How to set up a room for an interview

Posted on: 17th January 2024

Reading time:  6 mins

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To get the most from a candidate during the job interview process, it’s important that you make them feel as comfortable as possible, while also giving them a sense of who you are as a team and a business. Ensuring that the setting and surroundings are appropriate will help you to get the most accurate picture of their character and what they can bring to your team.

To make sure you and your interview candidates get the most out of this important conversation, here are some tips on how to set up an interview room effectively.

What are the key elements of an interview setup?

The way you set up an interview room will depend on the type of conversation you’re looking to have with your candidate. If it’s very formal, then a private office with a desk where you and the candidate can sit facing each other might be best. Alternatively, if it’s a more open and casual meeting, then you might want to set up some comfortable chairs in a shared office lounge

For remote interviews via video conferencing, you should ensure your screen/background view is clear, your internet connection is strong, and you’ve adjusted your audio settings correctly, e.g., for a headset. 

Whatever your style, there are a few key elements that you need to keep in mind when setting up an interview room.

Is it quiet enough?

Even if you plan to have the meeting in an open office, consider finding a quiet corner away from the rest of the working environment. Not being able to hear each other’s questions and answers defeats the whole purpose of the interview and can make both parties uncomfortable. 

Is your furniture in the right place?

The way you place the furniture says a lot about the type of conversation you’re about to have. Select your chairs carefully and arrange them just over 3 feet apart so you can still make eye contact. Consider whether you want to place a barrier, like a desk, between you both, how this might affect body language, and what this might signal to the candidate if you do so. 

Do you have the technology you need?

Even if your interview isn’t via phone or video call, your candidate may need to plug in their laptop to present something for you or share a file for you to look at. Make sure you think about this in advance to ensure your candidate has everything they need (e.g., internet access, cables, or adaptors) to get set up quickly and easily without getting flustered. 

If there are multiple interviewers, it’s a good idea to be able to show the device’s screen on a large TV or monitor, so make sure all the connectivity you need is ready to go. Most of the time, HDMI will suffice, but ask the candidate what tech they need to display their screen.

How to set up a job interview room

In addition to these key elements, it’s worth keeping the below in mind when setting up a room for a job interview: 

  • Any special requirements: does the candidate have any special requirements? For example, do they need wheelchair access or adapted materials? 
  • Refreshments: even if you don’t offer tea and coffee, ensuring that a jug of water is handy is always a good idea, and if it’s a day-long interview, think about offering access to lunch or snacks.
  • Keeping the interviewers comfortable: whether it’s your hiring manager or managing director, making sure your interviewing panel is as relaxed as your candidate will help them have a productive conversation. Consider printing off interview questions and having them laid out and ready, for example. 

Setting up a virtual interview room

The growth of flexible working means that meeting and working using video conferencing technology has exploded — and the same applies to interviews. If you’re sourcing talent globally in this new remote working environment, it makes perfect sense to interview them online. Here’s some advice on how to prepare for virtual job interviews. 

How to set up a video interview

Video calls are a great way to interview remote candidates, but it’s just as important to set up correctly for them. To set up a Skype interview or a meeting over Zoom, Teams, or another system, it’s best to download the relevant application to your device. Then you should be able to schedule and join calls directly from there. 

Alternatively, if you have a video conferencing setup in your meeting room, you should be able to dial in directly from a central hub, so it’s worth checking with your technical team to see how this would be possible. It’s also important that your surroundings put across the message you want to portray about your business, so test your setup in advance to make sure the video frame and sound quality are as you want them. 

If you book a Regus meeting room, our support staff will be able to help you prepare your equipment and room setup to be interview ready.

How to set up a phone interview

Most interview rooms and private offices are now equipped with phone conferencing systems. Usually this involves dialing in from a central hub in the interview room, so ensure you have the correct details, such as logins or account passwords, written down or readily available. Make sure the room around you is quiet and that you won’t have any interruptions. 

Rent your ideal interview room

To take the stress out of setting up an interview room, we allow businesses or teams to rent our private offices and video conferencing spaces on a short-term basis. Simply book a room at a Regus office of your choice, and our team will set it up for you, so all you need to focus on are your candidates.

Topics in this article

  • Work Trends


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