh them in memory and note some exciting and unique questions that made the conversation pleasant. If you have an unpleasant experience with interviews, remember what you did not like to avoid now.

Come as a guest to the interview with a skilled recruiter/colleague

If you have an opportunity to listen to a job interview with your colleague, you should probably do this. You can visit someone’s interview only with the candidate’s consent, and your presence should not disturb anyone. Just say hello at the interview's beginning, and thank the candidate for the opportunity to listen. Make notes during the job interview that can be handy in your work.

Have a clear understanding of the vacancy and learn the requirements carefully

It may seem obvious, but yet is of great importance. The more you can explicitly define the role and the qualities you’re looking for in a candidate, the easier you’ll know what to ask during the interview. 

It’s good to have a plan

After obtaining the interviewing practice, you'll be able to do it without any notes. Meanwhile, even skilled recruiters usually have a list of job interview questions. So, having a plan will help you feel more comfortable and calm and not forget anything during your first job interview. Of course, you cannot predict all the questions from the candidate but can be ready for most of them.

You can put all meetings with candidates in order directly in an ATS. It allows you to set up work days available for meetings, time sloths per day, meeting duration, number of meetings per day, and buffer time.

Begin the interviewing practice with inter/junior position

If you are a junior, let your first job interview be with a junior/intern specialist. They will be scared as much as you. Joke:) But it still makes sense. There is a high chance that the conversation will go by your plan, and you'll fully headline it. As a plus, you will also be less scared and nervous knowing that candidate is on the same level as you are.

Meet the personality of a candidate before the interview

The candidate's CV will give you a general background of the work and education but is not enough. It is not a secret that social media are tools to investigate the candidate's personality and interests and help recruiters have a view beyond the resume. Yet, etiquette comes first, so screening social media profiles is the way to have an impression about the person, not the desire to speak about too personal themes in the job interview.

Be a fan of your company

To do a good job interview, you should know company strengths and be able to present them to the candidate. It’s always a bit of selling a job and a company for a candidate during the interview.  

Add to your interview prepared engaging information about the company, plans, and activities. And for sure don’t forget about general facts.


Take care of your comfort

Prepare a comfortable place for making your first job interview. Nothing should make you nervous or interfere. As for the online interviews, find a place with a good internet connection or noises that can disturb you. Also, take care of the atmosphere in the room to reduce stress - сool air and glass of water to help you reduce the stress. Then, at least, you can tell the candidate about the first interview in your job experience. 

Power of listening

Your main goal in the interview is to listen. So here it can be a rule for 80/20: 80% listening and 20% talking.  

You risk leading candidates to give answers you want to hear by talking too much. For the same reason, you should avoid giving explicitly positive or negative responses to anything the candidate says. In most cases, thanking them for their answer is the best response.

Notes, notes, and again notes

Highlight anything that seems essential or caught your attention. It’s a high chance that trying to keep the information in mind won’t work in the first and subsequent interviews. However, the hiring process can take time, and notes will help you remember the interview and candidate details. Also, notes are handy when communicating with a hiring manager, team leads, and others to keep and share the information.

Additional resources

Systematizing data with specialized software allows you to control recruitment processes in real-time, including open vacancies, job requests, scheduling interviews, etc.

Axterior online recruitment platform is a good assistant in your recruitment tasks. You can manage and control the whole job pipeline there. At the same time, you will not have to burden employees with the collection of reports and analytics; all of this will already be displayed on the platform and available for use.

The life after the first job interview

Well, you did it! And it’s the beginning of a new chapter in your work routine! Of course, the more different interviews will take place, the more skilled you will become. 

Don’t forget keeping in touch with your candidate and give feedback on time.


Thus, the first interview isn’t so scary if you have considered all the details and prepared well. Don't rely on luck and the rule of thumb! Learn all these tips since they resulted from the personal experience and will be handy, for sure. 

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