Written by Sally-Ann King | 27th September 2023
The dreaded interview – this can be a daunting experience for recruiters, as well as candidates.
Getting to know a candidate and collecting all the information you need to determine if they are right for the role can be difficult. However, this is achievable, as long as you are asking the right questions.
Here are a few questions we recommend asking interviewees, so you can find the perfect person for the job.
- Situational questions
Situational questions can give the candidate a great opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and skills, particularly through a specific example.
This could include, “tell me about…” questions (e.g., tell me about a time you needed to build a strong network in order to be effective in your role).
This can demonstrate how they interact with others in the business and build relationships as well as skills they may have including collaboration.
Candidates with real experience can give you a descriptive and extensive response.
You should also consider the way an interviewee answers these questions, as it gives them a chance to show off their speaking and language skills.
It’s important to look out for those little details!
- If I was to ask your current Line Manager to describe you in three words, what would they be?
Is the candidate self-aware, and do they know what people think of them? It is important to note how long they take to answer this question.
- What are your greatest strengths and where do you see your development needs?
These types of questions can demonstrate a candidate’s self-awareness and humility.
It also gives them a chance to discuss how they will use these strengths to help a company reach its goals and aspirations, and how they are working on their development needs. It is also good to note if their strengths align with the three words they have previously given- demonstrating they have a high level of self-awareness.
Make sure to ask for evidence as to why they think they have this strength.
3a. Can you tell me about a deadline you missed or an expectation you didn’t meet?
No one is perfect; everyone makes mistakes.
Therefore, it is good to see an example of when a candidate has made a slip-up, but most importantly, how it was corrected and how they approach a challenge and what they have learnt from the situation.
- What attracted you to this role and company and what skills and experience do you have to be successful in this role?
This question can allow you to gain good insight into an interviewee’s performance or expectations, as well as whether they would be a suitable fit for your organisation.
It’s also a great opportunity for a candidate to show they understand the role and your company.
You will be able to tell who has read the job description carefully, as well as give them the chance to explain why they are a good match.
The answer to this question will show you whether someone has devoted time and energy into researching the company, as well as their passion and dedication.
This can help you quickly understand who is genuinely interested in working for you.
- How do you see yourself developing in this role/company?
This will demonstrate to you what a candidate really wants, such as if they are looking for a long-term commitment and what their future career aspirations are.
Discussing career goals is a great way to see if someone is an ambitious, driven and determined individual – this can be very valuable to your organisation.
You can also see if a candidate’s ambitions align with available opportunities in the business, and whether they are suitable for any career pathways and further development.
- In this role, what do you think are the key challenges and how will you deal with them?
This shows whether or not the candidate understands the role, as well as elements of the role that they may not be so experienced in.
It is also important to take note of their thought process, especially in regard to how they deal with problems. This can evidence their organisational skills and how they deal with stress.
- What tasks get left on your to do list?
This can evidence tasks that are least preferred by the candidate, and shows their perception on how it will affect the business.
- When would your friends and family say you are happiest?
This is a simple, yet vital question within the recruitment process. It’s not all about work!
It is a good chance to discover more about the type of person the interviewee is – including traits and qualities, such as dedication and leadership skills.
It can also demonstrate whether a candidate can handle the sudden change in question.
- Do you have any questions for us?
This is the perfect way to wrap-up the end of an interview, as well as giving the candidate the chance to speak up about any queries and questions.
This should be at the end of the interview as part of the ‘housekeeping’ and not be used to evaluate the candidate.
It is also important to remember that the interview process is a two-way street! They are looking to see if you are a suitable fit for them, as much as whether they are a good fit for you.
More passionate interviewees will often have a wide variety of questions, which can demonstrate interest and thoughtfulness. However, it is also okay if they don’t have a list of questions, as they may have been already discussed within the interview.
If you have any questions or would like support, please get in touch with our recruitment team at [email protected].