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5 good interview questions to ask candidates

Make the most of your time spent interviewing by including these key questions to learn more about your candidates

The bizarre questions made famous by the likes of Google and Silicon Valley can often reveal incredibly little about how a prospective employee could fit into your organisation.

Good interview questions to ask your candidates should always be targeted to understand an individual:

  • Has the necessary skillset that appears on their CV
  • Would be a good overall fit within your existing team
  • Can demonstrate that their passion for the business is as real as it was on their covering letter

The interview questions you ask your candidates are the key to gathering the most valuable information possible in the time given. So making those questions count is as important as the answers that your candidate gives.

To get you off to the best possible start we've put together 5 particularly good interview questions that go beyond the simple ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?' More importantly we'll explain the reasoning behind these questions and how they can benefit your interview process.

Interview questions to ask your candidates:

What interested you most about this role?

Naturally you expect a candidate to answer passionately. If they aren't able to provide a clear answer, then it quickly helps you to filter them out of the running.

Alongside this though it also gives a candidate the opportunity to focus on specific elements of the role which can help you understand how they might comfortably fit amongst your team's existing skillset.

Tell me about a time things didn't go to plan and what you did to resolve it?

Personally or professionally, everyone has experienced problems and disasters which they'd rather forget. Although you are more than likely to receive a pre-prepared answer, it's how someone overcame their difficulties which is important. It can provide the evidence that demonstrates their skills and gives an insight into their character and suitability should problems arise in your own business.

What do you think we're doing right – and what do you think could be improved?

You would naturally assume that someone would have taken time to prepare for an interview by studying your business. But, going beyond simply remembering key dates or figures, this question shows whether a candidate has the motivation and skills to assess a business's effectiveness.

Beyond this, it can gives a good overview of how a person uses tact and diplomacy to explain how things can be improved. Plus, it gives you as n employer a fresh, first hand insight into how your business is perceived externally.

How do you go about continuing to develop your professional skills and knowledge?

Any additional time and effort that a candidate can explain to you about how they continue to learn about an industry is only a good thing.

Not only does it shows a genuine passion for the sector it demonstrates a willingness for self-improvement. This will hopefully mean they will positively engage in your business and be happy with the work you intend for them to do.

What do you think our industry will look like in 5 years' time?

Although this question can be more applicable to some industries more than others, almost all career paths have been rapidly affected by the rise of the internet and technology.

Although there can never be a truly right answer to this question it should be able to show you how much a candidate knows about your industry, as well as their ability to argue a case. Plus, it can lead on to plenty of additional industry related questions you can ask to test their expertise.

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