To find the right candidates for your vacancies you must tailor your questions to each role in order to determine whether your interviewees possess the appropriate skills and knowledge. However, there’s a selection of questions that can be used across the board to discover the talent you require. Here are five interview questions we believe you should be asking to gain the best results from your recruitment strategy.
Considering everything you know about the company, how do you believe you can make a difference?
This will help you identify the candidates who have bothered to do their research. It’s their chance to show off their recently acquired knowledge about your company, whether it’s your latest products/services, events or general news. Assess how well the interviewee is able to relate what they know to the skills and expertise they can bring to the table if hired. This ability to sell their assets to you is a vital skill to stand out from the crowd. To prompt the applicant to explain how their unique experience, education, personality, etc. makes them the perfect candidate, also ask: ‘Why should we hire you?’
When I speak to your previous manager and inquire about where you need to improve, what are they likely to highlight?
Rather than asking the interviewee directly what they believe to be their greatest weakness, adding the element of asking their previous employer encourages them to be honest. Whether you actually do so is entirely up to you, but the point of the question is to persuade the candidate to evaluate their performance in their previous role and identify an aspect they will need support with. This lets you know where the candidate will need guidance if they are hired and give you an insight into the interviewee’s character. Ideally, they should be able to identify this with ease and reassure you by explaining the steps they have taken/are taking to improve this weakness.
Tell me about the boss you have admired most so far and why.
It’s important to gain an idea of the relationships the candidate managed to establish in their previous employment so you can assess how well they’re likely to fit into the company culture. They will likely reveal how they prefer to work and communicate in an office environment, so if this matches with that of your current staff and the company then they’re like to be a winner. If you are going to be managing the candidate then it’ll also give you an insight into whether you will work well together.
What drives/disheartens you?
It’s best to ask both sides of this question rather than just one in order to get a good all-round view of the candidate. When the interviewee is describing their motivations, assess whether these match with those required for the role and the core values of your company. When describing what bothers them, you’re not looking for someone to sit there and whinge about every little frustration, but to briefly describe obstacles they faced and how they handled them.
Where do you envisage yourself in X years’ time?
It’s up to you where you set the bar on this question but the most common is five years. It’s not about exactly what they have planned but whether they have something in mind at all. However, if they ramble on about how they plan to work for one year and then go travelling for two years or more, you know this is the end of the journey. The main qualities you’re looking for are ambition and determination, a candidate who knows what their end goal is and how to reach it.
So if you’re finding the questions you’re currently asking are failing to reveal the best candidates for your vacancies, consider introducing the above into your recruitment strategy. The idea is to use your questions to encourage the interviewee to reveal as much about themselves as possible so you can make an educated judgement on whether they are suitable for your position and company.