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Interview questions an Employer should ask

on Friday, 17 August 2018. Posted in Our News

Interviews: ask the right questions

Interview questions an Employer should ask


The interview is a critical stage of the recruitment process.  This is your chance as an Employer to meet with your prospective candidates to discuss the job vacancy in more detail.  It is the chance to determine not only their skills and abilities in relation to the vacancy but their personal attributes and values relevant to working within your organisation.

Today we take a look at some of the most suitable questions to ask in an interview to determine a candidates’ suitability for your role.



You have only a set amount of time with your potential new employee, so make the most of it and find out as much as you can about them.  This is the chance to see if they are suitable for your role, your business and your wider team.


Make a plan


Never go into an interview unprepared.  You need to determine beforehand what it is you are wanting to learn from your candidate.  Whilst you may have a selection of generic interview questions you like to ask, you will also need to consider specific questions related to your vacancy.  Your job description will detail much of the competencies you are seeking for this role.  You need to also consider what attributes are required for this position, and for your business and team. Once you know these, design your questioning around this.


Open ended questions


The two types of questions you can ask:


  1. Open-ended which allows for a variety of responses; or

  2. Closed questions which result in a yes and no answer.


The majority of your interview should be based on open ended questions, as this is the chance to find out as much as you can about the candidate you are interviewing, and you want them to engage in discussion, rather than one word answers.


Ask for examples


Consider a candidates’ previous work to date, and ask for examples to highlight this:


What do you consider your greatest work achievement and why?


This question allows candidates to demonstrate past accomplishments and how they got to that point.


What has been your greatest challenge in your career so far?


A question such as this evokes a better response than asking for what they consider their strengths and weaknesses to be.  It can lead into further questioning detailed below.


Listen and probe


Listen to the responses from your candidate and don’t be afraid to ask further questions to better understand their reasoning and problem-solving abilities. In the example above regarding greatest career challenge, you can ask why this was so, what they have learned, what would they would still like to learn?


Allow for the candidate to ask questions


Whilst you as the employer are interviewing to determine the suitability of the candidate for the role, allow the candidate the opportunity to ask their own questions in an interview. This can often tell you a lot about the candidate themselves as to the type of questions they ask.  Are they really interested in the business and what the company is trying to achieve?


Stuck for specific questions? No drama.


It’s part of our service at Palmerston North Personnel to provide our clients we are working with on a recruitment with some open-ended questions to ask during interview. Feel free to contact any of our Recruitment Specialists for assistance.


Matt Smout

Client Manager

Having extensive experience as an end to end recruiter, account manager, people leader and in business development – Matt has excellent knowledge of the 360-degree recruitment process and how to partner to understand your business and add real value.

Passionate about what he does Matt gets a real buzz from getting to know his client’s business and assisting their growth by providing tailored talent solutions.

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