5 Very Telling Interview Questions To Ask Candidates

June 2nd, 2016

Rhys Metler Toronto Sales Recruiter
By Rhys Metler, Toronto Sales Recruiter

Hiring is not a perfect science. Finding a candidate who is the perfect fit for your organization from an experience, skill, and cultural perspective is a challenge. This is why job interviews are such an important part of the recruiting process. You only have a short period of time to get to know your candidates and narrow down your list.

To improve the effectiveness of interviews, you need to ask the right questions to properly vet candidates and assess their fit for the position you are trying to fill.

Here are the questions you should be asking to identify the right candidate:

“What was the last book you read?”

This question will provide you with some insight into a candidate’s interests, what their mindset is, and it also gives you the opportunity to see how they handle a question that is completely unrelated to the job or your organization.

“Where do you go to read up on the latest trends, tips, and ideas?”

Advice

Hiring people who are vested in their profession is important. Ideally, you want to hire someone who has their finger on the pulse of what is happening in their industry.

“This question might seem simple, but it’s incredibly important. It helps me determine if the person I’m interviewing is proactively trying (on their own) to advance their skills. I only hire people who are hungry to learn and willing to go above and beyond to help us be the best,” says Sujan Patel, VP of Marketing at When I Work on inc.com.

 “If you could start any business, what would you start?”

This provides you with some insight into what candidates are passionate about. It can give you an inclination of the candidate’s creativity, opportunities they see, and how they approach business in general. It can also lead to follow up questions about their entrepreneurial drive.

“What’s the biggest decision you’ve had to make in the past year?”

Asking this question will help you understand how the candidate approaches the decision making process.

“Here’s a great way to figure out how a candidate approaches decision-making. Were they quick to make that big decision, or did it take them a long time? Did they spend most of their time reflecting on it by themselves or fleshing it out with others? How did they make a plan? Their answer could be work-related or personal — and if they ask you to specify, tell them either,” says Lindsay Kolowich on HubSpot.

“Tell me about a time you made a big mistake.”

resume mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, and this is a great question to test a person’s self-awareness. Look for candidates who own up to their mistakes and learn from them, and watch out for candidates who tend to put the blame on others or create a “fake” or generic screw up scenario.

There are hundreds of questions you could ask during an interview. They key is to ask the questions that will give you the answers and insight you are look for in potential candidates. The above question will help.

Learn more about effective hiring practices by reading some of these blog posts from our Toronto recruiters:

Should You Hire for Personality or Skill?

The Importance of Proper Onboarding of Marketing Professionals

What Can A Headhunter Do To Improve My Job Search?

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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations and Mining & Engineering. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is Director, Client Services of IQ PARTNERS‘ Sales practice and leads the SalesForce Search recruitment team. He specializes in prospecting new business relationships, client retention and renewals, and building top performing Sales teams in even the most challenging environments.