Recruiting candidates can be stressful, and the thought of the interview process is daunting for everyone involved. If you are interviewing candidates, it helps to be consistent, but you also need to ask questions that help you get to know the applicant.

Here are seven interview questions you should ask candidates.

1. Tell me about yourself?
2. How does this job fit with your career goals?
3. What do you know about our industry, our firm and our competitors?
4. Why did you leave your last job?
5. What is your biggest weakness?
6. Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult customer/colleague/manager?
7. Do you have any questions for us?

Tell me about yourself?

This is an open question that allows suitable candidates to showcase why they believe they’re a good fit for your company and the role. You only need to allow a few minutes
for this question, as the candidate should try to be concise, but it will offer interesting insight into their personality.

How does this job fit with your career goals?

You should be keen to ascertain a candidate’s motivations, but they can provide you with context. This is an updated take on the standard “where do you see yourself in five years” question, but it relates the question to your firm. Successful candidates will be able to tie in their aims with the job description and role.

What do you know about our industry, our firm and our competitors?

This is an excellent question to ascertain if a candidate has researched your firm and the industry for the interview. There are many times when bringing in an outsider is a good idea for a company, but the candidate should show a basic understanding of the industry and setting they are applying for. If a candidate cannot provide any insight or knowledge, it suggests they haven’t undertaken any effort in the research process.

Why did you leave your last job?

It is helpful to know why a candidate moved on from their most recent job. If a candidate stumbles over an answer or cannot provide a suitable reason, they may have something to hide. This is another question which indicates the level of preparation an applicant has put in for the interview process.

What is your biggest weakness?

Be wary of candidates who turn this question into an opportunity to boast about themselves. An appropriate answer is one where the applicant acknowledges a failing or
weakness while indicating they are taking steps (or have taken steps) to remove the issue. If a candidate can show awareness and development in their answer, it should be
considered to be a good answer.

Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult customer/colleague/manager?

Hopefully, there won’t be any conflict in your organisation, but conflict can arise. It is crucial candidates indicate how they respond in stressful situations, and what they would do
to resolve the situation.

Do you have any questions for us?

It is helpful to ask whether a candidate has any questions for you. It helps indicate candidates who have researched your firm and may provide further insight or depth to their
character.

Hopefully, these questions will help you prepare an interview process that lets candidates excel. If you require further guidance regarding the interview process, please contact The Recruiting Office.

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