Hacks and tips
6 Min

What interview questions to ask?

September 1, 2021

Picking out questions to ask in an interview seems like a job for everyone, or at least, that’s what we all tell ourselves. In reality, however, choosing the right interview questions is well beyond ordinary comprehension, and it should be left to a professional HR rep to compose the correct questions.

Professional recruiters use the job description to come up with a wide variety of penetrating questions that give them an idea about the interviewee and help them size them up. Don’t let the simplicity of the lines mentioned above take you for a ride; however, there’s more to the subject that can be compressed in a few words.

In action, interviews can go south in a second, and recruiters need to be equipped with carefully planned questions to maintain a steady flow. When a new applicant sets across the meeting table, they bring a whole unique vibe to the event. They are from different backgrounds, praise utterly different cultural values, have mixed feelings and maturity levels, may or may not show feelings towards the interview, and their self-awareness levels go up and down like a boat on a ravaging sea. Interview questions should be designed depending on each individual. HR reps should base these questions on the criteria presented on each applicant’s form or resume. Doing so can mitigate the interview-wrecking outcomes of unforeseen circumstances.

Interviewees who neglect to write down interview questions for the session miss out on the chance to conduct an impressing and lively interview. You should avoid this. First, go ahead and read the job description, and afterward, invest some time into getting to know the applicant through their profile within your modern autonomous recruiting software and write those questions down into your auto-scheduled interview machine to remind you within your session. While this might take a few minutes of your precious time, in the end, however, it pays off handsomely. By taking this route, you set the process for an overly tasty and productive ending where both you and the interviewee feel relaxed, calm, appreciated, and eager for the next meeting. This also helps you build trust with the newcomer and quickly sell them to your organization and goals.

If you take the time to assess the job description and the person coming to sit in front of you, you will eventually come down with a long list of essential yet engaging and productive interview questions that can transform the interview from boring and awkward to pleasant and actually kind of fun.

1. Asking the candidate about themselves

First thing’s first, kick off the interview by taking the time to get to know the fascinating applicant, who also has the effort to come to your organization and answer your questions. This interview question is excellent for breaking the ice and toning down any possible tensions or stress.

Asking about one’s personal life shows them you care about the person and are ready to work towards a more mutual and understanding relationship, against merely focusing on the objective and turning the interview into a back-and-forth duel!

2. What do you know about our organization and its goals?

After the friendly chitchats and getting down to a more personal basis, the timing is excellent for a more professional interview question; to ask the applicant what they know about the company.

This has happened to all of us once or twice in the past. We walk into an interview, fully-fledged and composed, ready to kick ass and take names before the kick from the truth tosses us down; what does this company really do?

As a recruiter, it’s imperative to ask the “do you know us” question as quickly as possible. Talents reach out to numerous companies searching for the best-fit job, and it’s absolutely normal for them to lose track of the names.

Asking this question also shows who’s done their homework and who hasn’t, which comes in handy in time to evaluate candidates. Despite almost everyone having regular access to a good internet connection, some talents don’t take the time to become familiar with an organization, which tells a lot about their personality.

3. Ask about their current/past jobs and how they feel about them

While still remaining on the interview’s friendly side, try to slowly push the questioning into a more professional perspective by asking about their previous experiences.

A lot pours out when someone starts to talk about their past, especially in an interview for a vacant position. When you kind-heartedly ask about one’s history in other organizations — and you’ve already won their trust — they tend to open up and give you their straightforward and clear thoughts. This is a win for you.

Hearing an interviewee describing their previous jobs and bosses helps you assess the person and evaluate them more precisely. It also enables you to determine their communication skills.

4. What can you bring to our organization?

In an effort to bring creativity to the interview, stay clear of the cliché interview questions like “what are your greatest weaknesses or strengths.” Instead, ask them how they think they can help the organization and plan to do it. Instead of focusing on the descriptions, you will ask them to put them into theoretical use and explain it.

This question helps the applicants by rattling their minds, making them think about how they can improve the situation.

5. Hypothetical Scenarios

Nobody is perfect, that’s a known fact. Disagreements break off in the workspace left and right, and there’s no way to spot it, and this could be one possibility as to why a candidate is sitting right across you, hoping to land a job at your organization.

While previous brawls with other team members or bosses don’t necessarily mean that they’re going to happen in your organization too, asking talents what they’d do if they’re stuck in a sticky situation at work can provide you in-depth knowledge of the interviewee’s personality.

As well explained in roberthalf.com: “This is one of the best questions to ask an interviewee because you’ll get a sense of their conflict resolution abilities. What tone does the person use when talking about the other people involved? Were they able to handle the situation described appropriately? Did they find common ground? Emotional intelligence is keenly needed in almost every job.”

6. Ask about their future

This is so typical from a recruiter to ask but still, it always helps. This particular interview question can show you just how ambitious one applicant is, and where they see themselves in the future. Also, it depicts their deepest desires and wishes to come true when working in your organization. Don’t underestimate the power of this question.

7. Remember that an interview is a two-way street

Sometimes the recruiters are taken aback when they see themselves at the receiving end of a question like something unholy.

You should always be ready to answer questions as well as asking them. Talent has come all the way from their house or devoted their time to your online questioning, and they would love some answers before they call it a day.

Applicants usually raise questions related to the job and how it can satisfy their needs, and when we say needs, we mean all of it. They want to see their aspirations, ambitions, and dreams get endorsed and fulfilled when they finally settle in the company. So, embrace yourself for related questions.

Keep in mind to answer them dutifully and as straightforward as possible. If the candidates feel like their curiosity isn’t ignored, and they’ve been given pertinent and transparent answers, they will be more likely to join your ranks. On the other hand, however, careless and confusing answers can throw them off and even make them consider other options.

The right answer to a candidate’s question can seriously improve the candidate's experience.

8. Teamwork makes Dreamwork

Today, lots of interviews are conducted by more than one interviewer to make the whole experience more legit and unbiased.

If you’re running a meeting with a candidate with other organization members by your side, try to coordinate with them.

Ask your colleagues which of the interview questions they’re going to fire off at the interviewee. Also, expand their knowledge of the candidate by sharing your information about the person with your co-interviewers and, in return, asking them to share their story on the subject and the individual.

If the interview is going to be 1:1, make sure to take note of what questions your coworkers will ask. Point out any sensitive point that can ruin the interview for them, and eventually, for everyone else. Here are two issues that QPage.com/blog thinks unreservedly vital:

· All interviewers should assess the same skills. This means that you’ll be able to consider related feedback from multiple perspectives, making your eventual decision more objective and reliable.

· Interviewers should avoid asking the same questions to evaluate each skill. This means you’ll avoid tiring candidates or giving them the impression that the interviewing team isn’t well-coordinated.

Though a modern practice these days is using machine-led interviews (known recorded mock interviews) to provide a better environment to express ideas freely and observe for both applicant and interviewer.

Join 18,000 Fellow Recruiters.
Get experts' recruiting tips straight to your inbox.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong. Try again.