How To Interview:
Suggested Interview and Format Questions
Interviews can be a stressful experience, but they don’t need to be. View them as an opportunity to learn more about your marketplace, and the type of people that consider you an employer of choice.
It’s easy to get sidetracked and go over time; so stay focused and take notes. Be reasonably consistent with your interview content and style, to ensure you’re comparing apples and apples – and confident of a transparent recruitment process.
If you know pretty quickly that they’re not suitable, it may be prudent to cut the interview short, thanking them for their time and explaining you’re doing round one screening interviews and when they can expect to hear back.
- The candidate has the correct address and any intricacies of parking or locating your office are explained when setting the interview time.
- Reception knows that you expect the candidate, and greets them appropriately.
- You’re on time and prepared – you want to ensure that if they’re your ideal candidate, your organization is their ideal employer.
By thanking them for their time, with some small talk to build rapport and put them at ease… you want their honest answers, not their nervous ones! Give an outline of the interview process and the likely time duration of the interview.
“I’d like to start by asking: why are you interested in working here, and what in your background is most relevant to the role?” (this will highlight upfront for you how prepared they are, and set the tone of your interview)
If they veer away from the role you’re recruiting for, prompt them by asking “if there were no barriers, what would be your ideal job?” (after all, you want someone whose ideal job is the one you’re offering!)
Then work through their resume, clarifying reasons for leaving their last (and current) roles, responsibilities, what they enjoyed/ disliked, contributions/ achievements, remuneration levels. The best way to gauge a person’s future work performance, is by their prior performance. Note what they discuss – what is important to them? It’s not always what’s said, but how it’s said.
Additional suggested questions (relevance depends on the role you’re recruiting):
- What do you know about our business, and how will you add value?
- Where would you like to be two years from now? (looking for stability and a long-term fit with your organisation – are they seeking something you can’t offer?)
- What do you consider would be your greatest challenge if you were successful to the position?
- Tell me about a time when you had a significant challenge with a client/colleague? Talk me through the situation, how you responded and the outcome.
- Do you foresee any conflicts with your ability to work extra hours from time to time?
- Describe your ideal working environment; including team culture, workflow and management style?
- When you’re having a bad day, what keeps you going?
Now offer information:
Outline the role you’re looking to fill (holding back this information until now, so previous responses cannot be tailored to the requirements).
What do you know the challenges facing the new person in this role to be? Role play/ ask for prior examples of similar situations to determine suitability.
Advise the process from that point, and a timeframe moving forward.
Ask “Is there anything else you’d like to ask me or tell me before we finish?” (Candidates expect the opportunity to ask questions, though few prepare meaningfully. Their response here will not only give you a final impression of their preparedness for the interview, but also indicate what’s important to them. Favoured responses include: “What do you consider the priorities for the role?” and “Is there any reason you wouldn’t consider me suitable for the position?”)