Should The Interview Process For Senior Agency Positions Differ From Junior Ones

The events of the last 18 months have changed the recruitment landscape. 

Business and career uncertainty have resulted in fewer people wanting to change jobs, and as a result there is ever more competition between firms seeking exceptional candidates for senior roles. 

Never has it been more important to get your interviewing process right to ensure good candidates won’t lose interest and look elsewhere. Assuming the sole point of interviewing is all about assessing candidates will set you off on the wrong 

track. What are the key factors in conducting an efficient, engaging, and purposeful interview with a senior candidate? 

Be Prepared

You need to fully understand the role and what attributes are most likely to be associated with it. Doing so will help you to compile the right questions to ensure you really understand your candidate, what they are capable of and what they have achieved. Questions about strengths and weaknesses are secondary at senior level; it’s about achievements, performance under stress, resourcefulness, problem solving 

and outcomes. Asking questions around these factors will ensure you engage with the candidate. Most prefer to talk about real-life/ 

work experiences and it’s a great way for you to get to know them and determine how good a fit they are against your predetermined criteria. 

Make it Enjoyable

Most candidates, regardless of seniority, will experience some level of anxiety at the 

prospect of being interviewed, so it’s important to put them at ease. Make eye contact and try to find a topic of shared interest to establish 

a rapport. Setting the scene so the candidate understands the type of questions coming up and the reasons for those questions will help them relax. Making them feel comfortable will foster a professional and productive 

conversation during which you should be able to better understand their communication skills, passion, and potential. 

Sell the Opportunity 

Assuming all is going well, and the candidate looks to be a potential fit, it’s a good idea to tell them so - what better way to keep them 

engaged? Make sure you present the positives of the opportunity and the company and ask for confirmation that they have fully understood 

- now is the time to dispel any doubts on their part. Equally, be honest and don’t promise what you can’t deliver. 

Senior vs Junior - the differences 

The general principles of interviewing remain the same irrespective of the level of the role. That said, each interview process should be personalised to suit the position. The differences come in the depth of questioning an interviewer will use and usually the time spent on the interview. 

Senior hires often have a greater impact on the business, and therefore recruiting them carries more risk. Greater scrutiny is required as they will be expected to be up and running and contributing to the business as quickly as possible. Therefore, it’s even more important to accurately assess levels of experience, attitudes, and skillsets. 

Let’s not forget that senior roles command higher salaries and getting it wrong can be a costly affair. This level of scrutiny will not be achieved over the course of a single interview and will often involve meeting other members of the organisation. 

Interviewing for junior roles is different because the candidates may have limited experience to draw upon. However, junior candidates can still be assessed for attitudes and behaviours by drawing on life experiences. It is also important to 

remember that although they are being interviewed for a junior position with a relatively modest job specification, they should still be assessed on their potential to grow within the business and take on more senior roles in the future. 

Reuben Sinclair can tailor a hiring process for your organisation to suit the role and experience of the candidate required. 

Whatever your requirements, contact us today and experience a better way to recruit with confidence and certainty. 

020 3826 1206