From the bog-standard to the bonkers there are a wealth of questions that you could ask a potential new recruit during the job interview process. But which questions will really tell you something about the person who wants to come and work for you and which will tell you most about what sort of employee they will be.
Here’s our suggestions for the best questions to ask in a job interview:
“Tell us about yourself”
Most job interviews start with this general question and there’s a reason for that. Asking such a wide-ranging, yet personal, question allows the interviewee to get comfortable as everyone can answer a question about themselves! As an interviewer, their answer will tell you a great deal about the person sitting in front of you. Do they focus more on their academic history, their work successes or do they mostly speak about their family? There’s no right or wrong answer to this one and whether what they focus on is right for you will depend on the focus of your own company.
“Why have you applied for this job?”
Another key early question is to find out why they are here at this job interview. Their answer will show you how much research they have done about your company, and that shows you how interested they are in working for you. Although an interview is a two-way process and the candidate will be coming to find out more about the company, they should come with a level of knowledge and this question will uncover that.
“Tell me about a time…”
Asking candidates to give you a real-life example of a time they have done a task similar to one they are likely to face if they work with your company gives you a real insight into how well this person will fit in with your existing team. The answer they give should be well-rounded – setting the scene as to what happened, describing what they did and concluding with the outcome. Well prepared candidates will come with a variety of examples to showcase their skills so even if you ask this question a couple of times, a good prospect will have different examples each time.
“What would your current team say about you?”
You’re not only looking to hire someone who has the skills to work well in your business, their personality is also important if you want someone to gel with your team. By asking how others would describe them you’ll get a taste for their personality in the workplace. However, beware the modest interviewee who may well undersell themselves on this question.
“Why are you looking to leave your current job?”
This is another question to allow you to understand the candidates motivation both in their career overall, but in applying for this job. After all, their CV will have told you about their career history and skillset – the interview is the opportunity to dig dipper and find out more about the person.
“How many times does a clock’s hand overlap in a day?”
Err, what? This brainteaser of a question is reportedly a popular question that Google – one of the most competitive companies in the world to join – ask their prospective employees during a job interview. Throwing in a random question towards the end of the interview is becoming an increasingly popular tactic. Expect some nervous laughter when the question is first asked but then you’ll learn a lot about the candidate from their response. Do they crack straight on with attempting an answer or just refuse point-blank to even try because it’s too hard? The way that someone tackles something they weren’t expecting will tell you a lot about the person. And if you do intend to ask a brainteaser question then it’s important you know the answer – a clock’s hands overlap 22 times a day!