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6 Clever Interview Techniques for Manufacturing Employers

interview questions

6 Clever Interview Techniques for Manufacturing Employers

When it’s time to interview the shortlist of candidates for your vacancy. You need all the help you can get to ensure you eventually make the ‘right’ hire.

Interviewing is a skill, and just because you are in a managerial position, that doesn’t mean that interviewing comes naturally to you.

Likewise, just because you’ve been interviewing for years, this doesn’t mean that your technique doesn’t need honing.

Today, we share 6 Clever Interview Techniques to help you make the best possible hire from your shortlist of manufacturing applicants.

1. Review Your Company Mission and Vision

Companies with the most robust culture attract the best candidates; it’s a fact.

Reviewing your company vision and mission might be a case of refreshing your memory of the values and attributes that your business aspires to. But it could also be a case of rewriting them entirely.

Since the pandemic and the shake-up to businesses caused. Many companies are finding that their mission and vision have changed. Is this true in your business?

For example, in some food manufacturers, communication between employees in weekly in-person meetings might have once been an essential part of their business strategy. But since the role of remote working, this is no longer the case.

Does your business recognise and appreciate the need for flexibility to allow for remote working, which is more vital than ever?

Before the interview process starts, the first thing to do is to review your company vision and mission statement for our post-pandemic world.

2. Get Familiar with the Job description

In an ideal world, you will have written the job description yourself and inherently understand what you need from your new hire, but this is not always the case.

There can be several people involved in the recruitment process in larger companies. So everyone involved must know what you are looking for in your new manufacturing role. This is communicated to candidates at every stage.

Especially now in our ever-changing world, the position you are hiring for might be an entirely new role for the company. Do you know the exact skills and attributes you are looking for?

3. Work to a Method

Interviewing candidates can be an emotionally-charged experience for both the employee and the employer.

Many interviewers bypass red flags and go with their ‘gut feeling’. But this is not the best way to hire the right talent for your food manufacturing business.

For every interview to have the best outcome, you must work to a method and stick to it. This means:

  • Choose your questions carefully, and don’t deviate. You can ask additional questions that might crop up in your mind at the end of the planned questions. This gives all candidates a fair interview.
  • Practice your note-taking – taking accurate notes is an essential quality for all interviewers to have.
  • Use a scale to rate candidate answers. You can give a score out of 10, or use ‘excellent’ to ‘poor’ at the end of each solution to remind you when you are looking back over your notes.

6 Clever Interview Techniques

4. Be Compassionate

Interviews can be daunting, and this is something that interviewers and hiring managers can become desensitised to, especially if they have a lot of experience conducting interviews.

Showing compassion and consideration instead of the stony managerial tone some interviewers adopt will benefit both the employee and yourself.

Candidates perform much better in interviews when they feel at ease, so make sure they feel relaxed is a great way to see the actual candidate and allow their best self to shine through.

So, don’t be continually testing the candidate or focusing on negativity and flaws to try and ‘catch them out. Instead, keep it positive, even if you plan on asking the dreaded ‘what’s your greatest weakness?’ question (we will look at interview questions in the next section).

Take your time, and allow the candidate to take theirs – allow enough time for a good conversation, don’t aim to get them in and out in 20 minutes.

And finally – smile!

5. Get Your Questions Right

There are certain interview question stereotypes, which it is best to avoid if you want better interview outcomes.

There are standard questions that many interviewers ask, such as ‘what will you bring to the role’, ‘tell us what you know about our company and of course, ‘what is your greatest weakness.

But for a great interview, there are some questions to introduce, which can give impressive results.

Try asking the candidate to explain a passion of theirs to you – it can be work-related or not. This will allow them to demonstrate their communication skills and their love – it brings them out of their shell and shows you how effective they are at communicating ideas to a layperson.

Another great question right now is to ask how they coped with the Covid-19 crisis, either at home or at work. We all had to make changes to our lives and routines – did they take it in their stride, or did they find it hard to adjust quickly to new ways of living and working?

Additionally, aim to curate an interview environment that feels like a conversation rather than an interrogation – this will put candidates at ease and makes the interview experience more pleasant and productive for everyone involved.

6. Candidate Aftercare

So finally, in my 6 Clever Interview Techniques for Food Manufacturers.

Ensure that you treat each candidate, even unsuccessful ones, as you would a customer, even after the interview process.

This is an excellent way of looking after your talent pipeline – candidates who are suitable but unsuccessful on this occasion will be inclined to apply again if they come out of the experience with a positive view of your company.

Respond to candidates promptly – this goes for successful and unsuccessful candidates both during and after the interview process.

Encourage unsuccessful candidates to apply again, and you can even keep in touch on LinkedIn, where you can share food manufacturing information and updates about your business.

As for the successful candidate – congratulations on your new hire; now it’s time to get them onboarded successfully.


So those are my 6 Clever Interview Techniques For Food Manufacturers.

If you are looking to employ new talent into your manufacturing organisation and you need help attracting the right talent – we can help.

For more information on how we can help you recruit the high-performing individuals you need, get in touch with us on 07835426149 email us here [email protected] or connect with me on LinkedIn

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Scott Williams

Scott Williams

I’m an independent owner of Food Recruit - Search & Selection. Passionate about the Food Manufacturing industry having spent time as a Supply Chain Manager and Business Development Manager for two of the UK’s largest meat importers. High Care, Low Care, Chilled and Ambient I have worked across all markets including B2B, Foodservice, Wholesale and Retail.

I fell into recruitment in 2016 to start a Food & Drink desk in a long-standing Engineering Recruitment business in the West Midlands. Progressing on to Business Development Manager covering multiple markets before starting my own agency in September 2020.