Interviews used to be a very one-sided interrogation process – candidates were desperate to impress and the interviewer help a position of power over them. As the interviewer, you were gracing the candidate with your time. You could fire questions at them without giving them time to breathe or think of suitable answers, and leave them feeling as though the entire interview process was akin to a visit to the dentist.
But thankfully, times have changed. Companies have wised up, realised they need to build a rapport with their team and actually present both the job and company in the best possible light. Prospective employees can be more selective over what positions they apply for and want to work with a company that values them as a person.
This has led to candidates growing wise to the answer they give to standard interview questions. They know in advance of being asked, “What animal they’d be if given the chance?”, and they know it is more about how they see themselves, as opposed to their preference between feline and primate.
As an interviewer, you have to be clever in the questions you ask. These seven interview questions can make a huge difference to your candidate selection process, as well as ensuring your new employee is a good fit for your company and team
- Tell me about yourself. This is a good opening question, as it relaxes the candidate and shows you how talkative they can be. It’s also good to see what they highlight as their positives etc, along with the enthusiasm levels they use for their answer.
- What was the greatest frustration about your last job? A good question for finding out what motivates them, as well as what they stand for.
- What is the hardest decision you have had to face in the past 12 months? This gives you an insight into what they consider hard or difficult. It also shows their coping strategies – you can gain a lot of insight into what they really think, by looking at their body language whilst answering this question.
- What interests you specifically about this job? This question will highlight what they know about the role in question, along with whether they are after working specifically for you and your company, or if they are just happy to have a job generally with any company.
- What are the first 5 things you’d do, once you started working here? Would they look to make changes, would they consider making themselves known to others or would they look to build relationships? A great way to see how important they consider it is to become part of your team… or work independently of it.
- When I call your boss, what will they say about you? What would your wife/husband/partner say about you? This illustrates how they think they’re perceived by others, as well as if they’re quick thinking enough to link it to the role they’re applying for. It also confirms you’ll be carrying out checks on the references they have provided!
- What are you passionate about generally? This should be answered quite quickly, without much thought. Look at their body language and compare this to how they answer your work related questions… it will highlight if they are really interested in the position and if they have passion for anything generally. If no passion for anything… don’t hire them!
Finally, if you’re looking to employ someone for a creative type role, ask questions that will show their creativity and personality, such as:
“If you had 5 people to dinner, who would you have and why?” Or, “If your life was turned into a film, who would play you?”
These types of question will really open up their creative energy and show you who the person is behind the interview mask.
What type of questions do you ask during an interview? Have you found a particular question that really get underneath the interview mask of your candidates? Why not share your thoughts by leaving a comment below?
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