An interview is a nerve wracking experience for the person being interviewed and for the employers if you don’t have experience with regularly interviewing it can be just as stressful for you as the interviewer!

A lot of pressure is on you to ensure that you get the hire right and in the current circumstances many people may be using skype/zoom, telephone or other distance methods for the first time and carefully crafted interview questions have never been so important.

We have been helping employers navigate recruitment for years and I have used this experience to put together some key interview questions proven to give clarity on potential new hires!

Top tips for employers

Above all it’s important to be prepared. When you are in a position to grow your team, recruitment becomes the focus and you need to have an assessment in place that ensures you hire someone with the skill set your business needs.

Before we jump into the interview questions I wanted to share some tips for employers I’ve gleaned over my years in recruitment;

  • Before an interview make sure you have drawn up a bespoke list of questions that will help you ascertain the desired skills and personality fit for your particular role – don’t just “wing it” as this will render you making decisions purely on “gut feel” which can lead to disaster.
  • Make sure you are ready to LISTEN and make notes or better still, have someone else taking notes for you.
  • Avoid questions which result in a “yes or no” answer and purely theoretical questions like “how do you deal with rejection”.

The 5 best interview questions

the last thing you need as an employer is feeling unprepared for an assessment. Interview questions are designed to show you how the candidate will fit with your team, company culture and ambitious progression.

Here are 5 of the best questions to include in any interview and why:

1. Tell me what you know about our business?

This is a standard question but take this a step further and ask them to position your business as if they were promoting it to someone. This will demonstrate a truer understanding of how well they have researched the role, the company and what you do.

2. Tell me about a time when you have had to….?

(This should be adapted to the nature of the role you are recruiting for) 

This will ensure you ask them to explain particular examples of performing in the tasks you need them to carry out and probe further if the initial answer appears vague.

3. What is important to you about becoming a “job title”?

This question will bring out their values which should be an integral part of you testing whether they meet the culture fit of your business.  Don’t just stop at their first answer, continue to ask “what else” until they can no longer think of anything!

4. Tell me about the worst and best relationships you have had with your colleagues/boss?

This will help to uncover how people interact with other team members and you want to uncover information about how they dealt with conflict and overcame issues but equally what type of individuals complimented them. If you choose to focus on their boss, it will reveal how they like to be managed and whether they will fit with the management style in place in your company.

5. Tell me about an occasion where you have made a mistake?

Many will give an example of something that could also be construed as a positive by a potential employer but the real gems are those that are completely honest but go on to say what learnings they took and how they ensured it would not happen again.  As we know, everyone makes mistakes. The true test of a person is how they respond to it. 

These are just a handful of questions that can truly test an interviewee for suitability and should form part of a well thought through vetting process.

Last but not least, make a point to be particularly clear about what you’re looking for. Not just in skill set but in personality, ambitions and eagerness to learn. Finding a candidate that will commit to the company long term takes quality recruitment! If you’re ready to commit to your next hire, get in touch with us and we’ll head up search for your ideal candidate.