On the Spot: Top Five Interview Questions for Employers to Ask Job Candidates

On the Spot: Top Five Interview Questions for Employers to Ask Job Candidates

affirmative portfolios, interviews, recruitment

If you’re an employer looking for skilled staff members who tick all the boxes, a recruitment agency can assist by sourcing and shortlisting potential candidates for you to interview.  It’s during an interview that you have the opportunity to assess whether the person is indeed the right fit for your company and the job, and has the potential to become a valuable, long-term staff member. Affirmative Portfolios shares some top interview questions to ask job candidates…

What brings you to this interview?

A person’s past employment history is often an indication of what you can expect in the future, and this particular question gets the applicant talking about their career history, work experience, why they’re interested in the position, or why they’re considering leaving their current company. Whatever their reason for applying for your position, look out for red flags, including woe-is-me tales, unnecessary personal drama or slating current or former colleagues or employers.

Career highs and lows?

If the candidate is proud of a particular highlight or achievement in their career, discuss how they accomplished it, and whether the achievement was an individual or team effort. The response gives an indication of their ability to work in a team, as well as their ability to work independently. On the other hand, asking about career lows – mistakes, challenges or difficult situations – reveals how they might react in stressful work situations. Important to know: do they take ownership of the challenging experience or do they lay blame elsewhere, with customers, colleagues or management. Ask them to elaborate further by enquiring about how they overcame the situation and what they learned from it.

Why do you want to work here and how will our company benefit?

With a wealth of information on the internet, there’s plenty opportunity for a keen candidate to learn about your company, products, or services, so look out for the job candidate who can tell you a thing or two about your brand and organisation! What you’re looking for is someone who takes initiative, is enthusiastic and puts in the extra effort, rather than someone who’s merely looking for another job. Also explore how your company will benefit from hiring the candidate – someone who can confidently list what they bring to the table in terms of character, skills and expertise is preferable over the unsure, undirected candidate.

How would your past employers describe you?

Pay attention, not only to the words, but to tone of voice and body language – you’ll gather whether previous employment relationships were pleasant or strained. Always call references to ascertain whether they back up the job candidate’s claims.

How do you picture your future?

How they answer this question will reveal if their short and mid-term career plans are aligned with those of your organisation.  Since hiring is an expensive exercise, you’ll want to go with the person who’s invested in the position up for grabs, rather than someone who’ll simply move on when they get another offer. But while it’s good to take on people who are ‘stayers’, do also be aware of potential ‘comfort zoners’ – those individuals who may lack goal orientation, be less proactive and afraid of change.

Get the right staff

At Affirmative Portfolios, we assist employers looking for temporary or permanent staff and offer clients a range of services such as outsourced payroll, candidate assessments and screening, advert response handling, and more! Contact one of our branches and we will help find the right staff members for you.

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