Hiring managers: What you’ll learn from these seven open questions

Employers
Interview

Well-prepared open questions can provide a perfect opportunity to break the ice with nervous candidates. They can help to paint a picture of prospective employees in a broader sense by allowing them the opportunity to tell their story in an unstructured way. Hopefully, these should prompt unrehearsed responses, resulting in more genuine and uninfluenced dialogue.

By asking the right open questions, candidates may well unknowingly reveal personal attitudes and opinions. In doing so, you’ll be able to read between the lines and learn much more about your prospective new hire. Here are some of our recommended open questions that will see you getting the most out of your interviewee.

1. What do you like most about [name of profession]? What do you like least, and what do you find the most challenging?

By asking about likes and dislikes, you’ll be able to get a good overview of a candidate’s perception of their role. Reassure candidates that there’s no right or wrong answer here!

2. Tell me about a typical day in your current position.

A CV can only say so much. By asking interviewees to describe a typical day, alongside the question above, you’ll be able to quickly understand the bigger picture of their role and their key motivators for leaving.

3. What was your primary contribution or achievement in your last or current position?

This is a good alternative question to the traditional ‘what are your strengths’ as it allows them to give you a real-life example (as well as a barometer) of what they consider to be strong performance.

4. What was the best job you ever had? What was the worst? Why?

This question will shed light on what the candidate is really looking for moving forward. In describing the reasons for their likes and dislikes, you’ll gain a more honest assessment of what they’re really looking for moving forward.

5. What are your short- and long-term career goals?

By asking candidates to define both long- and short-term goals, you’ll be able to evaluate how your business might be able to accommodate their progression – if at all. If the candidate is particularly ambitious with notions of moving up the career ladder quite quickly, it’s possible they might not be the right fit for a permanent appointment if you can’t offer that.

6. What’s the best book you’ve read in the last year?

Tell me what you liked about it. Interviews are as much about discovering candidates’ personalities as they are about their skillsets. Their favourite book will offer a glimpse into their potential cultural alignment.

7. What is your interpretation of “success”?

You can set so many KPIs, goals, success measures as an employer, but it’s the candidate’s own yard stick that you’ll want to truly have a measure of. With insight into their personal drivers, you’ll be able to better manage them as employees and push them to exceed expectations.

We believe interviews should be organic conversations. While these questions serve as a guide, don’t be afraid to let the conversation run a natural course with a little prompting and direction from you at points. Rigid interview formats will not serve you or the candidate best in being able to show off your best selves.

Get in touch with us today to get the recruitment process started.

Author David Morel Tiger Recruitment Team

Job-hunting in a saturated market – how to stand out from the crowd in Dubai

With over 200 nationalities, the UAE is a melting pot of cultures, experiences and people. Emiratis make up roughly 20% of the population, while expats from Europe, Asia and Africa consist of the other 80%, emigrating for career progression, an improved quality of life and the chance to increase their earnings.[1] The booming expat population

Read more

Employer branding: how you can set your business apart

It is now widely understood that job loyalty is a thing of the past, especially among millennials.  The latest Deloitte Millennial Survey revealed that 43% of millennials envision leaving their jobs within two years, with only 28% seeking to stay beyond five years. (1) This new approach to working represents a serious challenge to businesses’

Read more

Newsletter

Sign up for the latest workplace insights.

Are you: