The Best Interview Questions To Ask Candidates
So, you’ve advertised your vacancy and made a shortlist of the people who seem the most suitable so far. Now the last stage before you decide on your next employee is the interview! A nerve-wracking time for candidates – but it can also be a stressful experience for employers as you want to ask the right questions to ensure you choose the best person for the job…
Before we go into the standard questions, you can throw in something unusual to see how a candidate reacts when they are caught off-guard. Questions such as ‘’Who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman?’’ are a bit of fun but don’t really have too much value in telling you how good someone will be as an employee. However, staying on the hero theme – a better question to ask might be ‘‘If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?’’ – this allows you to assess the candidate’s reasoning ability and gives you an insight on their personality – letting you decide if they are a good fit for the role.
Depending on the type of role you are recruiting for – there are more questions to use to test the suitability of a candidate. The old cliché of ‘’sell me this pen’’ may have worn a bit thin for sales roles but you will still want to ask something that tests your candidate’s persuasive skills. An example is ”How would you convince a colleague that your way is better than their way?” – this lets you gauge if a candidate is confident with influencing the people around them.
More generally, I’m sure you want all your employees to be able to think logically so they approach their work in the best way possible. A fun task to test this would be to ask your candidate to close their eyes and tell you how to tie your shoelaces. A decent candidate would take a reasoned approach to this and be able to explain the task in a few simple steps… hopefully avoiding tying themselves in knots!
Now, here’s a list of the more general questions you would probably want to ask in any interview – they’re not as fun but important nonetheless…
1. What do you know about our company and why do you want to work here?
This is a great question to ask to establish if the candidate has done their research. If someone is genuinely interested in a job then they should at least look into your company to figure out if they will be a good fit. You would hope, since the candidate is attending the interview that they do want to work for you so giving some explanation of this shouldn’t be too demanding…
2. We are looking to offer (salary range) for this position, does this meet your requirements?
This is a better way to ask the dreaded expected salary question if you don’t already include the salary in your job advert. It quickly establishes if the salary range is suitable for the candidate, then you can go into the specifics once you have made them an offer.
3. How can you apply your skills/experience to this position?
Another good question to ensure that candidates aren’t blindly applying for your role without much though. A good answer should cover off your key requirements for the role and how the candidate’s background meets these.
4. Can you tell me about your most recent employment?
An open-ended question like this allows a candidate to go into some detail about their current/previous work. They may have recent experience in a similar role to your vacancy so it is great chance for them to talk more about skills they have developed. Something important to be wary of would be a candidate to speaking negatively about former employers – this is not the attitude you want from people joining your business.
5. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Asking a candidate about their future allows them to talk about their ambitions. Finding someone who is career driven is great for employers but you want to ensure the role is the right fit for their goals.
6. Do you have any questions for me?
A candidate who is well prepared should have thought of some questions to ask you to discover more about the culture of the business and the role specifically. In some cases – where the interview has flowed well – they may have already asked you something or had their questions answered in discussions so don’t always expect a long list of questions if they have carried themselves well throughout your conversation.
Every role is different so I’m sure there will be more of your own questions you like to ask people in interviews but hopefully this is a good basis to build on to help you to hire the perfect employee!