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The questions you should always ask when interviewing a candidate

So, what questions should a good interviewer ask candidates?

In short, the aim of every successful interview can be neatly summed up in just three points:

  • How would the candidate fit into the organisation and existing workforce?

  • Do the skills on their CV match the requirements of the job?

  • Have they convinced you that they have the enthusiasm and energy to make the job a success?

The following key strategies Asking the Right Interview Questions will help to give you a clear picture of the candidate’s ambition, their attitude, hunger for the job, and understanding of your business and marketplace:

Why have they applied for the job in the first place? 

A motivated candidate will be able to state clearly why they want the position. If they are simply going through the motions, this will quickly become obvious and you can move on to a more passionate applicant.

This question also allows a clever candidate to flag up the skills and experience they can bring to the organisation and how they can be an asset to the team.

Can they tell you about their problem-solving abilities and give examples of how they overcame adversity at work? 

The candidate you are looking for will have no problem admitting to difficulties in the past and if they have done their homework, they will have examples prepared. Nevertheless, this question and the response is a chance to judge adaptability, flexibility and temperament and judge how it can benefit your business.

Turn the tables and challenge the candidate to give you some advice by asking for their insight into the business. All candidates should have planned ahead and prepared to impress by learning the basics about their potential new employer. You can sift out those who have just skimmed the website for the most basic details and reveal those who have cared enough to delve deeper and can offer options and analysis. 

A candidate who can offer a strategy for improvement at an interview is likely to be able to use that tact to good advantage at work too and it’s always useful to get an outsider’s perspective. It will show they are thinking beyond just their job and looking to make a wider impact, with a real passion for the sector or industry.

Where do you think our profession will be in five years’ time?

It’s an oldie but a goldie and a great indicator of someone who can innovate and appreciate the potential benefits – and indeed possible hazards of the internet and new technology. Their take on the possibilities and pitfalls will demonstrate the depth of their knowledge of the business.