Our senior recruiter approached me the other day. She had a big smile on her face and when I asked, what she was so pleased about, she told me about an extremely positive experience: A candidate who had been rejected for a certain position, had told her that although he had not received a job offer, he considered the interview and the interview situation as the best he had ever experienced.

When I asked her to explain her approach and what she had done in the specific interview, she said the following:

The purpose of a job interview is to find out, if a candidate is qualified, motivated and experienced to perform in the given role.
The interview approach needs to be structured, but not mechanical, meaning that you should have a certain range of questions that you need the candidate(s) to answer, but you need to give space and time to the candidate to answer.  

Here’s an example:

If you want to know, if a candidate is a decision-maker, you should not ask “are you a good decision-maker?” (and what does ‘good’ mean), but ask the candidate to describe work situations, work behavior and improvement efforts, so that you as a recruiter – and the hiring manager – get a fuller picture of the candidate’s experience, actions, reflections. “Have you ever had to make difficult decisions?”, “describe the situation”, “what made the decision difficult”? “how did you prepare?”, “what was the outcome?”, “what did you learn?”.

A simple step that, granted, takes some practice but will help you ensure a good-quality interview and help you improve your employer branding.