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Great Interview Questions To Ask Candidates

Job InterviewJob board blogs are filled with ideas for questions to ask your interviewer when you are the candidate – it’s an important part of any interview. But what about if you’re the one doing the interviewing?

HR professionals are often the ones asking the questions, either as part of candidate screening, or further down the recruitment process. It’s vital to have a robust interview process, to make sure you select the best candidate for your organisation. So, here are a few of our favourite interview questions, all of which will help you find out what a candidate is really like…

Tell me (in 5 minutes or less) your first ever memory, and all the major points in your life that have brought you to this point.

This one obviously helps you to get to know your candidate’s history. Yes, you know their employment history from their CV – but this question helps understand why they have worked in a particular job or industry, their reasons for leaving and reasons for applying to your vacancy, all within a few minutes.

If you were to meet a friend in 5 years time, what would you like to be able to tell them?

By asking this question, you’re finding out what is important to the candidate – are they ambitious, with hopes they’ll be talking about a recent promotion? What’s their work-life balance like – do they only talk about work-related subjects here, or do they include aspects of their personal life too?

How do you measure success?

This is a great way to uncover what motivates an applicant. Do they judge their success in terms of money, happiness, praise from others, hitting targets? Does their answer fit with how you measure success in your team or business? If you do hire this person, you also know how best to manage them and get the best out of them in your team.

Describe your best boss, and your worst.

Another way to find out how best to manage your new team member when they come on board. You can compare their answer to the personality and style of the manager they will be reporting to, and therefore know how well (or otherwise!) they are likely to get on in the office. Knowing this in advance should greatly reduce the chance of a new-starter not fitting in with their team.

How would your best friend describe you in 5 words?

A short and snappy way to get the heart of your candidate’s personality. The words they choose here will really show how they believe they are perceived, and give you plenty of insight into the traits they believe are most prominent in themselves. The only question is, does “good sense of humour” count as 1 word, or 4!

What Makes A Successful Job Advert?

Any HR professional is likely to have some recruiting duties at some point in their career, whether full-time as a Talent Manager, or as part of a more generalist position such asĀ HR Advisor. As recruitment is a topic we know a thing or two about, here are our top pieces of advice to make sure your job adverts attract the talent you need…

Keyword SearchChoose The Job Title With Care

Don’t get me wrong, I love an inventive job title. Who wouldn’t want to be a ‘Chief Experience Officer’ or a ‘Brand Evangelist’? However, when advertising your roles, whatever they may be, it’s important to be straightforward with their titles. Remember candidates search for jobs as you would search in Google – by keywords. So all the excellent candidates searching for ‘Marketing Manager’ roles may never see your ‘Brand Evangelist’ advert, as they’re unlikely to search by such an usual term.

Be Specific With Location

We’re not saying you need to give the office address in your advert. However ‘London’ is a big place – and for those not looking to relocate it is off-putting to not know if a job is commutable before applying. So be specific, if the job is in Putney – say so! It benefits both parties – candidates don’t waste time applying to a job they can’t travel to, and you don’t waste time screening them unnecessarily.

SalaryShow The Salary

We find that jobs with a stated salary receive 20% more applications than those that don’t. So while it’s tempting to leave it as ‘negotiable’ you could be deterring top talent from hitting the apply button! Be up front with your candidates – they’ll appreciate your honesty, and if they’re in demand that could be a reason for them to choose you.

Keep Concise

The most effective job descriptions are usually around 300 words long. Of course, a particularly technical or niche role may require a longer than usual job description – we’re not recommending missing out important information! What we are suggesting is that you keep the details short and sweet, so candidates are fully informed as quickly as possible. Bullet points are a great way of getting across a large amount of attributes or responsibilities in a snappy way.

spell1Think About Your Presentation

A job advert is an advert for your brand, not just for the role. So make sure it looks the part! If you’re uploading a logo, use a good quality image file (72ppi minimum) to make sure the image is crisp and clear. Separate your job description into clear paragraphs, and remember to spell check – you wouldn’t be impressed with a typo in a CV, so advertise as you would like to be applied to!

If you’re recruiting for your company, make sure you check out the range of niche job boards in our group – we could have a specialist job board perfect for your needs.