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Interviewing Tools For Successful Hiring

Interviewing Tools For Successful Hiring

Treat the interview session like a social process,

the first batch of questions you ask the candidate should help put him at ease

as a lot of people will be nervous during such interaction.

Start by giving the candidate an overview of your company.

Introduce yourself and other members of the panel if it is a

panel interview.

Asking Questions That Will Let You Know Who the

Candidate Is.

You can start by asking the candidate to tell you about himself.

You can probe further by talking about his hobbies/interests

if any. This will give an insight into who the candidate

is. It will enable you know how good his oral communication

skills are and will tell you what to expect from him, if you

listen very well. For example a candidate who has reading on

his list of hobbies and can’t remember the content of the last

book he read or even the title is very obviously very economical

with the truth.

Sample Questions:

Tell me about yourself.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years’ time?

How do you motivate others?

Would you describe yourself as a team player?

What do you do in your spare time?

Position Requirements

Review the basic job description and ask the candidate if

she/he is able to perform the essential functions of the job.

Sample Questions:

Why are you interested in the job?

Why are you interested in this industry

What else can you bring to the company?

What do you know about the company?

What makes you think that you would be good in this role?

What aspects least appeal to you about this role?

How do you hope to develop in this role?

What changes would you make if given this job?

Have you experience of this sort of role?

Experience, Knowledge & Skills

Here you will explore the experience, knowledge and skills

that the candidate has acquired. Prepare a sheet of questions

that you will ask all candidates and a set of questions specific

to each individual candidate. The questions should be linked

directly to the requirements stated in the job description.

Probing is a key element in this portion of the interview.

Sample Questions:

What were the key responsibilities in your last job?

How successful do you feel you were?

What do you rate as your best achievement to date?

What is your worst professional failure?

What did you enjoy most about your previous job?

What do you do particularly well?

Can you describe a difficult problem and how you dealt with it?

Why do you wish to leave your current job?

Ask for details. If the candidate states, she/he

was in charge of a project, additional information

you may want to probe for the scope of the project,

the actual responsibilities, the number of people involved,

the budget, the outcome, etc.

Sample Questions:

What do you see as the most important current trends in theindustry?

What do you think of the impact of X (recent developments) will be on the industry?

Listen carefully to each response and allow the answer to

lead into other questions. A rule of thumb to remember during

this time is that you should be talking 20% of the time,

the candidate 80%. Use silence effectively. Silence provides

time to think. Interviewers who wait out the silence will

learn more than those who don’t. A candidate, sensing more

information is desired, will often provide more pertinent

information. It is important in this portion of interview to

allow silence.

Goals & Desires

Here you will assess the candidate’s goals and expectations of

the job. This is important in determining job satisfaction. An

individual seeking rapid advancement or a high profile position

may not be satisfied working in the available job. Ask the

candidate what his salary expectations are.

Scenario/Role Playing:

What qualities are you looking for in the company that you

decide to work for?

Who else have you applied to? (This helps to clarify career


What are your expectations from the company?

Candidate’s Questions.

Ask the candidate if she/he has any questions regarding the

job or any additional information they would like to add

about his/her qualifications for the position.

Open the discussion to any questions from the candidate.

Take care in answering these questions no matter how trivial

they may seem. They are important to the candidate or the

questions would not have been asked. If the candidate asks

a tough question to which you don’t know the answer, tell

the candidate you will research the information and get back

to her/him. Be sure to follow-up.


Can you describe the corporate culture here?

How long have you been here?

What do you like and not like about working here?

What are you like as a supervisor?

What is the most difficult thing about you as a supervisor?

Why is this position open?

What is the average turnover in this position?

What is the biggest difficulty I would face in this job?

When do I get a raise?

Do you promote from within?


Be sure all the candidate’s questions have been answered and

close the interview on a positive note.

Next Steps:

Explain what will happen next in the process. When appropriate,

tell the candidate that you will be contacting references.

Let the candidate know when you anticipate making

a decision and how the candidate will be notified about the

decision. Be careful not to lead the candidate to believe that

she/he has the job. Be gracious, thank the candidate and

escort him/her to the door.

Written Impression & Summary

When the candidate leaves, review your notes and make any

additional comments. At the moment, it may seem easy to

remember everything that took place in the interview. Two

or three days later and after several other interviews, it is difficult

to distinguish one interview from another.

Evaluate the candidate’s experience and past performance

against your job requirements.

Identify each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses?

How will they impact the job?

Evaluate indicators of stability and progress.

Will the candidate be compatible with others in the


Weigh your department’s needs and job requirements

with what each candidate is able to offer. Are you able to

compromise specific requirements for the candidates’

strengths in other areas?

Contributed by Feyikemi Odunuga