Doing Interview Checklists the Right Way

Last Updated: April 27, 2024

Doing Interview Checklists the Right Way

As a human resource specialist, part of your job is to make sure every detail is exhumed from the applicant. Yes. Every single piece of evidence that could help you determine if the person is qualified for the job post. Attention to detail is critical in this line of work.

To play the role of a recruitment specialist, you need to equip yourself with the necessary skills and abilities. You also need to be very precise in throwing questions and determining whether the person is telling the truth or not. As a precaution, you should use a checklist as a guide throughout the interview.


What Is an Interview Checklist?

The most anxious feeling—aside from standing at the edge of a tall building 1000 feet above the ground—is when you are in a room alone with the recruitment specialist in a job interview. That was quite a vivid simile, I might say. But, honestly, most of us who have been through a job interview has also, probably, had that tense moment. But as the experts say, confidence is the key.

One way to fight this interview fright is to prepare an interview checklist. For an applicant, an interview checklist could be defined as a list that contains a series of questions and planned answers as well as the appropriate responses and behavior in an interview. A human resource specialist, on the other hand, could still have slightly the same definition about what an interview checklist is.

For the latter, it is a record of the questions to be thrown at the applicant. It could also work as well as a sheet to jot down the responses. They use this as a basis to assess and determine the interviewee’s suitability for the job. An interview checklist is a device to make sure that the interview is successful and to avoid missing out on important details that could be of vital significance.

How Important is an Interview Checklist?

This question might sound a little bit silly, but it is something that bothered me while writing this article so I might as well dig a little deeper on it. To provide you, my dear readers, a more vivid explanation of how helpful an interview checklist is, I have conducted an interview with one of my friends in the human resource industry whose identity I cannot divulge for confidentiality purposes. What I will be presenting are the highlights of our conversation.

An interview checklist is somehow considered as the go-to cheat sheet by a recruitment specialist. It provides you a guide for a better flow of conversation and to avoid repeating the same questions over and over again. There is also a funny side in bringing a checklist during an interview; a little experiment was performed to see how applicants would react upon the sight of a paper on hand. At times when the interview’s checklist is visible, and you look at it from time to time, the applicant seems a little intimidated and stiffer. On the other hand, without a checklist, the applicant appears more confident and expressive.

While it is good to have a conversational approach and keep a friendly tone, it is not an effective way to conduct an interview in hiring the best candidates. Because those who can compose themselves under pressure and maintain logical and straight responses are the ones, who are most likely to be successful and passionate about the job. With an interview checklist, you can prepare questions that are most relevant while at the same time, focus on the behavior and attitude of the applicant.

Another use of an interview checklist is that you can finish the interview on time once all the questions are asked, and you have enough information to come up with a decision.


The interview checklist is just one of the many ways to make the recruitment process a success. It is a simple list to guide you, the interviewer, in choosing the best candidate most suited for the job. However, never underestimate what it can do because most failures come from simply ignoring how things work.

No matter how difficult the job may seem, always be positive, and appreciate the value of your work. Knowing what questions to ask during an interview does not only benefit you and the company, but you are also providing an opportunity to help the applicant get the job they have been longing to have.


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