A good interview makes all the difference. It’s as simple as that.
For some people, interviewing comes perfectly naturally and they are able to breeze through the process, asking the right questions and determining precisely what they need in order to make an informed hire. For others, it comes less naturally. For both types, it is absolutely essential that the right questions are asked of the candidate to elicit detailed responses designed to capture as much insight as possible.
If you have determined a robust hiring system and have mapped out the role well, you should be in a good place going into the interview. You could always refer here – https://jobswipehire.blog/2019/04/03/how-to-find-the-right-employees-for-your-small-business/, or use the support of a service like Jobswipe Hire to help with this process.
It’s worth pointing out that, there are industry specific questions that you will need to ask that we couldn’t possibly cover in a generic article. If there is sufficient demand, we’d be happy to write industry specific articles, interact below and let us know if we can cover your industry.
These questions are designed to ignite a good conversation in which you and your candidate learn as much as possible about each other and can make the right decision regarding the next step.
- Tell me, in your own words, what you think about our company and what we do.
This question is a great way to filter out the candidates that can demonstrate the right level of enthusiasm and interest in your business. If they have done their research and can clearly articulate what you do then, you know that they are engaged in your company and are enthusiastic about your aims. The alternate is also true, if they can’t articulate basic information that is publicly available about your organisation you can be fairly confident they aren’t overly enthusiastic about what you do.
Don’t instantly write off the BS artists that blag their way through this question by making up the answer on the spot, in some circumstances (sales for example) this can be a fantastically reassuring approach!
- What would be the ideal outcome of this interview for you today? What about in 10 years time?
This question encourages the ambitious to sell you their ambition.
Highly ambitious and motivated candidates will provide you with a clear and enthusiastic answer to this question and give you insight into how they might perform in their role.
The question also helps you to gauge whether the candidate is realistic in their expectations for the future (whether or not the answer leads to the candidate remaining within your business).
There are some factors to consider either way with this question. An uncertain answer could provoke some brilliant candour from your candidate and demonstrate a potential for a mentor/mentee relationship (this can be a hugely rewarding way to gain a loyal member of the team committed to your vision based on how you’ve nurtured them).
- If the role turns out to be different to your expectations over the next few months, what would that look like?
This question encourages the candidate to articulate their expectations for the role. It highlights their knowledge and experiences of the role and gives you great insight into aspects of the role you may not have considered. It’s the kind of ‘all rounder’ question that can merrit a fantastic conversation and capture insight to use as a positive tool to shape your business.
It also allows you to set some outcomes based on your candidate’s expectations and measure the success of the role based upon those same expectations. They are telling you, literally, from the offset what they think they should be doing in the role.
- What other roles are you interviewing for?
Interview questions are a form of measurement. Good questions are designed to give you a depth of understanding about the person you are interviewing and to put their thinking on the front foot at the same time. We love this question because, it’s not too likely the candidate will be expecting it and, as a result, it should put their reactionary thinking to the test.
This question gives you multiple measurable insights. For example, one answer to this question could throw up telling information as to what your competitors are doing or, another answer could tell you how interested in the industry your candidate is.
- What’s your story?
Questions like this are completely open ended because there isn’t a definitive right or wrong answer to this question. Asking these types of questions (however obnoxious they sound) are a great way to examine your candidate’s creative capacity to tell a story.
Stories are the lifeblood of a business as they are the means by which a brand is sold. Stories capture the essence of a company’s identity and, finding a good storyteller by asking this question can really help you to determine whether the candidate would be able to sell your brand identity.
- Describe to me your ideal workplace culture.
The culture of your workplace is one of those intangible aspects that can make or break a newcomer to your business. Asking your candidate to describe their ideal workplace culture is a surefire way to determine how well they might fit within your workplace culture. Conversely, it may be that they describe your ideal culture and they could become pivotal in shaping the culture of your workplace for the better.
Either way, this question is designed to gauge, ‘fit’ in an incredibly rapid way. Ask it early and tease out more information as they answer by asking for clarification here and there and you can be confident early on as to the trajectory of the interview.
- What Questions do you have for me/us?
This is perhaps one of the most common interview questions to be asked however, stick this one right at the start of your interview and you have a very telling insight into how prepared your candidate is, what their strategic thinking is like and what ideas they have about your industry.
No one is expecting to hear this question at the start of their interview which gives you an incredible opportunity to catch your candidate off guard.
A well prepared candidate should come armed with a raft of questions and the confidence to ask them. This also provides you with a natural starting point to a number of follow up questions.
Let us know how it goes if you try asking this one first!
What are your, ‘Killer’ questions? Let us know in the comments below.
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