5 Interview Questions that Prove Who a Candidate Really Is



Most hiring managers would agree that it is essential to find a comfort level with every potential hire, where the employee feels welcome and comfortable in the interview process.  One way to help achieve this comfort level is by asking the right questions during their interview. Asking the right questions can help you ensure that your new hires not only have the skills and credentials for the job, but will also be the right cultural fit and become an essential part of your team.

To really get to know the candidate you are interviewing, here are five questions that you can use during interviews. They’re not the most conventional inquiries, but they can help you to uncover surprising details about the person who may become the next great member of your team.

“So, what’s your story?”

Open-ended questions like this one give you the opportunity to deep dive and assess a person’s creativity, ideals and aspirations.

This is an invitation for a candidate to be candid with you, without worrying about the right answer. You can learn about their character, imagination and inventiveness.

The ideal applicant will fill in colorful details about themselves that are not included on their resume.

 “If you opened your own business, what type of company would it be?”

Look for individuals who give a thoughtful, detailed response. You’re not looking for them to say they’d open a company just like yours. This means they’re just telling you what you want to hear.

 “Have you ever been part of a team? If so, what was it for, and what was your role or position?”

Some companies have all their candidates answer this three-part question in their initial screening interviews. Depending on their role within a team or group, you can tell a lot about their work ethic and their ability to work with others.

“What is your favorite joke?”

Okay, so this isn’t a job related question, but it is a great way to gauge a person’s sense of humor. In turn, this provides clues to their personality and how well they will fit into your cultural environment. As author Richard Branson wrote in his book The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership, “it’s important for every employee to have a sense of humor … Don’t enjoy it? Don’t do it!”

You can use this question as an ice breaker. It encourages people to be themselves, even if they’re lousy jokesters. After all, you don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t know how to be authentic.

“If you had one year with of paid vacation time, and no obligations to hold you back, what would you do in that year?”

How a candidate answers this can say a lot about not only their personality, but their work ethic and morals. If they say they’d fly to a remote island by themselves and spend the days sipping margaritas –not that anyone could blame them – but it could give the impression that they are more of an introvert, and may have trouble fitting in with a group. If they say they’d spend that time fixing up their house with their spouse, or going on a road trip with friends or family, they may be the right kind of community-based, outgoing personality your workplace is looking for.

As you source, hire and retain the best talent, CPS Recruitment® can partner with you to build and maintain a competitive staffing edge. Contact us today at 315-457-2500 or sales@cpsrecruiter.com to learn more.



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