Recruitment can be a minefield. Sifting through hundreds of C.V’s and applications to find the perfect person for your business takes time and effort and hiring someone is always a risky investment, but when the right person is employed they can soon become a valuable asset to your business/company. However finding the right person can be tricky, so take a look at the following interview tips and question suggestions to help you find the best person for the job.



1. Be prepared. Ensure you have read the candidate’s C.V/Application and highlighted any areas you would like to discuss during the interview.

2. Let the candidate know what is going to happen and what the company wants at the beginning of the interview, discuss what the job role entails and what you expect from potential employees. By explaining the format of the interview you will help the candidate feel more at ease and have more of a chance of conducting an effective interview.

3. Always ask open questions (beginning with Why, How or Where) that will lead to detailed answers from the candidate and provide you with the information you need. Closed questions can be used when needed but bare in mind closed questions can lead to short and unsatisfactory response for both interviewee and interviewer.

4. If a committee is interviewing a potential employee consider your seating arrangements. Sitting in a row in front of the candidate can be very intimidating and off putting for the candidate. Try and sit around the candidate on a round table to help relax the atmosphere and a lead to a more productive interview.

5. Have a written copy of the questions you want to ask and refer to them throughout the interview to prevent going off course. Leave 10 minutes after the interview for the candidate to ask any questions they may have. This is effective as it ensures the candidate has all the information necessary to make an informed choice should they be offered the role and it also allows you to gain a clearer perspective of the personality, intelligence and interest level of the candidate

6. Always end the interview by giving the candidate a deadline for when the decision will be made and when they will hear from the company.

The best interview questions are ones that allow you to discover the candidate’s strengths, personality and their suitability for the offered position. Here are 8 examples of some of the most effective questions to be asked during the interview process.

  •  How would your best friend describe you in 5 words? This questions informs you quickly of how the potential employee views him or herself as well as gives you an insight into the traits they believe are prominent in themselves. By discovering the personality of the candidate you will become better informed about them and whether they are suited for the role they are applying for.
  • Describe your best and worst boss. This question will provide you with the information on how best to manage the candidate if they join the company. You can compare their answer to the personality and style of the manager they will be reporting to- and you can work out how well they are likely to get on with them and other members of the team. If the candidate uses this question as an opportunity to really lay into an old boss without offering satisfactory evidence or reasons, it’s a good indicator the person is not suited for the role.
  • Why should we hire you? This is one of the most commonly used interview questions and it is one of the best questions to ask. It is effective because it asks the potential employee directly what they think defines and sets them apart from the other candidates trying for the position. A candidate who gives an answer detailing their strengths, personal and academic qualifications will stand out from the others and make your selection process easier.
  • If you could start your career over again what would you do differently? Although no one likes dwelling on past mistakes asking this question can be extremely useful in determining the persons ability to make calculated and informed decisions based on past professional and personal experience. It also informs you of the candidate’s expectations for the future and their ambitions.
  • What frustrates you? This question can help you find out more about the candidate’s personality and what makes them tick and what drives them. If what drives them matches the position and the culture of the business then the person is a good candidate for the position. By listening to the candidate talking about past frustrations you can gauge details about their personality, diplomacy skills and their ability to work as part of a team. If a candidate answers the question by listing minor irritations and not offering examples of how they successfully resolved frustrations or conflicts they are probably not suitable for the position.
  • What three qualities or skills do you think you will bring to the company if you are hired? You can find out what the candidate believes are their strengths and selling points by asking this question, which is useful when comparing the candidate’s qualities or skills to what the company desires.
  • Who is your role model and why? This question can help you identify what motivates the candidate, what attributes they admire and what ambitions they have.
  • So….Whats your story? (Tell me about your life) This open question allows you to find out how creative and expressive someone is, as well as their skill in selling themselves and their confidence in doing so. If the candidate looks or acts defensive or uncomfortable it could be a sign they may take things too literally and are not as open minded as you would like.

If you take on board some of these tips and question suggestions you are sure to have a far smoother and more productive interviewing process in the future.