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10 Interview Questions EVERY Recruiter Should Ask Their Candidates

Interview Questions

Job interviews can be a headache for recruiters and we all know that recruiters face enough challenges as it is. This is especially the case when a recruiter comes out of the interview feeling like they didn’t ask the right questions. Asking the right questions is essential when determining who the best fit for the job. Obviously, you’re looking to hire an individual who has the right skills to succeed in the role their applying for. However, it’s also important to dig a little deeper and to find out what type of person it is that you’re interviewing.

Yes, skills are important, but you also want your candidate to have the right characteristics for the job at hand. Mix it up with some funny interview questions, or catch them off guard with a few weird ones. Asking the right questions in a structured way will help you in hiring a complete candidate that has the personality and skills to match! So….pen and pad at the ready! Here are the best 10 interview questions for you to ask your next star candidate.

1. “What hobbies do you have?”

Starting with an easy one here, and this question should be an obvious one for recruiters. There are many ways to look at each answer a candidate gives you. For example, if they enjoy playing a lot of sport, it shows they are energetic individuals who are health conscious. If it’s a team-based sport, ask them how they can transfer the teamwork they know and apply it their new role. Always have a follow-up question and try to revert it back to the role at hand.

2. “Tell me about your greatest professional achievement?”

This gives the person interviewing an insight into what your candidate personally values. It also allows the candidate to share some of their proudest moments with you. Assess each achievement and then filter out what you deem to be an outstanding achievement. You want a candidate that has their sights set high! Not someone whose professional achievement was to be always on-time for work (Pffft!). If a marketing candidate tells you that they boosted website traffic by 65% over a 6-month period, well, that’s pretty impressive don’t you think?

3. What was the biggest obstacle you have overcome?”

Everyone faces certain challenges in both their personal and professional lives. What’s most important in this case is how your candidate overcame each hurdle. What did they learn from this experience? How would they deal with this obstacle if it were to happen again? Keep these questions in mind when asking your candidate this question and you might just get a glimpse of some A1 qualities from your candidate. Furthermore, this gives you insight into your candidate’s problem-solving skills, as well as how they approached each situation.

4.  “Are you interested in continuing to develop your professional skills & knowledge?”

Continuous learning saw rapid changes and growth in 2017, with companies looking to continuously upskill their workers instead of a ‘one & done” certificate. Learning has become a key goal for companies with many encouraging their employees to partake in various courses. As a HR manager or recruiter hiring for a company that takes learning seriously- this question should be a must! You want your candidate to believe in continuous learning and to attend courses that will help them improve the skills they already possess.

5. “Can you tell me what the key trends are in this industry?”

Every industry has its own niche trends. Furthermore, these trends are changing every year. See if your candidate is up-to-date and informed about the latest trends by asking them this question. It’s important to understand the industry you work in, and if your candidate is ill-informed from the get-go, then that alone should be a telling sign of the candidate’s knowledge.

6. “What is your biggest strength?”

Candidates have become accustomed to being asked the mundane question of “What are your weaknesses?”. Personally, this question has always frustrated me. What answer does the person interviewing expect from this type of question? Candidates usually predict being asked this question and prepare an answer in advance. Whereas when asking a candidate about their strengths, it allows them to paint their skills or traits in a positive light. There will also be a greater variety of answers to this question.


7. “Tell me about a time when you got it all wrong?”

This question allows you to see how honest your candidate is. Some people have the nerve to say that they’ve never made a mistake. No one is that perfect, and a dishonest answer should be major red flag for any recruiter. If a candidate admits to making a mistake, ask them what they’ve learned from that experience. Admitting to a mistake also shows that they take ownership of the mess they might of made.

8. “Would you relocate for this job?”

Depending on the role you’re hiring for, your candidate may need to relocate to another country or travel regularly. If it’s a necessity for a candidate to relocate, then the candidate must want to move! Only someone who is passionate enough about the job will be willing to do this. If a candidate isn’t quite sure and hesitates to answer – push them more as to why they aren’t 100% sure.

9. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

You want your star candidate to have ambition! Only ambitious employees will truly push the boundaries, and that’s someone you want working in your company. It also gives the person interviewing insight into how long the candidate might plan on staying at your company. A star candidate will list their career goals and will obviously be a motivated individual who is looking for career progression.

10. “Do you have any questions for me?”

A candidate that doesn’t take the opportunity to ask questions is missing out or is struggling to think of a question off the top of their head. Questions such as; “How long will the probation period be?” OR “What learning opportunities will be available to me?” are most definitely a positive for a candidate to ask you. It shows that they are thinking and looking ahead to the future.


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