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10 questions to help you get to know interviewees

Everybody knows the standard interview questions… “What are your strengths?” “What are your weaknesses?” “Why do you want to leave your current role?”

All of these are relevant questions to ask, but your candidate will have been asked the same questions more times than they can count, so asking generic questions means you’re likely to receive generic answers in return. It’s difficult to really get to know someone within half an hour or so, but we’ve come up with some questions that could help you.

Who do you admire the most and why?

Everybody has someone they look up to, whether that be a relative, friend, celebrity or successful businessman. This could help you identify what kind of person the candidate wants to grow to become. It could also provide insight into where their priorities lie. I.e. if a candidate looks up to Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook) it could suggest they want to become successful and rich. Whereas someone who is inspired by someone close to them may value the dedication and strength of that person. There is no right or wrong answer to this, it just helps you get to better know the person.

Can you give me an example of a difficult working relationship you’ve had and how you dealt with that situation?

There’s always going to be ups and downs in any job, which is why it’s important to learn how to deal with negative/difficult situations. This question could tell you a lot about how the person deals with certain situations

Have you done any research on our company? What did you find?

Although this is a commonly used question, it can mean more than just telling you what you already know. Depending on what the candidate comes back with gives you a good idea of how committed they are to going the extra mile, which is often a key part of the job.

What are the first 3 things you would do if we hired you?

This shows they’ve thought ahead. They’ve already got a vision of how they would like to contribute to your business. Even if they were to mention something that is already in place within your company, it shows they’re already thinking about being a part of the team.

If I spoke to your current colleagues, how would they describe you?

A creative way to find out what they think of themselves is to ask about their current role. Keep it short and sweet. 3 words is all you need.

What’s the one thing you would enjoy doing for the rest of your career?

This could be a specific area of the role they are currently doing, or it could be that, for example, they enjoy travelling for their job and they like the fact that they don’t stay in one place. Either way, this is an interesting fact to know.

What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t know by looking at your CV?

This is a great way to find out something personal about your candidate. What hobbies they have outside of work, how they enjoy spending their time, what personal achievements they have. This is also a good conversation point to know if the person is likely to fit into your company’s culture.

Can you tell me about a time when you made a mistake and how you rectified it?

We’re only human, mistakes happen. What’s more important is how you deal with them and how you can rectify the situation. Did the person accept responsibility and work hard to solve the problem ASAP? If so, this is the perfect example of a strong team player.

If you had 6 months with no responsibilities and an unlimited budget, what would you do?

This is a great way to get an insight into your candidate’s ambitions and life goals. Perhaps they have a business idea they’d like to invest in and put into action, or maybe they’d like to travel the world.

On a scale of 1-10, what would you rate me as an interviewer?

This could give you an idea of how honest your candidate is and it could set the tone for your relationship. For example, if they provide constructive criticism, but come across in a friendly, helpful way it’s not necessarily a bad thing as it could help you as an interviewer improve where necessary. It also gives the candidate the opportunity to deal with a tricky question.

We hope these questions help you with your next interview! Have we missed any interesting questions? We’d love to hear from you! Tweet us or post on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages!

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