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For any candidate that comes to interview at your business, it's imperative that you sell to them. There is a talent for war out there. I know it's an overused cliche, but there are as many good people in the market in 2013 as they were in 2005.

How do we go about doing that? Firstly, put the candidate at ease by showing that you've actually taken some interest in reading their CV beforehand. Have a look through their career history, bring out some points which perhaps need elaborating on and some gaps to probe and question. I find it helps to have a look at their hobbies and interests just so that during the first five minutes of the meeting when you're just kind of sounding each other out, you've got some common ground to talk about.

When you start the meeting, set the agenda. This meeting will take 45 minutes, an hour, whatever. Invite them to ask questions. A great interview is when it's two-way, when they're asking questions, you're asking questions, and it's a two-way conversation.

It's imperative that you're able to articulate, in perhaps a minute, the fantastic reasons why a great candidate wants to join your business. Similarly, why somebody would want to work in this specific role. You need to explain the reason for the vacancy but at the same time, you don't want to badmouth the previous employee that's left the role.

One of the real things that will help you interviewing is planning beforehand. Take half a day or at least a couple of hours out to set up a set interview format with questions to follow and a form. It will ease you which means that your personality will come across to the candidate a lot more. By having a set structure it also means that you've got direction, you've got structure, and obviously, great candidates want to see that in a new employer.

Make notes throughout the meeting so that you've got them to refer back to when you're comparing one candidate against another, maybe in a few days time, that you've got those notes to refresh yourself. And I think it's actually a far more powerful way to interview is to have two separate interviewers in two separate rooms interviewing separately, making notes, comparing and contrasting, than having two interviewers in the same room interviewing one candidate.

Finally, when you finish the meeting, invite further questions and really sort of explain the process from now on, but put a deadline on the recruitment process that I will revert to you within 48 hours with a decision as to whether it's going to move forward. So remember, it's as imperative for you to sell to the candidate as it is for the candidate to sell to you to ensure that you can acquire the very best sales talent for your business.


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