Recruiting staff? Your Essential Interview Questions

Saxon Marsden-Huggins, The Recruit Shop

Recruiting staff? Your Essential Interview Questions

Job interviews are getting easier to bluff. Questions are becoming more common, as hiring managers try to standardise the hiring process. But the more common interview questions are, the easier it is for someone to prepare an answer.

That’s why you need to ask a mix of basic and challenging interview questions. Asking a variety of these questions will allow candidates to show their true colours. Any question that hasn’t been asked before can be seen as a ‘challenging question’. Here are some examples of basic and challenging questions for you to ask in your next interview.

Basic Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Why do you want this role?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What did you like least about your last role?
  • When were you most satisfied in your role?
  • What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
  • What were the responsibilities of your last role?
  • Why are you leaving your current role?
  • What do you know about this industry?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • Do you have any questions for me?
  • What’s your ideal company?

Behavioural Interview Questions

  • What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients in guiding and maintaining successful business relationships? Give an example of how you have made this work for you.
  • Tell us about a time when you built rapport quickly with a new or existing business relationship under difficult conditions.
  • Describe a situation when you were able to strengthen a relationship by communicating effectively. What made your communication effective?
  • Describe a situation where you felt you had not communicated well. How did you correct the situation?
  • Describe a situation in which you were able to positively influence the actions of others in a desired direction.
  • How do you schedule and manage your time? What processes have you put in place to help manage time?
  • Tell us about a time you had to manage a high volume of work. What processes did you put in place to help manage your workflow?
  • Do you prefer working with detail or are you a big picture person? What’s more important - getting the job done right or getting it out on time to meet the deadline?
  • How would you describe your work style? i.e. do you prefer to work alone or with others; are you big picture or process/detail orientated; are you structured in your daily routine, use lists etc or do you work in a more ad hoc fashion and how does that work for you?
  • Give me an example of an important goal you have set and explain how you achieved it.
  • Tell me about a job/task that was boring. How did you deal with it?
  • Tell me about a time you had to change procedures to solve a problem. What did you do?
  • Give me an example of a time you had to make a decision without consulting your boss. What did you do?

Motivation, Attitude & Career Direction Interview Questions

  • What are you looking for in terms of career development?
  • How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
  • If I were to ask your last manager to provide you additional training or exposure, what would they suggest?
  • What appeals to you about this role? How does this role fit in with your goals and life aspirations?
  • What sort of working environment appeals to you? i.e. working alone, as part of a team, quiet or noisy office
  • Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Salary Interview Questions

  • What salary are you currently on?
  • What salary are you seeking?

Getting Started Interview Questions

  • How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  • How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  • What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days of this role?
  • If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 days?

More About You Interview Questions

  • What do you look for in terms of culture — structured or entrepreneurial?
  • What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organised?
  • Tell me about your proudest achievement.
  • Who was your favourite manager and why?
  • What do you think of your previous manager?
  • Was there a person in your career who really made a difference?
  • What kind of personality do you work best with and why?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What do you like to do?
  • What are your lifelong dreams?
  • What do you ultimately want to become?
  • What are three positive things your last manager would say about you?
  • What negative thing would your last manager say about you?
  • What three character traits would your friends use to describe you?
  • If you were interviewing someone for this position, what traits would you look for?
  • List five words that describe your character.
  • What is your biggest regret and why?
  • What’s the most important thing you learned in school?
  • Why did you choose your particular degree?
  • What will you miss about your present/last role?
  • What is your greatest achievement outside of work?
  • What are the qualities of a good leader? A bad leader?
  • How do you feel about taking no for an answer?
  • What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?
  • What would you do if you won the lottery?
  • Who do you admire and why?
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What is your favourite memory from childhood?

Brainteaser Interview Questions

  • How many times do a clock’s hands overlap in a day?
  • How would you weigh a plane without scales?
  • Tell me 10 ways to use a pencil other than writing.
  • Sell me this pencil.
  • If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
  • Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?
  • If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?
  • With your eyes closed, tell me step-by-step how to tie my shoes.

Frustrated by the lack of an effective, value-for-money recruitment alternative for small business, Saxon founded Recruit Shop in 2010 to help make professional recruitment services affordable for all businesses in Australia and New Zealand. Saxon is a MBA graduate of UQ and member of the Entrepreneurs Organisation based in Sydney.

Recruit Shop is Australia and New Zealand’s best priced recruitment agency for small businesses and franchises. Their expert consultants work across all roles and industries, delivering high-quality services for a low cost, flat rate fee.

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