How to interview Company Secretaries



With unemployment dropping to its lowest level in 11 level years, specialist markets - like company secretarial- are in short supply of top talent. Now that the market has become candidate-driven it is crucial for companies to secure the best person as strong candidates will also be considering other appealing opportunities.


There is a lot of advice on offer for interviewees and job seekers on how to perform well at an interview -ranging from what to wear to sample answers to the most common questions-. Candidates can find a wealth of tips online, consult an interview coach or for students and recent graduates the career services at their universities.


However, interviews are a two-way process. As the line manager, your aim should be to gain all the information you need about the person you’re interviewing, present the role to them and impart the values and culture of your company. But don’t forget to think about ‘what’s in it for them’. You should describe their progression prospects and how the role could develop.


As training on how to interview is rarely offered to line managers and although you might be an experienced Company Secretary it is important to be prepared so that you can conduct a successful interview. Some steps that you might find useful are:


1. Prepare a job description on which interview questions will be based in order to assess whether the candidate has the right skills (minuting, blueprint etc.), experience (listed, financial services etc.) and qualifications for the role.


2. Accustom yourself with the candidate’s CV and identify any points you might want to clarify during the interview.


3. Be consistent with the questions you ask candidates that you interview for the same position, as this will provide a solid basis on which to compare candidates.


4. Outline the interview structure for the candidate and make them feel comfortable. They are more likely to open-up if they’re relaxed.


5. Find out the candidate’s career goals and make sure they correspond with the development you are able to offer.


6. Ask behavioural/competency questions. Past performance is the best indicator of future behaviour.


7. Ask technical questions that will showcase the candidate’s skillset, as well as their problem-solving skills and whether they can think on their feet.


8. Listen! Show your interest to the candidate and encourage them to speak of their experience.


9. Give the candidate the type of information that will make them excited about the position and the company and corresponds with their aspirations. However you shouldn’t promise more than you can deliver, as that will lead to dissatisfaction once the person is in the role.


10. Provide feedback to the candidate or your Recruitment Partner. Feedback on their performance is helpful to job seekers, gives a good impression of your company and helps to build your ‘employer brand’.


Interviews are a time investment both from the interviewee’s and the interviewer’s side. Spend your time well by preparing for every interview. This will give you the confidence that you are making the right decision when it comes to recruiting new members in the company secretarial team.


For further advice on how to recruit top talent in the company secretarial market, please feel free to get in touch with me or a member of the Core Team.

08 December 2016



written by Mariza Dimaki
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