The search for ‘The ideal candidate’ can be exhausting and could waste a lot of your time, but do not despair we are here to help you with our interview techniques and tips. If you know how to quickly distinguish the ones worthy of your time from the ones that are not, let’s say, it can be a quick and painless process with a fantastic result – YOUR PERFECT CANDIDATE!e interviews you will land, guaranteed...

When interviewing candidates, you have to be careful for 2 things:

  • Always be prepared, it will save you time later on.
  • Get to know your candidate as quick as possible. Don’t waste any unnecessary time.

If you follow these 2 points, everything will go as planned. But just to be on the safe side and to be sure we are on the same page just let me explain a little bit.

1. Always be prepared!

The candidate is not the only one who has to be prepared you know?! You have to be too.

  • He/She has to know about you and your Company and guess what? You have to

    know about his/her CV.

    Basically it’s a two way street from this point of view.
  • Be on time!

    It’s not professional to make them wait. The Top Candidates will think that you aren’t providing them a professional environment and attitude, so why should they stay and wait for you?
  • Beconfident and energetic,

    don’t look bored or in a rush. We all know that your time is valuable but you don’t want to come across arrogant and the most horrible boss in the world do you? If you do that, well let’s just say that word of mouth marketing is the oldest and the sharpest advertising that ever existed. The really bad thing about this is that once it’s out there it’s almost impossible to stop.
  • Have your questions ready.

    Make a list of relevant questions to ask them. This way you can find out about their experience, work, personality, attitude, etc.
  • Listen!

    Don’t just ask the questions quickly and be done with it. Ask a question, listen to their answer and relate it to the next question.
  • Take notes.

    I know it’s not really pleasant to write down about the candidates your interviewing, but if you don’t take some notes you will lose track and when the time comes to pick from the shortlist how can you compare them and be able to pick the best one.

2. Get to know your candidate as quick as possible.

So you have your ‘List of Interview Questions’. The real question is ‘How do you use it?’

As I said earlier, you have to listen to the answers. Sure you have some guideline interview questions, but what you need to do is to be a smart cookie and try to ask them some interview questions that you think will make them spill the beans. After all, the main idea is to get them talking, not you.

Of course besides that there are some other things you should be aware of:

  • Eye-contact:

    usually when someone is insecure or is lying they will look away as soon as you make eye-contact with them. The story that the candidate is telling can be really nice but if he isn’t able to look into your eyes, let’s just say that there is another side of the story that you might not know.
  • Body language:

    almost 80% of our communication is actually nonverbal, it’s just body language. So by your candidate’s moves you can tell if he is open or is shutting you out, if he is a can-do person or a grumpy one. You can tell a great deal of things about a person without him/her even saying a word; you just have to read the signs. A friendly smile or a firm handshake can say a lot about ones’ personality.

    The trick is to pay attention to the candidate’s expressions. If the words aren’t matching the tone and facial expression, well then there’s definitely something wrong there.

  • Be a people person:

    some of the greatest candidates had a hard time breaking that nervous barrier at the beginning of the interview, so try to understand them and to be friendly and patient for the first couple of minutes. Start with a simple conversation, learn about them, and don’t forget they are human beings just like you and me.

  • It’s their time to ask questions:

    when you are almost at the end you need to let them ask you some questions. What kind of questions will they ask? You have to be careful! You never know what type of question you may stumble upon. Whatever the situation is don’t lose your confidence, calmness and professionalism no matter what! Be honest and realistic, you may as well be truthful now as they will find out later anyway.

Free Interview Questions to Ask

I guess you’re the one that’s in charge of hiring / recruitment. Welcome to our section of ‘Free Interview questions to ask’. Here you can see some interview questions and notes to help you with interviewing and deciding on the ideal candidate. Feel free to use them and if you like this article share it with you team, employees or maybe even your friends.

1.       Tell me about yourself?

When you meet the candidate he/she can be a little bit nervous so you can start with something simple, general things about him/her. Just a small introduction should be enough; you don’t want to hear about his/her whole life story, you just want to open up rapport and conversation.

2.       Why did you apply for this job?

Here you can find out if he/she applied just because they need something to pay the bills or is the job they applied for part of their career plans.

3.       What are your achievements?

A good candidate will talk about some significant things that he/she achieved during their work experiences, but an excellent candidate will have a concrete folder (list) full to the top of achievements not only in his/her professional life, but in the personal life as well.

4.       Tell me about your previous work experience?

This can be a tricky question. It can end quickly, it can take forever to finish or it can be a deal breaker. Most candidates will ‘enhance’ just a little bit their CV, but some of them have a real talent of writing fairy tales, if you know what I mean.

So you have to be very careful when it come to this part...

In line with (within) this question you can add the following:

  • What is/was your previous role?
  • Could you tell me a little bit about it?
  • What did you achieved there?
  • Why did you leave/got fired? What happened?

5.       Why did you choose this career?

With this question you can distinguish the real career focused ones from the ‘it’s paying the bills’ ones. You can tell when someone is really passionate about his/her work from the ones who are looking for just another job that pays the bills.

6.       Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is one that candidates are not big fans of. Because if you didn’t catch ‘the career focused’ ones in the previous question you can with this one. A real career – focused candidate will take you step-by-step through their plan to evolve and grow in the next few years.

If you are not sure and want to find out more add the next question: What about 10? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

7.       What are your hobbies & interests?

This question may seem unimportant but in reality is one of those helpful questions that give you an insight into one's personality. With this question you not only express interest in their lives, but you can also take a pick at their life’s schedule, how much time are they willing to spend at work, if they like to play sports then they are team players, if they are very passionate about something they can relate to the future colleagues, and so on.

8.       What about your strengths and weaknesses? What are they?

Here you can see if he/she is confident, strong and knows his/her limits. Powerful man/women know his/hers strengths & weaknesses, not like Achilles and look what happened to him.

9.       Give an example of a situation where you were under pressure. How did you handle it?

You will find loads of candidates that will tell you that they work well under pressure and that they are excellent problem solvers and that they can stand on their own feet.

The real question is - Can they? Do they have a solid example of a situation that will explain and give substance to their statement?

By the details in their description you can figure out if it was something they just came up with to answer the question or if it was the real deal.

10.       If you had to grade yourself between 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 the best, which grade, do you think you deserve?

This question is great for gaining control or respect back in your interview. As you can imagine most of them will oversell themselves, but if you be honest and tell them your opinion, for example if they think they are an 8 and you share your opinion which is, let’s say 5, they will start to panic and listen to you like their life depends on it. Just make sure you explain why...

It may sound strange and maybe a little rude, but it works! Try it! You will be surprised and amazed by the results!

11.       What are you looking for when it comes to salary? What’s your worth?

Good to know what your interviewee is earning and what they feel they are worth. Ask them about their value. What is their price and worth?

12.       What do you know about our company?

If they didn’t do their homework and research then why are they in front of you. It’s unacceptable to go to an interview without knowing about the company; it is as if you go and visit a stranger. They have to know your business and orientation. Your industry or sector focus? Are you growing or not? How many employees and offices do you have? Your Vision?

These things are MANDATORY!

13.       Why should we choose you for this position? What qualifies you for this job?

If he/she is a smart cookie they will tell you exactly what you want to hear, after all it’s not a secret it was in the Job Description. If the answer is vague and dull well I think you know what you have to do... NEXT!

14.       What can you contribute to our company?

A great person said to me once upon a time that the value of the company is in its assets – the employee. If you want to have a great company, you must have great assets. Don’t settle for any less.

15.       Do you have any questions?

After playing with his/her emotions, tension and uncertainties you have to let them express his/hers opinion too. If they still have questions and good ones may I add then you might want to take him/her into consideration as future employees.

If these 15 questions aren’t enough for you, then take a pick from below:

  1. Do you believe you’re successful? Why?
  2. What would your co-workers say about you?
  3. In the past year how have you improved your knowledge?
  4. Are you applying for positions with other companies? Which? What happened?
  5. Do you consider yourself a team player? Give me an example?
  6. Have you ever had to let someone go? How did that make you feel?
  7. If you had the money to retire today, would you?
  8. Have you ever been fired or asked to resign?
  9. Why do you want this job?
  10. What (value) do you bring to the company? What are your qualifications for the job requirements?
  11. How long will you work for us?
  12. Give an example when you went above and beyond your normal job profile to make something happen for the company.
  13. What are your long and short term career goals?
  14. What are your career objectives? What’s your career path planning?
  15. If not this career, which other career would you have taken?
  16. Do you enjoy working?
  17. When can you join us? What is your availability?
  18. What are your salary expectations?
  19. What is your current salary?
  20. What are your financial expectations from any job in your life?
  21. Are you happy with your salary so far?
  22. What have you learnt from your previous job?
  23. Why should we hire you over all other candidates?
  24. What have you done since the last job?
  25. What qualifications do you have?
  26. What has been your biggest failure?
  27. What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far?
  28. What motivates you?
  29. Do you know how to motivate other people?
  30. Are you competitive?
  31. How would you describe yourself?
  32. Why did you choose a career in …?
  33. How do you handle criticism?
  34. Can you act on your own initiative?

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