Employer Interview Questions To Ask Candidates
We always advise graduates to prepare for a job interview and the same goes for employers.
In a job interview, the aim is to gain as much information about a candidate to determine whether or not they are right for a role.
Employers will need to prepare a selection of good interview questions to ask candidates.
Given that you will already have read their graduate CV, looked on for a profile, and viewed their online portfolio, it should be straightforward to decipher whether or not the candidate would be perfect for the role.
Yet interviewers of all levels of experience find that this can be a real challenge in such a short space of time.
Selecting the right and unique interview questions to ask candidates can make or break when it comes to finding out the necessary information to make a decision.
Introduce Yourself And Set The Scene
First impressions are everything. Introduce yourself and welcome the candidate respectfully.
By greeting the candidate in a polite manner, you will help ease much of the tension that he or she may be feeling. Tell them a little bit about who you are and then ask them how their day is going or if they have any weekend plans. This will help break the ice.
Youll also want to make sure the interview space is clear of any kind of distractions so that you can both focus on the conversation. If the interview is virtual, make sure you have a clean background and space to chat.
How Could I Impress You In The First Three Months
This is a good question to ask at the end of a job interview because it shows potential employers that you’re eager to make a positive contribution to the organisation.
Pay close attention to the recruiter’s response as it will tell you how they want you to perform and will highlight particular areas of the job you should be focusing on during the first few weeks of employment.
Recommended Reading: Women’s Outfit For Job Interview
Instead Of Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years Time
Ask What three professional achievements do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? is usually greeted with a long-winded answer about how the candidate wants to be doing something which makes them happy, or that they just want to be successful in whatever theyre doing.
This alternate question encourages them to be specific.
Asking for professional achievements will enable you to bring to light what really matters to your candidate.
If all of their accomplishments focus on training, you can be sure that this is a very important aspect for them.
If they focus on leading a department or getting promoted, you can be certain this is where their motivation lies.
Encouraging the candidate to define just three things also gives the answer a finite end-point which prevents it from becoming too convoluted.
How To Conduct A Job Interview
Its important to prepare ahead of time for an interview so you can ask intentional questions that give thoughtful insight into a candidate and their skills. Consider carefully assessing the job opening you have and structuring questions that can best help you find out an applicants suitability for the position. Here are 12 steps you can take to conduct a strong job interview:
Recommended Reading: Best Interview Attire For A Woman
You Must Tell The Employer That Youve Gotten An Offer From Another Company
Why? First, itll automatically make you a more desirable candidate. Second, itll speed up the recruitment process dramatically, and third, you might get a juicier offer.
Heres how to tell an employer you have another job offer via email:
Ive really enjoyed interviewing with XYZ but Id like to be upfront with you. I just received a written offer from another company. That said, Id welcome a chance to help XYZ boost its major KPIs, but my timeline is much shorter now. Do you think we could figure something out here?
If you put it like that, employers will stick to your application like superglue.
Top Business Growth Expert | Co-Founder & CEO, Cleverism
Other Types Of Questions
Other possible types of questions that may be asked alongside structured interview questions or in a separate interview include: background questions, job knowledge questions, and puzzle type questions. A brief explanation of each follows.
- Background questions include a focus on work experience, education, and other qualifications. For instance, an interviewer may ask “What experience have you had with direct sales phone calls?” Interviews composed primarily of these types of questions are often labeled “conventional interviews”.
- Job knowledge questions may ask candidates to describe or demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities relevant to the job. These are typically highly specific questions. For example, one question may be “What steps would you take to conduct a manager training session on safety?”
- The puzzle interview was popularized by Microsoft in the 1990s, and is now used in other organizations. The most common types of questions either ask the applicant to solve puzzles or brain teasers or to solve unusual problems .
A case interview is an interview form used mostly by management consulting firms and investment banks in which the job applicant is given a question, situation, problem or challenge and asked to resolve the situation. The case problem is often a business situation or a business case that the interviewer has worked on in real life.
Example stress interview questions:
Also Check: Questions To Ask A Cfo
Welcome Questions From The Candidate
Dont forget the welcome questions from the candidate. This is important not only so that the candidate has the chance to ask anything that will help them feel secure about the job that he or she is applying for.
It is also an important opportunity for you to see how invested the candidate is in the company and whether theyll be a good fit. Are they asking about day-to-day tasks? What about the big picture? This is a great opportunity to see if the candidate will be a cultural fit at your company.
Share Next Steps In The Interview Process
Near the end of the interview, consider outlining the next steps for the candidate to help set expectations. For example, share your intended timeline of making a hiring decision, when they can expect to hear from the company, or if another round of interviews is likely. Allowing the candidate to ask clarifying questions can also help establish an understanding of the next steps and expectations, too.
Don’t Miss: Top 10 Behavioral Questions
Email Examples: How To Respond To An Employer Interview Request
Related video: Ultimate Guide To Following Up: After Job Application, Interview and No Response
Recruiters and hiring managers often turn to email to request an interview you for a position. How you respond to that email can set you apart from other candidates. In this article, we offer step-by-step instructions on how to confirm an interview appointment by email along with helpful tips and examples to help you write your own.
How Did You Hear About This Position
Another seemingly innocuous interview question, this is actually a perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion for and connection to the company. For example, if you found out about the gig through a friend or professional contact, name-drop that person, then share why you were so excited about the job. If you discovered the company through an event or article, share that. Even if you found the listing through a random job board, share what, specifically, caught your eye about the role.
Read Also: Questions To Ask The Cfo In An Interview
Apply The Star Interview Structure
A common interview technique is STAR, which stands for:
- Situation: A situation or challenge faced
- Task: A task, duty, or responsibility of an individual
- Action: The action done to overcome, improve, or resolve an issue or challenge
- Result: The outcome of the actions taken
Candidates often use the STAR interview method when answering behavioural questions, like discussing a time they dealt with challenging customers or colleagues. The STAR structure for questions and answers can give you insight into how applicants approach problems and apply decision-making abilities to lead to positive outcomes. If an applicant doesnt answer fully, consider asking follow-up questions or guide them to be more specific about the situation.
How Much Do You Know About The Company
This interview question is one of the most common interview questions asked and is essentially a test to check that youve done your research and know your stuff. If you can prove that youve dug a little deeper than the company website and refer to a company achievement, press release or recent update, youll be sure to win extra brownie points.
Researching the company is a must, and almost all job candidates do it to some degree today. But the interview is not a test to see whether you read the company website. Instead, you want to identify opportunities and demonstrate how you can add value to the company, if they hire you. Take the information you gain through your research and prepare insightful questions and observations that can serve as discussion points during the interview. Here are some ways to do that:
Recommended Reading: Mailscoop Io
Things You Should Never Reveal During A Job Interview
A job interview is your opportunity to shine by bringing the information on your resume and cover letter to life. Your job application has already moved along from the initial phases, and the job interview can make or break your landing the job.
The interview is an opportunity for a potential employer to learn more about you and determine if you are compatible with the companys culture. However, disclosing too much information can derail your employment chances. Below are four things that you should never reveal during a job interview.
Target Your Resume To The Job
Would you like to know how many job searchers are looking for a “challenging opportunity to utilize my skills with a progressive employer who will provide opportunities for growth?” Don’t even ask the answer will break your heart if this is how you routinely describe the position you seek in your resume.
Even more importantly, with instantaneous online printing, no one needs to photocopy 100 resumes at an instant print store for distribution. Customization counts. Customization is everything when you are looking at substantially different opportunities, too.
If you’re looking for a training position or a marketing position. Identical resumes won’t sell your skills for either field.
You May Like: Questions To Ask A Cfo In An Interview
Interview Questions For Job Candidates
To elicit the elements and insights derived from using the STAR approach of behavioral interviewing, prepare a series of questions that build on behavioral interview question models that start with:
Questions constructed around each of these models offer the potential for answers that say a lot about a candidate’s personality and interpersonal style. They can also spark a meaningful discussion that leads to the interviewer’s deeper understanding of past situations, tasks, actions, and results the applicant has experienced.
Review Your Feedback And Input Any Final Notes Or Comments
Finally, review your finished document and input any final considerations. For example, you may wish to add your opinion as to who your first and second choice candidates are. Remember, you may choose to use this feedback when telling candidates they were unsuccessful in their application, so you can add constructive feedback and highlight opportunities for development to help unsuccessful candidates in their future job search.
Read Also: Best System Design Interview Prep
Why Were You Fired
Of course, they may ask the follow-up question: Why were you let go? If you lost your job due to layoffs, you can simply say, The company and unfortunately my was eliminated. But what if you were fired for performance reasons? Your best bet is to be honest . But it doesnt have to be a deal breaker. Frame it as a learning experience: Share how youve grown and how you approach your job and life now as a result. And if you can portray your growth as an advantage for this next job, even better.
Are You Planning On Having Children
Questions about your family status, gender , nationality , religion, or age are illegalbut they still get asked . Of course, not always with ill intentthe interviewer might just be trying to make conversation and might not realize these are off-limitsbut you should definitely tie any questions about your personal life back to the job at hand. For this question, think: You know, Im not quite there yet. But I am very interested in the career paths at your company. Can you tell me more about that?
Don’t Miss: Questions To Ask Cfo In Interview
Whats Your Work Style
When an interviewer asks you about your work style, theyre probably trying to imagine you in the role. How will you approach your work? What will it be like to work with you? Will you mesh well with the existing team? You can help them along by choosing to focus on something thats important to you and aligns with everything youve learned about the role, team, and company so far. The question is broad, which means you have a lot of flexibility in how you answer: You might talk about how you communicate and collaborate on cross-functional projects, what kind of remote work setup allows you to be most productive, or how you approach leading a team and managing direct reports. Just try to keep it positive. And remember, telling a story will almost always make your answer more memorable.
What Were You Doing In Your Employment Gap
Dont be afraid of employment gaps, despite the very real threat of unemployment bias they are justifiable. For example, you might have had a gap if you were studying or on maternal/paternal leave.
However, these are not the only reasons for a temporary break from work and sometimes these topics can be complicated. Check out our blog or more complex employment gap issues and how to explain employment gaps in your resume.
You May Like: Cfo Interview
What Do You Consider To Be Your Weaknesses
What your interviewer is really trying to do with this questionbeyond identifying any major red flagsis to gauge your self-awareness and honesty. So, I cant meet a deadline to save my life is not an optionbut neither is Nothing! Im perfect! Strike a balance by thinking of something that you struggle with but that youre working to improve. For example, maybe youve never been strong at public speaking, but youve recently volunteered to run meetings to help you get more comfortable when addressing a crowd.
Why Should We Hire You
This interview question seems forward , but if youre asked it, youre in luck: Theres no better setup for you to sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager. Your job here is to craft an answer that covers three things: that you can not only do the work, but also deliver great results that youll really fit in with the team and culture and that youd be a better hire than any of the other candidates.
Read Also: Prepare For System Design Interview
Helps You Develop Specific Skills
The employer may suggest learning more skills to include on your resume, as this can attract other employers and showcase your abilities. For example, a company might work with modern technology and seek candidates with strong technical skills. This can be a chance for you to develop new skills that will suit a similar job vacancy, or it can help you find other areas you may be passionate about.
Judging Based On Personal Preferences
As humans, we tend to like people who share our personal preferences and interests, such as music, sports, television shows, lifestyle choices and other behaviors that aren’t relevant to the job.
While interviewing, keep in mind that liking the same TV shows is not related to job performance. Interviewers should not let “being like me” unconsciously sway their judgment. Remain as objective and focused on the job qualifications as you can, especially while determining if the candidate is a good culture fit. This is where it can be helpful to have multiple interviewers speak to the same candidate you can all compare your thoughts on personality and culture fit to reach an objective decision.
Sammi Caramela and Chad Brooks contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
Read Also: Interview Attire Womens
Read The Candidates Cv Before The Interview
Schedule half an hour before each interview to familiarise yourself with the candidate you are about to see. Review any projects and examples of their work which are of interest, and take a look at their LinkedIn profile. Doing so will help you feel prepared, and allow you to start building a rapport with the candidate.
Be Honest Without Being Too Detailed
When answering this question, you dont need to go into all the details. If you find your current job unsatisfying, there is always a way to share that without disparaging your current employer . Keep your answer focused and short, and move the conversation back towards why you are excited about the opportunities ahead of you.
Its important to keep in mind that the company youre interviewing with may contact your previous employer, so what youve told them should be in line with what theyll learn in those conversations. If youre unemployed, be honest about that situation as well. If they get in contact with your previous employer to confirm start dates, salary range or get a reference, this could hurt your chances of getting the offer if youve provided different information.
Also Check: System Design Interview Preparation