The 5 Cs before you interview candidates

Claire Brennan, Talent Partner & Director at Singular Talent

By Claire Brennan, Talent Partner & Director at Singular Talent

A lot of time is spent by leaders, executives and hiring managers on interviewing. But when did you last review how you prepared before attending an interview?

It’s worth considering. Not only will it maximise your valuable time but we’ve found that much repeated recruitment processes (such as interviewing) are often led by habit. Revisiting your technique and using a simple systematic approach can reap rewards.

Here are five things to think about - the five Cs of successful interviewing:

1. CV reading

Reading the CV before the interview sets you up to make a great hiring decision. Assess which areas stand out to get a picture of the candidate’s strengths.

Any skills lacking you may want to probe?

2. Criteria

It’s very important to remind yourself of the key criteria for the role. If you don’t know what you are looking for, it makes it very difficult to find.

3. Competencies

Consider the competencies.

If you don’t know what competencies you are seeking, it makes it harder for you to delve under the surface. Doing so helps you to gain a full picture of the candidate’s strengths.

4. Consult

Have feedback sessions with others who were involved in the recruitment process. This helps decision making not being based on opinion and can reduce unconscious bias.

It’s important to go into an interview with an open mind. Speaking to others can unearth what intel they gained in phone calls, interviews or other contact.

This helps fill gaps in the knowledge that the hiring team and organisation have of the individual. It gives focus on what you need to cover in your interview.

5. Company image

View the interview as much an opportunity to impress the candidate and represent your employer brand as it is to find out more about the individual you're interviewing.

You’d not be impressed if they turned up unprepared. Hold yourself up to the same standards.

Your approach will be remembered and often talked about by candidates to their network.  The type of employer you are perceived as goes far beyond the interview.

_5c's interviewer prep guide with logo


Making hiring better for biotech companies and candidates is what we love to do. Why? Because it's a bustling market. Candidates are flooded with unskilled approaches.
This causes in-attention. But it doesn't need to be like this. We cut through the noise. And tell your story. Making the right impact. With the right candidate.

Singular Talent