Those who are highly experienced in interviewing job applicants will often say that there are certain questions they use time and time again, in the knowledge that they will unlock insight into a particular candidate and how good a fit they represent for the given vacancy.
It’s no different for those of us on the Webrecruit team who possess such experience. We therefore thought we’d give some examples of questions that we have discovered can be especially revealing.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Pick a timeframe – five years is a good one. If the applicant could go back to that time and tap their younger self on the shoulder, what would they say? It’s a question that can’t be answered authentically without a lot of commitment and vulnerability, and any fake answers will be pretty obvious.
How do you develop yourself when you aren’t at work?
This is an intriguing question to hear an answer to, in large part due to the many different forms that self-development can take. For example, the candidate may cite a hobby or charitable pursuit that says something about their motivations and appetite to learn, explore and improve themselves.
What’s better: being extraordinary and late, or good and on time?
The candidate’s instinct may be to say ‘extraordinary and on time’, but by asking them to choose just one of these options, you can learn a great deal about their values and priorities. No less important is the second part of this question: why would you choose that one?
What are the qualities that you most and least like about your parents?
Simply seeing this question on the page is likely to prompt you to consider how you would answer this question; thoughts are likely to come together that you have carried with you for many years. It’ll be a similar situation for any candidate placed ‘on the spot’; they will likely have strong views on how they identify with their parents, and how they differentiate themselves from them.
What’s the most courageous thing you have done in life?
No one person seems to have quite the same definition of the word ‘courageous’ as the next person, which is why it makes for such an informative and revealing question to ask a candidate.
What questions have you found to bring the most insight into your own job applicants down the years? Feel free to share your favourites below. Then, ask us about our recruitment technology here at Webrecruit that incorporates easy-to-use interview management software for setting up appointments and communicating interview details to candidates.