It’s your job to know your people inside out.   Talk to them, take an interest in who they are and know why they’re where they are. Why are they working for your company? Why are they in your industry? What do they want long term?

This starts from the moment they step into interview. For a well prepared candidate, answering these questions in interview can be easy. You need to go beyond their typical interview answers to find out what makes them tick.


The word ‘why’ is definitely a favourite word to use when interviewing. You can ask the same question multiple times if I was unconvinced of an candidate’s initial answer. Although this can be quite intimidating for the candidate, you don’t want someone who can’t handle it! You want to know the full story that brought them to the seat in front of you.

Since we focus on the recruitment of graduates, 80% of our answers would be buzzword heavy stock lines from some careers website. You can’t blame the candidates, the majority of universities leave their graduates woefully underprepared for interviews and the professional work environment. So, it’s up to you to coax the real answers out of them.

In sales, to be successful one of your driving factors must be success in some form. That could simply be commission, or hitting targets or something more tangible like being able to purchase this or that based on their own work.

Hence, from this point, part of the interview then becomes an exercise is establishing their real motivation for being there – do they want to save to buy a house? A new car? Baby on the way and need to work hard to pay for it? Focussing on this at the start of the interview results in those unsuitable candidates being weeded out quicker and, for those successful candidates, you now have a real idea of why they’re there.

It can take a long time. Our average interviews lasted about 3-4 hours but at the end you’re already a good way to that person doing well in your business. You can build on the knowledge and respect you’ve gained from taking to time to understand the person, not just what they write on a CV.

Knowing your staff and establishing strong bonds is essential; it will help you with salary negotiations, rewarding, reprimanding, the list is endless! Most importantly, starting from interview onwards, you can tailor their journey whilst in your employment and help them to fulfill their goals whilst ensuring that you have the right person in the right spot.


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UK based recruitment agency, Finsbury Education, igniting the careers of teachers, lecturers, leaders and education support staff. If you are looking for your next career move, contact us to find out how we can help.