Knowing the right interview questions to ask a candidate can be tricky. Interviewing a candidate for the first time can be compared to dating someone for the first time. It’s a time when everyone is trying to put their best foot forward. But what most employers want to know is if a candidate is the right ‘fit’ for their business. To do this, the interview process needs to uncover the genuine motivations of a candidate which can be challenging. Here are our recommendations of the types of interview questions to ask candidates in order to determine if they are right for your business:
What is your greatest achievement at work?
This tells you a lot about what the candidate considers an achievement and, to a certain extent, where their values lie. Was their example measurable (such as an increase in sales) or was the achievement about an improvement in more qualitative measures? This could mean an improvement in collaboration or a group project.
When listening to how candidates respond to this question, consider if the example they provide is an individual or group achievement – it may provide some clues as to their preferred working style and their level of engagement. It may be an idea to include follow up interview questions regarding their preferences to working individually or in a group to clarify their position.
What prompted you to apply for this role?
This gives you a great insight into what the candidates values are. Is it the prestige of the role or the company reputation that they find appealing? Are they looking to take the next step in their career? Is it flexible working arrangements or an ability to improve their skills in a certain area? The reason for applying for a role will be a major driver if they are successful in their application, so it’s important to take note as to what motivates your candidates to apply for the role in the first place.
What would your first month in the role look like?
This is a great question to get an understanding of the mindset of the candidate. Have they considered how they might tackle the role if they were successful? How much do they know about the position? This also provides some clarity on their approach to the role and their planning style. How does someone get started in a new organisation – are they likely to ‘hit the ground running’ or will they require support?
What 3 words would your current manager use to describe you?
This provides some insight into the relationship that the candidate has with their current manager. Simple things like hesitating to answer the question or the choice of words the candidate uses will provide a clear picture of both the relationship between employee and manager and how the manager might perceive the employee.
What is your understanding about our business?
It’s simply not good enough in this digital age for a candidate to conduct a cursory check over a company website. It’s expected that the candidate should have some understanding of the overall market that the business operates in and some macro factors (economic, societal trends) that may have an influence on the industry. From LinkedIn, the candidate should be able to gauge what some of the key roles within the organisation are and the part they plan in the overall business structure.
How would our business benefit from your skills and experience?
This question links the candidate’s understanding of the business, the market and their role. Candidates that are thinking flexibly will have already considered how their skills would contribute towards the business reaching their goals considering market conditions. This is a good question to see if the candidate has considered opportunities and threats coming from the market and what experience they can utilise to develop long-term strategies and short-term tactics to help the business achieve it’s goals.
If you are wanting support with developing interview questions or finding candidates that are the ‘right fit’ for your business, contact the recruitment team at Flexi Personnel.