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Five Questions You Should Ask Job Candidates At Interview

Hiring the best people is all about asking the right questions.

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Hiring the best people is all about asking the right questions.

Guides

Five Questions You Should Ask Job Candidates At Interview

Hiring the best people is all about asking the right questions.

Share this article

There’s increasing pressure on organisations across the UK to recruit and retain top talent. Therefore, it’s important that your interviews are as productive and efficient as possible to make this happen.

A huge part of this is ensuring that you’re asking the right questions, to help you find out whether the candidate is the right fit for your business.

Asking poorly thought-out questions could lead to a muddled interview, which is a waste of time for both the interviewee and the interviewer. So, with this in mind, here are the top five questions you should be asking in every interview.

‘Tell me about an achievement you are proud of'

This question is probing to see if your candidate has drive and ambition. After all, you want to know if they’re going to be a successful employee, right? Companies want individuals who will go out their way to work hard and achieve great results which they’re also proud of.

Assess whether your candidate can think of something to talk enthusiastically about or if they actually struggle to think of anything at all.

As well as assessing what your candidate says, think about how they say it. This can tell you if they will be a great fit for your company culture. They should be modest but equally passionate. Any arrogance could display a lack of team working skills. All the same, anyone who seems unenthusiastic about cooperating with others could be a red flag.

‘How would your current colleagues describe your contribution to your team’

Here you can evaluate your candidate’s soft skills. Again, this is great way to assess whether they are a team player – an essential trait to working in most jobs. Watch out for those that say they don’t know or don’t contribute to their team, this could suggest that they could be difficult to work with.

This question also lets you find out a bit more about your candidate’s personality in the workplace. For example, they may describe positive feedback on how they’re hardworking, friendly and a great asset to the team. All of these factors give you clues about your candidate’s personality and can help you make a decision about whether they are the right fit for your company.

‘Tell me about a time where you were faced with conflict and how you resolved it’

As well as revealing whether your candidate could be unreasonable to work with, you can also find out whether they are able to resolve any conflicts, whilst keeping level headed. After all, we all know tensions can arise in the workplace and you don’t want to bring in a new team member who could cause any problems.

On this point, be wary of candidates who can’t think of anything to say – we’ve all experienced or seen a conflict at some point. It’s importance that this is dealt with carefully and tackled without denial.

Also, think about how they discuss this conflict or incident; do they seem annoyed or angry when explaining what happened? Or do they focus on blaming others? The right candidate should come across as professional, calm and composed no matter the circumstances.

‘What motivates you?’

While to the point, this question is great to find out what your candidate likes doing, what they’re good at and what drives them to succeed.

Finding out an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in this way can indicate whether they will be appropriate for the role, while also outlining some of their key characteristics, for example, whether they work best alone or in a group.

Likewise, their response should also help to indicate whether your candidate will fit in with the dynamic of your company, and their attitude towards work.

Another great bonus to asking this question is that you could learn whether your potential employee has motivation and inspiration to progress in the future. Signs of this would be if they discussed further training or their future goals.

‘What attracted you to this role?’

This question is essentially to ask and will quickly outline whether they done their research or not. It’s common knowledge that preparation is key to any interview and it shows that your candidate is passionate about the role and has put effort towards landing the position.

Also, any future employee needs to show that they understand what the role will require so you know they are the right person for the job.

What’s more, an answer to this question could tell you about their dedication to the position. You might discover whether they’re looking for long-term employment or a short-term step gap.

Plus, you can find out lots of other useful information, including whether they’re interested in the challenges of the job, the salary, how aware they are of your company and whether they’re wanting career advancement.

These questions should give you the insights you need to find out if your candidate is right for your company. Focus on how the candidate’s experiences, qualifications and personality will fit in with your company culture.

Importantly, if you’re prepared with the right questions, the hiring process will run more efficiently and will ultimately mean that making decisions easier becomes far easier.

Lee Biggins is founder and managing director of CV-Library.

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Five Questions You Should Ask Job Candidates At Interview

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