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  • Publish Date: Posted 2 months ago
  • Author: Ania Matczuk
How To Ask Better Interview Questions As A Recruiter

​​Recruiting differs from job interview to job interview. However, people often encounter the same old and boring interview questions, such as “what are your biggest weaknesses?” and “where do you see yourself in five years?”. With today's technology and social media tools, recruiters are required to take a more creative approach to interviewing.

Making questions more interesting and adding a bit of a spin on it will allow you to see the candidate's personality and knowledge. You can determine a candidate's maturity level, culture fit, and self-awareness by asking more complex and on-the-spot questions. This will ensure that you get a real answer, not one practised beforehand.

  • Choose the right open-ended questions

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to open-ended questions. “How would you describe yourself?” may lead to an unproductive interview. Instead, ask something that will make the candidate think, like "tell me something about yourself that others may not know about you" or ‘’ tell me something I don't know about you from your CV’’. Asking open-ended questions that the candidate wouldn't expect you to ask, reveals relevant information about a candidate.

When you hire someone, remember that it's a human, not a robot. Inquire about their life outside the office to gain a better understanding of their personality. As a result, they'll feel that you care about them as individuals, and you'll get a sense of whether they'd work well with others.

Another great question to ask is ‘’what is the one skill you would like to improve upon and how will you achieve it?’’. This gives the 'biggest weakness' cliché a more creative spin. It will also allow your candidate to show their desire to improve rather than focusing on their shortcomings.

Rephrasing simple questions can also go a long way, so instead of asking ‘’why do you want to work here?’’, ask ‘’compared to 'competitor x', what makes our company stand out to you?’’. This question requires candidates to think rather than simply reciting reasons from your website's 'company culture' section. Your interviewee's passion for your industry should also shine through in this question. In addition, they may have considered applying to some of your competitors, so they should understand both the similarities and differences.

  • Make the candidate uncomfortable with your questions

Ask tough questions without fear. In the end, everybody can look like a star if you keep pitching slow balls. Fastballs and curveballs are only handled by a select few.

The key is to find the right balance. If you want a candidate to succeed, you want him or her to open up, not to clam up. The question "describe a time when you had a difficult working relationship with a colleague and how did you overcome this challenge?" is a great example of what to ask. Depending on the candidate's response, you'll be able to gauge their emotional intelligence, find out how they handle conflict, identify aspects of their personality, and find out if they're likely to cause any problems within your team in the future. Pay attention to both the tone and content of their answer.

You can also ask, "Disclose your favourite and least favourite past supervisors/managers - and explain why". It provides a quick indication of how the candidate likes to be managed and communicated with. It also provides a lot of insight into an individual's maturity and attitude.

  • Engage your candidates through brain teaser questions

Several necessary workplace skills can be assessed with brain teasers. To answer brain teasers correctly, you need to be able to think critically, solve problems, be creative, and listen closely. Because of this, they are commonly used during interviews to assess a candidate's ability to think on their feet. People's responses to brain teaser questions can give a lot of information about their capabilities, which makes them so popular for job interviews.

The process by which a candidate arrived at their answer is often more important than the answer itself. Regardless of whether the candidate knows the answer, their response to not knowing can be extremely telling. Can they admit they don't know? Curious enough to ask you to explain the answer? Are they being 100% honest if they wing it or blag it?

An example question to ask would be “You have a three-gallon bucket and a five-gallon bucket. How do you measure out exactly four gallons?” – answer: Fill the three-gallon bucket first and then fill the five-gallon bucket with all three gallons. Since 5-3=2, the five-gallon bucket can hold only two more gallons. Pour the three-gallon bucket again into the five-gallon bucket until it's full. 3-2=1, so there is one gallon in the three-gallon bucket. After that, drain out the five-gallon bucket and add the one gallon. In the end, we pour the three-gallon bucket into the five-gallon bucket. We end up with exactly four gallons.

Don't be afraid to ask non-traditional questions to find out who the candidate really is. As a result, they will think on the spot and provide real answers instead of the rehearsed ones.