Questions to ask an Interviewee

It’s widely known that preparation for an interview is essential. Yet it’s often thought this only applies to the interviewee. However, preparation is just as important when sitting on the other side of the table. Many candidates may be able ‘talk the talk’ during the interview, but it’s important to confirm that they can ‘walk the walk’ when carrying out the role. Therefore, it is important to ask telling questions in order to truly discover the best candidate for the role. As a recruitment agency, with offices in Manchester and London, we have frequent interaction with those on both sides of the process. This gives us a fair amount of knowledge in the field. Therefore, we have put together some questions that will make the most of your interview.

Tell me about yourself.

Opening with this prompt puts the interviewee in control, giving them the chance to sell themselves. Through their own account of their experience, you’ll get a better grasp of their personality as well as which elements of their CV they are most passionate about. Furthermore, an open question such as this enables the conversation to flow well, creating a more relaxed interview process.

What professional achievement are you most proud of?

This brings out the candidate’s best skills in the workplace, as well as showing what motivates them to do well.

Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult situation and what you did to rectify it?

A question like this shows the candidate’s behaviour in times of stress. It helps you to understand their ability to remain calm and manage expectations in critical situations. The candidate should be able to talk through their process confidently, justifying their decisions.

Why are you leaving your current role?

This question gives a strong indication of a candidate’s motivations and work ethic, enabling you to spot any red flags before committing to their employment. For example, if they left their previous role due to a lack of career progression, make sure this is something you would be likely to offer. It also gives you an understanding of what makes them happiest in the workplace, allowing you to accommodate this, should you wish to.

How would your colleagues describe you and why?

A cohesive team is often at the forefront of an employer’s mind since the working dynamic can be altered with the addition of one person. This question gives the candidate the opportunity to explain how they fit within their current team and puts you in a good position to establish how well they would fit within yours.

What do you spend your time doing outside of work?

Getting to know the candidate outside of a work situation can be extremely helpful. This question brings out their personality, giving you another chance to understand how they would work within your team. Furthermore, the question creates a relaxed atmosphere and encourages a good rapport with the candidate.

Why do you want this position?

If the interviewee has done their research, their response to this question will show it. The candidate should use this opportunity to link their own goals and skills with the job description and the company’s mission. It’s also an excellent indicator of whether you’re both thinking along the same lines; if their expectations for the role ring true with you.

Our years of experience in admin and PA recruitment have shown the reliability of these questions. Through a good balance of friendly and challenging questions, this method is sure to provide a great deal of success in the interview process.

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