When you’re looking for the right employees you’ll undoubtedly sit through a lot of interviews, and you’ll always find that some candidates seem like a much better fit than others. Interviews can be a tricky process, as candidates are often feeling nervous or under pressure, but are you doing your best to make sure you are getting the correct information out of them? Below we’ll go through some of the investigative questions you should be asking in an interview, and telling you what ones you should try to avoid.
Questions you should ask
What type of people do you work well with? – By asking this question you will get a good idea of their personality and how they work amongst different types of people. This can be very useful for a number of reasons, for instance if your team has a lot of big, charismatic personalities and you’re hoping a new employee would fit in comfortably.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career? – CVs can only say so much, but when you have one-on-one time with a candidate you’ll be able to get all the background information that doesn’t fit on a two page résumé. It’s all very well and good reading about a candidate’s career achievements, but hearing them talk about them adds so much more. Find out what challenges they’ve faced and how they’ve overcome them.
If you could take back one career decision, what would it be? – This might surprise the candidate and it really makes them think fast. They could choose to simply say they wouldn’t make any changes to the decisions they’ve made, or they could open up and tell you a bit more about their career path. Getting this type of personal answer can really help to set your candidates apart.
What are you most proud of in your career? –Far from trying to trick candidates with tough questions, this one will give them a chance to shine by letting them reveal their biggest moments. The answers to this question can be a good indicator as to their achievements and whether you want to employ this type of candidate.
Questions you shouldn’t ask
Where do you see yourself in five years? – This question is so vague and you’ll never get an honest answer. Instead you’ll almost always hear, “To have progressed to a managerial position within the company” in an effort to please you. A better alternative would be to ask which skills they’d like to develop over the years in order to aid career progression.
Tell us about yourself – This is used to start off a lot of interviews, but it’s a very vague way to begin and the candidate might struggle to respond with something relevant to the job. There are many alternatives to this type of statement, including, “Why have you chosen this particular career path?” This question will get a much better answer and give you a clearer idea of what the candidate is all about.
If you could be any animal, what would you be? – This is a popular question used by interviewers to surprise candidates, but they’ll often be prepared for it and it doesn’t really give any insight into their personality. If you really want to find out about their skills them ask them more direct questions.