5 Winning Interview Questions To Ask Job Candidates

A list of five interview questions that brilliant recruiters always ask.

5 Winning Interview Questions To Ask Job Candidates

So, you have done a job analysis, written an effective job specification, and got your A-list candidates all lined up. What's next? It is interview time, of course, which means it is time to ready your list of winning interview questions. Are you prepared with some good Q's to line up the A's you need?

Five Interview Questions That Feature On The Must-Ask List of Top Companies the World Over

Here are five interview questions that top-notch recruiters will always ask to bring the skills and abilities of a candidate into sharp focus:

1. Why Does Our Company Seem Like a Good Fit to You?

First things first, this interview question allows you to check that the candidate did their homework. If someone is serious about landing a job at our company, they would have read up extensively. Although they don't need to quote your stock price verbatim, they must have a firm grasp of what you do. After all, the hope is that their addition to the payroll will make things run more smoothly.

Secondly, it will let you know if they are aware of the company’s cultural status quo. Online resources like Glassdoor provide modern-day job seekers with the opportunity to find out what it's like to work at a given company quite quickly. If they indicate a good understanding of your prevailing culture when they answer this question, it's safe to assume they see themselves fitting right in.

How To Uncover Candidate Talent

2. How Could The Current Company You Work at Level Up?

This is another double-whammy question. First of all, it will show you the candidate's feelings and attitude towards their current employer. If the interviewer picks up on any negativity, they can then follow that thread to see where the issue arose. After all, it's essential to know why a prospective employee is ready to move on, so you can tell if the position you have available is suited to them.

Additionally, it also shows how well a candidate can see the big business picture. If they are able to provide some insightful ideas that speak to the needs of their industry and target demographics, you have a free thinker on your hands. This is great for roles where blue-sky thinking and creative initiative are called for.

3. What Was The Project You Had The Most Fun On In Recent Years?

This is a fun question that provides a candidate to share their passions. An interviewer can use their answer to see what they really love to be involved with and how this may translate to their business in particular. It's also an interesting way to reframe the standard 'what are your biggest strengths' question that usually gets rote, practised answers.

Remote Interview

Instead of listening to a little list of rehearsed replies, the answer to this question provides a look into the aspects of the job that brings a candidate joy. Naturally, not every part of a job will be this amazing. But if you know what really makes a person tick, it puts you at a great advantage to understand their personal drivers.

4. If You Could Change One Thing About Your Career Journey, What Would it Be?

Every person has learned lessons along their career journey. The answer to this question is going to tell you whether they take accountability for their own actions. It will also indicate whether the person can learn from their mistakes and use their newfound insights to make better decisions down the line.

5. Please Write a Paragraph About Yourself By Hand

This may seem a little strange, but there is a lot you can learn about a person by asking them to write something by hand. First of all, you’ll see how strong their language skills are without spellcheck in the mix. The immediacy of putting pen or pencil to paper will also tell you a lot about how they express themselves under pressure. This is especially true if you add a time limit to the task.

Hand Write Paragraph

If you are recruiting for a position that requires a bi-lingual candidate, this task is an excellent way to gauge their comfort in both languages. Simply ask them to write one or two sentences in their first language. Then instruct them to translate it to their second language. It may seem like a trial by fire, but this is the way their language skills will be put to the test in real-life environments, after all.

Final Thoughts

Interview questions should be tailored for maximum effect. Start by asking why your company seems like a good fit for them and how their current company could level up. Enquire about past projects they enjoyed and what changes they would make to their career journey if they could. Finally, ask them to write a paragraph about themselves by hand.

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