Conducting an interview is often regarded as a simple process. Potential candidates are invited to meet with you, a few questions are exchanged and the most qualified person is selected - easy as pie. However, in addition to finding someone competent, you also need to assess the candidate's character to ensure a perfect fit, as well as longevity within the given role. To achieve this, the employer should ask questions that are work related and also non-work related, as it will allow them to get better acquainted with the candidate on both a professional and personal level. Below is a list of such questions, and the reasons why you should be asking them.
1. Tell me something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you.
Why Ask This Question? This question could be considered an icebreaker of sorts, as it is sure to catch the candidate off guard and provide insight into their personality. It will force them to shift their thoughts away from the pre-rehearsed answers they may have prepared for the interview.
2. What interests you most about this position?
Why Ask This Question? Once the ice has been broken, you can delve right into questions directly related to the position. Knowing which aspects of the job they are most interested in will allow you to gauge whether the candidate is best suited for this role, as they might be interested in the minor or less significant parts of the job. For example, if the candidate expresses an interest in the writing aspect of the position but you know that writing won't be required very often, although it forms part of the job duties, then this candidate might not be the best fit for this role.
3. What One Skill Makes You the Most Qualified for This Position and why?
Why Ask This Question? As a follow up to the previous question you will now be able to establish the candidate's professional strengths and whether these strengths, coupled with their skills, will be aligned with the core function of the role.
4. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Why Ask This Question? Aimed at establishing their character, the way the candidate answers this question will reveal their honesty and self-awareness. Here you can also determine whether the candidate's strengths and weaknesses will either help them perform their role or hinder it altogether.
5. What Do You Like to Do Outside of Work?
Why Ask This Question? It is important to remember that you are hiring a person, not a robot. Apart from doing their job they will also be required to interact with other people who are already working for the company. This question will allow you to determine whether the candidate will easily blend into the culture at the workplace.
6. Why are you leaving your current employer?
Why Ask This Question? The way a person speaks of their current and/or previous employer/s says a lot about their integrity and loyalty.
In an interview, you only get a couple of minutes to get to know the candidate and see if they are competent and a good fit with the company culture. Asking the right questions will help you get a better understanding of the candidate and reduce the risk of hiring.
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