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Coffee interviews find better recruits

03 January 2013 Stacey Moseley

Coffee meetings or lunches are far more effective in the first round interview process than office-based interrogations according to one department head.

When interviewing for new recruits the key is to make them feel comfortable in order to achieve real and organic answers, according to Sam Nokes, head of department, property management at Biggin & Scott Prahran/Toorak.

“I always do the first interview at a coffee shop or over lunch because it is a much more relaxed atmosphere,” he told Residential Property Manager.

“If someone is waiting in reception nervously they come into the interview process guarded and with their shield up, they are prepared to answer every question perfectly and this may not truly represent their personality.”


Mr Nokes is at the moment looking to hire two new property managers but admits personality and the candidates ability to fit in with the office culture are paramount in their success.

“Skills are really irrelevant, I can teach them that stuff,” he explained.

“It is their personality, enthusiasm and their ability and want to learn, that is most important.

“That is why the less formal first interview is so important in really finding out what they are like as a person.”

However if a candidate is successful in the first interview Mr Nokes will always conduct the second interview in a professional setting with formal questioning.

“The formal meeting is important as you get a better idea of how they deal in a professional setting,” he said.

“As an interviewer you really need to create that balance in order to see the person’s personality but also their professionalism, that is why the two-round interviewing process works for us.”

Coffee interviews find better recruits
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