Key Questions Every Employer should Ask in a Job Interview  

While an experienced interviewer will include specific questions tailored to the requirements of the position, the below is a good list of general interview questions that interviewers or employers should pose in an interview.

Now that you have heard more about the role, what do you think are the main challenges in this role?

This is a good question to ensure that the candidate has a good understanding of the challenges expected of the role, and he/she leaves the interview with a more balanced and realistic picture of the pluses and minuses of the role or/and the company. By asking this question, you can also assess whether the candidate is keen and willing to assume these challenges.

Why should we hire you?

This is a very useful interview question to ask because it allows you to hear what the candidates think are their differentiating factors that set them apart from other interviewees. Faced with a big stack of cvs some of which tell a similar story, this question can help you ensure that you do not miss out any relevant pointers that the candidate may have. This can then better allow you to determine who are the best few candidates to shortlist.

If we contact your last manager and ask which area of your work needs improvement on, what will I learn?

This is a useful question to ask as it gives the candidate an opportunity to offer a candid response, given that we are highlighting that a reference check with an ex manager may be required at the later stage of the interview process.

By knowing the potential weaknesses/shortcomings of the candidate, we are better positioned to assess whether these discussed weaknesses may pose an issue to the candidacy of the candidate for the current role.

Describe the boss who would get the very best work from you.

This is a great question to ask because it allows the interviewer to gain a further insight into the management style, communication style and cultural/team fit that best fits the candidate. This consideration is important as surveys have shown that a most commonly cited reason for employees leaving their job is due to their unhappiness working with their bosses/ managers.

Tell me about what motivates you.

This will allow the interviewer to know the interviewee’s motivations and what drive them, so that these factors can then be assessed against the role or the company to ensure that there is a good fit.

Tell me about a time you set difficult goals. What did you do to achieve them? Walk me through the process and purpose.

This is a great behavioural based question to pose so as to assess whether the candidate is goal oriented and is equipped to handled challenging goals set for them in future. It also assesses whether the candidate is able to articulate their thoughts on the steps and processes they take towards goal setting.

Describe a crisis or the worst mistake you made at work. What was your role? How did you resolve it? What were the results?

This is another example of a behavioural based question that can be ask so that you can hear about some real life examples of recent events /situations which required the candidate to take certain cause of actions.

Are you now attending other interviews? If so, which stage of interviews are you at? Are you expecting an offer to come your way in the coming weeks?

This is a great question to suss out on whether they are a passive job seeker or an active job seeker who is urgently looking out for roles. By asking the stages of interviews that they are attending, you gain a better idea of the timeline/deadline that the candidate may face regarding his/ her decision making on pending offers. This info is very important especially if you are keen on the candidate and may need to speed up your interview process to ensure that you do not lose the candidate before he/she accepts another offer.

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