Coaching and mentoringAs every employer knows, hiring the right graduate to fill a job vacancy can have a huge impact on the morale, productivity and effectiveness of a team and help to drive innovation and development within a business.

However, finding the right candidate is easier said than done with many employers failing to ask the right questions, or look for the right answers, when it comes to interviews.

So if you’re an ambitious employer looking to add a dynamic and energetic graduate to your team, here are the most effective and informative interview innovations around.

Group interviews

Though group interviews have been around for a while now, they are still an informative and fascinating way to interview job applicants, offering a fantastic insight into your potential employees’ communication, delegation and leadership capabilities.

How you conduct your group interview will depend on what exactly you’re looking to learn from the exercise, but discussions, problem solving exercises and debates are all good ways to learn more about your candidates and assess their suitability for the role.

However, it’s important to remember that it’s not always the graduate that talks the most or the one that shows the most leadership skills who will be the right choice, with quieter and more thoughtful candidate often proving to be better employees in the long run.

A useful technique you could employ next time you’re looking to fill a graduate role is to have another member of staff conduct the group interview and not take part in it directly yourself.

This will allow you to observe your potential employees without becoming distracted by the interview process and can produce fascinating results.

Quirky questions

Big organisations like Google have famously used quirky interview questions to throw candidates off guard and assess their ability to think on their feet.

Though asking interviewees ‘how many cows are in Canada?’ (Google) or ‘what song best describes your work ethic?’ (Dell) may not work for everyone; it can be a useful way to get to know your potential employee and to see how they react in unexpected situations.

CV blind interviews

One interview technique that is currently growing in popularity is the CV blind interview where employers don’t see a copy of the candidates CV at any point during the interview process.

The main rationale behind this technique is that it avoids any bias towards applicants with Oxbridge or private school backgrounds, instead forcing the interviewer to focus on the candidate in front of them and what they bring to the interview.

This technique helps employers focus on the attributes, personality and communication skills of the interviewee.

As long as another trusted employee or co-worker has checked the applicant’s CV to ensure that they are qualified for the role, this technique can be very successful in finding the right graduate for a given role.

Video interviews

Like group interviews, video interviews have been around for a while, especially in cases where the candidate is located at a significant distance from the office.

As the candidate will most likely be in their own home or a setting familiar to them during the interview, this is a good opportunity to assess how quickly or easily they can be become distracted by the things going on around them.

Look out for wandering eyes, surreptitious internet surfing and any other indication that the applicant’s attention is not fully focused on your interview.

Any candidates that struggle to concentrate during something as important as an interview are either indifferent about the position on offer or may find it difficult to focus on the work if hired.

Project based interviews

If your company relies on creativity, innovation and forward thinking, a good way to asses your potential employees is by having them complete a project of your choosing.

By sending the same projects out to all the candidates, you’ll be able to clearly see the different thought processes, skills and capabilities that each applicant brings to the table.

The exact nature of the project will depend on the sector that your company is involved with, but in general they should incorporate challenges and skills relevant to your industry.

By putting a significant amount of thought into your interview process and by deciding beforehand exactly what you’re looking for in an employee, you can streamline the interview process and make it easier to identify the right candidates for the job.

So if you currently have a vacancy at your company and are looking for a graduate to fill it, try incorporating some of these innovative interview techniques into your hiring process to see if you can find the perfect graduate for your company.

If you are keen to hire talented graduates in 2014, Discovery Graduates can help with all stages of the graduate recruitment process including attraction, recruitment and retention.