Interview Questions for Employers

There are two purposes of an interview. The first is to attract suitable candidates to want to work for your company and the second is to identify whether the candidate’s personality traits are suited to the position you are recruiting for. This is not as easy as it sounds. Asking targeted questions to identify whether the candidate has the key characteristics to succeed in the role will help find the best candidate for the job. Avoiding unconscious bias is difficult but having a list of questions to compare candidate responses helps to select the right person for the role and give each candidate a fair and unbiased assessment.
The challenging questions need to be balanced by highlighting the positive aspects of the position and why the candidate would want to work in this role and for this company. Candidates should always leave with a positive experience even if they decide that they are not suited to the role or company.
General questions to ask to get an overview of the candidate:
What attracted you to the role?
-Describe a challenging situation that you have had to overcome.
-What are your strengths and weaknesses?
-What is your greatest achievement?
-How would your manager get the best out of you?
-How do you react to criticism?
-How would your best friend describe you?
-How would you describe yourself under pressure?
-If we give you the position and you find yourself struggling with the
demands after a few weeks, what would you do about this?
-What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Considering the person's specification, here is a list of key characteristics to explore through
interview questions:
Integrity – If you witnessed someone make a mistake or behave irresponsibly what would
you do? How do you behave when you have made a mistake? Why did you leave your last
Hard work ethic – What was your greatest challenge? How did you overcome this?
Ambition – Are you ambitious? Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? How will you
get there? Are they expecting a promotion for showing up or as a reward for hard work?
Initiative – Describe how you have initiated a new idea? Describe a project you initiated that you are most proud of? Describe how you went above and beyond the requirements
of the duties of your job?
Organisation – How do you go about organising your day? How do you cope when you are overwhelmed with work? What tools or methods do you use when you have a large to-do list?
Discipline – How do you organise your day? How often do you play sport? How do you minimise distraction? How do you manage the least favourite job on your to-do list?
Flexible – How do you react to change? How do you manage last minute changes? Do you prefer a structured day or one that is fluid? How would you respond to your manager asking you to do something that will take you about 20 minutes just before you are going home?
Determination – Describe a situation where you have failed? How did you handle it? What is the biggest challenge you have had to face at work/university/school?
Problem Solving – Describe a situation where you identified a problem and solved it before it became an urgent or disaster. What would you do if your boss missed his flight?
Gatekeeping – How do you manage a request for a meeting with your boss when they are in a meeting? Tell me how you help your boss manage their diary? A solution finder – are they a problem or a solution finder?
Team player – Do you play any sport? (is it team or individual?) What would your work colleagues say about you?
Time management – How do you go about prioritising your workload? How do you plan your day? How do you prioritise competing tasks? How do you manage distractions? How do you manage a work/life balance? What do you consider to be the perfect balance?
Professionalism – What would you do if you are asked to divulge sensitive or confidential information? Why did you leave your last position? (watch for negativity).

Example rating system table:

Evaluation Table
CriteriaWeightingCandidate 1Candidate 2Candidate 3Candidate 4Candidate 5