Do you ever get bored of asking candidates the same questions over and over again? Do you ever feel as though you’re not really getting the answers you want from the questions you ask? Have you found the current list of interview questions you follow doesn’t necessarily help you bag the best candidate?
Fear not, you’re amongst plenty of other employers who are in desperate need of an interview overhaul. Good interview questions can make the difference between you hiring Mr Does an OK Job but could do better, and Mr Superstar employee, who has the ability to change your business.
It’s true that nerves can get the better of people in an interview process and you don’t always get to see a person’s true ability or personality until you hire them. So on some level, interview questions won’t give you all the information you need to know. But you can’t go hiring everyone and anyone just in case they have the potential to dazzle regardless of their interview performance can you? Well you could but, your business wouldn’t stay financially viable for long!
The interview you have with a candidate needs to count, so you’ve got the best possible chance of hiring someone who is excellent at their job, who fits into your company culture, and who represents the business well. There’s a lot to be learnt in that interview – the questions really do matter.
So, in order to gain the most from the very first meeting you have with a potential employee, use these important interview questions;
Describe the Type of Work Environment That Suits You Best
This is a good question to help you ascertain whether or not your candidate will be a good cultural fit for your company. It’s quite an open question which is good as it will make the candidate think. They may go straight into discussing company culture, or they may make their answer more work based.
What Do You Want and Need From Your Ideal Boss?
This helps you learn about how self-driven your employee is, and whether or not they will fit in with the team they will be working with. If the candidate likes a lot of direction and feedback and you know you’re not available to provide that very often, they may not fit in well. Or if the candidate is extremely self-driven but their line manager likes to be extremely involved and constantly organising and directing people, the candidate may feel smothered so again they may not be a good fit.
Why Do You Want To Work Here?
Unfortunately some candidates may apply for a position without having really done their research. If they appear to give vague answers, they may well not care about gaining employment at your company and may simply be mass applying for any job going. If they do go more into detail you should be able to see what parts of the job they are interested in, if they understand what the job involves and if they have simply applied because of the benefits of the job – without recognising the hard work involved.
Can You Describe a Difficult Situation You Experienced At a Previous Job and How You Handled It?
You will get a pre rehearsed response telling you about a difficult situation where the candidate worked hard to resolve the situation. When this happens, ask the person to then describe a situation that could not be resolved. Their reaction to this question should tell you a lot. They may well look uncomfortable and spend time thinking, but their response is really important as it should be unrehearsed and so, genuine. You’re looking for honesty, and lack of blame in the way they describe the scenario. If they can explain what they learnt from the failure, that’s a plus because they are recognising the mistake and what they need to do in future to avoid that happening. If they place blame on others when they explain the scenario – that’s a negative – you don’t want to hire someone who can’t take responsibility for their own actions.
These are just a few important questions you should ask during an interview in order to get the best candidate.
Other key pointers are –
- Listen out for complaints – negative nellies do not have a place in any business
- If you want a team player look for the candidate to use the word we a lot, instead of I
- Make sure you ask the candidate if they have questions for you – questions like ‘What are the employee benefits here?’, ‘How much holiday do I get per year?’ or ‘How quickly can I work my way up the promotions ladder?’ are not the kind of questions you want to hear. What the candidate asks can sometimes be more valuable than the questions you have asked
- Provide an interview process that involves more than one set of managers, activities or format – any pretend niceness or confidence won’t last longer than one interview scenario, so gives you a chance to see the ‘real’ candidate.