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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!

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