The aim of a job interview is to gain as much information as possible about a candidate to determine whether they are the right fit for the role and company.
Prior to the interview, the hiring manager would have already been through the candidate’s CV, therefore an idea of whether the candidate is suitable for the role would have already been formed. Hence, why selecting the right questions to ask candidates during the interview is crucial to making the decision as to whether to invite the candidate to a 2nd interview or make them an offer.
Below, we compiled 7 of the top questions to ask candidates to get to know them better before taking a decision.
Tell me something about yourself that isn't on your CV
Starting with an open-ended question, this question ties in nicely with the usual request for the candidate to tell the hiring manager about themselves. This question can set up the tone of the interview as the candidate can provide some insight into who they are off-paper; some might only speak about themselves in a professional capacity; however, others might be more comfortable to share something about who they are outside of work, their goals and motivations.
What skills, strengths and weakness do you bring to this position?
All job applicants have specific skills, strengths and weakness. Asking a candidate to highlight these traits, provides the interviewer with an understanding not only of the candidate’s capabilities but also helps them learn about the candidate’s personality. This question also gives the candidate the opportunity to speak about how they align with this position, what they bring to the table and how they can contribute to the company’s goals.
What can you tell me about our company and industry?
Most often, interviewees do their homework when it comes to learning all there is to know about the company they are interviewing for. However, this might not always be the case. Asking this question helps in understanding which candidates took actual interest in learning about the company and industry they’re interviewing for and which ones did not make an effort.
What interests you most about this industry?
Tying together with the previous question, this question highlights what interested the candidate into applying for a position within the industry the company operates in. This helps in gauging whether the candidate is well-informed on the industry or if they were not very knowledgeable, it gives the hiring manager the opportunity to ask if the candidate is willing to learn. It can also weed out those candidates who simply applied blindly for the job position.
What kind of environment do you enjoy working in?
The work environment one works in is made up of different elements that affect an employee’s daily productivity. When a hiring manager asks this question, the answer the candidate gives will provide an insight into what the candidate is expecting their work environment to be if they were to work for the company interviewing them. Additionally, this will help in seeing whether the candidate is in line with the company culture and policies when it comes to their preferred work environment as this would affect the final decision.
How would your boss and co-workers describe you?
This question helps in shedding light on the candidate’s relationship with their current or previous manager as well as their relationship with co-workers which reveals how they might perform with the members of your team.
Apart from fitting the role’s requirements, the candidate also needs to complement the other employees and fit within the company’s work culture.
It should be pointed out that the answers the interviewee will provide to this question are based on their own option and should the interviewer require formal information, a reference list may also be requested.
Do you have any questions for me?
The final question should be one that concludes the interview and clear up any questions the candidate may have regarding the role and the company, should the questions they have prepared haven’t been answered during the course of the interview. Although it is normally said that the more serious candidates will have a list of questions prepared for the interviewer, it is also normal that these are ask and answered casually during the interview and therefore would not have any more questions to ask.
When it comes to hiring people, a lot of nuances come in especially since a hiring manager would be hiring for different roles. Hence, why compiling a comprehensive list of questions to ask during interviews is crucial to setting a company apart from another, making the best impression on a candidate and ultimately, making the most of the interview in order to obtain the relevant information to make a decision.