Six interview questions to help you get to know the person behind the CV

A man and a woman talking in a room practicing interview questions.

If you’ve been hiring for a while, it’s possible you may have got a little stuck in a rut with your interview questions. We all have our preferred methods and while they probably work incredibly well, are they effective at delving deeper beyond a candidate’s skills and experience?

We’d encourage all hiring managers to consider skillset and personality in equal measure when hiring. After all, there’s no point hiring someone with fantastic experience if they’re going to make all the other team members miserable. Here are some targeted questions that may help you to recruit the best possible candidates for your business.

1. How would your current/former boss describe your personality?

This one is always a good question because it encourages the person to truly consider how they might be perceived by their boss, rather than just thinking about their personality traits from their own skewed perspective.

2. If you were an animal, what would you be?

It’s a bit of a curveball but could be very eye-opening depending on their response. Lions, bears and tigers suggest a more confident personality, possibly one that’s unafraid to speak up. Domestic animals might suggest a more passive personality. Their reasons why they think they’d be that animal should speak volumes about how they perceive themselves.

3. What do you wish your brain was better at doing?

This is another way of asking people about their weaknesses. Because the question asks about their ‘brain’ rather than ‘you’, it gives a slight degree of separation which helps them to construct a more objective answer – without taking away from the question itself.

4. What could you not live without?

Candidates could have the option of either responding on a personal or professional level. It’s a particularly important one because it strikes right at the centre of what they value most. As it’s a subject they’ll feel strongly about, I’d expect them to offer strong reasons too without the need for you to prompt them.

5. If we were sit here together a year from now celebrating our achievements of the year, what would you hope those would be?

This question tests a few different areas. It encourages the candidate to consider the job description, what they know about the company, what they’ve understood to be your personal objectives plus asks them about their own. You’ll be able to really see how well they’ve done their homework, and how much they want to be there.

6. What aspect of your role do you least enjoy?

This is not an unusual question, but it can tricky to get the truth out. You may find that you need to ask the question in different ways in order to succeed at getting an honest response out of them in the end. It’s worth persisting though. After all, you don’t want to hire a PA who can’t stand managing diaries; nor would you want to hire a team assistant who prefers to work on their own.

If you’d like some help with hiring your next team member, get in touch today.

David Morel Author David Morel Tiger Recruitment Team

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