The best interview questions for employers to use focus on the skills candidates need to have to succeed in the role and the characteristics that will enable them to fit into the company culture.
Interview questions are typically divided into seven different types of techniques, including:
Credential Verification Questions
Questions like “What was your average grade throughout your degree?” and “When did you start working at your current company?” are examples of credential verification questions. These questions serve as a CV/resume fact check, ensuring that the information provided is accurate and true while objectively looking at a candidate’s knowledge of their background.
Experience Verification questions
“What did you learn on that course?” or “What skills have you gained from your role?” are common examples of this type of question. While similar to credential verification questions in terms of aim, the difference is that these questions subjectively evaluate a candidate’s background.
“What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “What is your greatest accomplishment?” are included in this category. While the purpose of these questions is to subjectively analyse how candidates would respond in a series of scenarios, in reality many candidates’ brains will kick into a “I know the answer to that one!” state and give a somewhat automated answer.
These questions are a staple of most job interviews today. They’re easy to identify as they generally start with a phrase such as “Tell me about a time when you …”. The logic is that past behaviour is indicative of future results, thus these questions aim to examine previous occasions where you may have been in a certain type of situation to see how you might react in those situations.
Examples of this type of question are “Can you give me a specific example of your teamwork skills?” or “Explain a way in which you met your goals.” Their purpose is to put together a candidate’s previous behaviour with the specific competencies the position requires.
These are usually problem-solving questions that range from: “How many petrol stations are there in New Zealand?” to “What is your estimate of the global retail market for DVDs?” These questions aim to evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving ability and give them a chance to demonstrate how they work through and analyse potential case situations.
Made famous by Silicon Valley, these questions range from things like “What is 1345 divided by 76?” and “How many standard-sized footballs could fit in a Subaru Impreza?” to complex algorithms. They aim to evaluate more than just a candidate’s mental arithmetic by looking at their creative thinking skills too. Although tempting, in reality they’re not that effective. Even Google is phasing them out.
Interview Questions That we Recommend
While there are no “silver bullet” questions, there are some that are better than others. Here at Beyond Recruitment, the questions we consider to be best include:
1. Tell me about your greatest professional achievement.
Enables employers to not only look at a candidate’s personal values and ideas around achievement but also make them more comfortable during an interview.
2. If you were hired, what is the first thing you would address?
A brilliant question for late stage interviews, it allows you to examine their understanding of the role, the research they’ve done and gain insight into how they may perform.
3. Please tell me about something you know well (but is complicated) in five minutes.
This question gives candidates an opportunity to talk about things they’re passionate about – work-related or not – allowing you to see their understanding of complex subjects, as well as their passion and charisma.
4. What is one skill you would like to improve and how do you plan on doing so?
This question is a great alternative to “What’s your biggest weakness?”, allowing them to identify improvement areas and demonstrate how they plan on developing.
5. How would you describe your ideal work environment?
When narrowing down candidates, the answer to this question enables potential employers to objectively see whether or not their workplace is a good fit for the person.
We hope this interview guide will help you to ask more of the right questions. If you have doubts over whether or not you have the best candidate for the role, or would like further advice on interviewing, we would be more than happy to help. Get in touch today.