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Top interview questions to ask a prospective employee

By 03/01/2017November 16th, 2022Recruitment

The recruitment process can not only be long and stressful, but it can also become incredibly expensive for the company. For this reason, it is important that every company invest time into perfecting every part of their own recruitment process. From how and where to advertise the vacancy, to selecting a shortlist of candidates, through to selecting the right applicant for the role, each step is important and should be given consideration, with guidelines for a consistent process being drafted in some cases. One of the most important parts of this process is the interview stage as it is during this part that you will get to know your candidates, ask them questions and ascertain which one you think will be most suitable for the role. If you do not ask the right questions and do not make the most of your time with the applicant, you may not be sure which one is the best choice for the vacancy. With this in mind it is a good idea to think of some interview questions prior to beginning the interview stages.

Why you should think about what questions you ask

Though you may think some questions are interesting, or that they might be applicable to the job role, you might actually find that these questions don’t allow the applicant to do anything but reiterate the information from their CV. Which means you won’t find out anything new about them, their skills or their history and more importantly you won’t get a feel as to whether they will fit into the role and company. Asking the right questions can help you to quickly find out everything you need to know about the applicant’s skills, job and cultural fit and experience, helping you gain the most from the interview stage. The information you learn from the answers you receive to these questions will help you to decide which applicant is the perfect selection for you.

Top interview questions to ask a prospective employee

Some of the most common and useful questions interviewers have been regularly using include:

• What attracted you most to this position? This will help you to see what motivates the applicant and what they are most interested in gaining from your vacancy.
• Why are you leaving your current employer? You will find out what prompted the applicant to start their job search, helping you to understand their goals, their values and what they want from an employer.
• What are the three main skills or attributes do you think you could bring to the company? Here you will find out what the candidate believes their skills are, what skills they consider to be the most important and how they view your company and vacancy.
• What kind of work environment do you thrive in? The answer to this question will help you to see if your working environment is most suitable for the candidate, you may find that they don’t fit into the culture of your company.
• What would you consider to be your greatest work achievement? This allows you to understand the applicant’s values, to understand where their priorities lie and also discover what they consider to be an achievement.
• Think about a time when you have had to overcome a major obstacle in your life, how did you approach the situation? This will help you to see their problem-solving skills, how they deal with stressful or complicated problems. You may also see how adaptable and resilient they are, and how determined they are to achieve their goals.
• How would your current co-workers describe you and your effectiveness in your role? From the answer to this question you will see how the applicant assesses their own effectiveness to work with others.
• Describe your ideal manager. This will allow you to see how much direction the applicant wants and how self-directed they are, while also allowing you to understand what they expect of you as their employer.
• How do you actively develop your knowledge and skills? It is important to hire someone who believes in developing themselves, here you will find out if the applicant depends on their employers to provide these opportunities, or if they actively seek development opportunities themselves.

The most important thing you can do is prepare before the interview, making sure you have a list of all the questions you want to ask and a good idea as to how you will respond to any questions that they might ask you. If you conduct your interviews effectively you will find it is much easier to choose the best candidate for the role.