To find the best employees possible, you must be the best interviewer possible.  Great interviewers ultimately hire the perfect candidate by making a conscious effort to get the most out of the interview process.  This not only strengthens your employers’ brand and helps you attract the best talent but also digs a little deeper to minimize being catfished with an awful hire.

Have you ever interviewed the perfect candidate only to find they took another position and your company has missed out?

Or have you taken on an employee who impressed so much at interview but what you ended up with is completely different?

There are an infinite number of questions you could ask a prospective employee during a job interview, a lot of which won’t give you an insight in to the individual and will barely scratch the surface of the possibilities that person could bring to your company!

We all know that an interview is a two-way street but we often forget that being the interviewer can be hard work! Just remember you are selling the company and the opportunity to the interviewee as much as they are selling themselves and their skillset to you.

The main key to success is planning and preparation. If you stay focused on these 10 questions I guarantee you will have all of the information that you will need to make an informed decision on a potential hire:

1.) Why do you want this job?

A somewhat obvious question to ask but answered well it will give you an insight into why the candidate is right for the position and your company. You are looking for a smart and coherent answer that doesn’t take you through every career moment or transition in their life. A good candidate will express enthusiasm for the company and demonstrate their knowledge of it. Next, they should sell to you why they are perfect for the position by expressing their relevant experiences and/or skills. They should pinpoint the main requirements of the role alongside some desired skills. Finally, they should demonstrate a sense of where they are going in their career. You want someone who is not merely using you as a stepping stone but a candidate that is worth investing in.

2.) If you were offered this job what makes you think you will be successful at it?

Here the candidate may talk about their successes in previous roles. You want them to make you believe their skills and experiences are what you are looking for and that they can contribute to the team. Furthermore, you want them to express a belief that what they will be doing is meaningful to them and they are eager to contribute in order to make a difference to the company.

3.) What would you do in your first 3 months in this role to make it a success?

By asking this you can get to the heart of how a candidate would approach their role on a daily basis. As an employer you do not want somebody who can just ‘do the role’ but someone who can bring something new and exciting to the team. You want to know if they understand the role and can master it quickly and introduce improvements where necessary. You want a candidate that shows ambition and innovation. A vague answer to this question indicates that the role probably isn’t right for them.

4.) If I spoke to your previous boss and asked them to describe you what would they say? What would they say is your worst habit, what would annoy them?

This last part of this question is likely to throw a candidate off guard. It is a cleverer way of asking them for their weakness. You need to be able to interpret their answers and identify if it will be an issue in their role.

5.) How would you solve this challenge?

It is a good idea to provide a practical task in the form of a challenge your company is currently facing and get them to give you a step-by-step guide on how they would overcome it. This enables you to move away from the ‘fluffy’ world of a CV. You want somebody who provides specific points and actions as opposed to broad advice.

6.) Can you give me an example of how you dealt with criticism or rejection badly? And how you then turned it into an opportunity and ultimately a positive for you.

By asking this question you are able to determine how the candidate handles pressure, furthermore the right answer will illustrate their problem-solving skills and culture fit within the workplace.

7.) If you could pick one thing in your work history you are most proud of what would it be?

This question enables you to get away from the standard information detailed on a CV. When they offer an achievement make sure you probe into the detail. What were the actual results? What challenges did they face? How did they create a plan and overcome it? How did they manage their resources? This will allow you to quickly establish an awareness of how the interviewee manages their work.

8.) Outside of work what is your biggest highlight to date?

You want the candidate to pick an achievement/highlight that they can relate to the skills required for the position being interviewed for. It’s really just a matter of them translating their achievement and making sure their answer is relevant and coherent.

9.) What key goal do you have in 12 months’ time? What are you doing to achieve that goal?

This is an excellent question for discovering the interviewee’s motivation and whether your company and the role are the right fit for them. Will they quickly outgrow the department or will they become an established team member?

10.) Do you have any questions for me?

This is the perfect closing question as by asking this you are allowing the candidate to interview you. Not only does this demonstrate that your company encourages feedback and open conversations but it also gives you an opportunity to see how interested the party is in joining you.

Final thoughts

I believe the interview is one of the most important parts of the whole recruitment process. Therefore, it’s vital you ask the right questions! Hiring the right person first time, every time is our main purpose at Kingston Barnes. For more expert recruitment advice on how you can become a better interviewer or if you need help hiring the right people for your business get in touch on 0117 325 2233 and see how we can help you.