7 Important Questions to Ask Applicants in a Job Interview

Finding the right talent to fill a vacant position is not easy. The process requires more than merely posting a “Philippine hiring” advertisement online and waiting for the résumés to come. Recruitment teams should do a good job of screening the candidates on paper and an even better job interviewing them.

The interview process is a crucial step in the employee selection process. As a hiring manager, it is best to meet the candidates in person so you can adequately assess if the applicant’s experience, personality, and character fit your organization’s needs and culture.

To gather essential information, you need to ask the right questions. Besides inquiring about their expertise and industry experience, asking broad questions is also necessary to learn more about the candidate’s motivation, values, and how well they interact with others. Here are some of the most important interview question that will help you find the ideal job applicant:

Can You Tell Me Something about Yourself That Is Not on Your Resume?

Most job applicants highlight their career experiences, accomplishments, and other details they have carefully enumerated on their résumé when asked to describe themselves. On top of these, however, you may also specify that you also want answers that you cannot find on the documents they submitted. By doing so, you might be able to discover other interesting things about the candidate. Ultimately, the stories and information they will choose to disclose will give you an idea of how they see themselves and what matters to them.

Why Did You Choose to Apply Here?

This question will help you determine the candidate’s interest in your company and how prepared they are coming to the interview. Keep in mind that your company will benefit should you hire someone who’s genuinely interested in becoming part of your organization. Listen to the answers and give due credit to applicants who spent time researching and preparing for the meeting. A candidate who shows up without even bothering to know what your business is about could indicate a lack of initiative and a sense of responsibility.

Among Your Many Career Accomplishments, What Makes You Most Proud?

When you ask job applicants this question, you will gain insight into their attitudes, values, and motivation. You will understand the factors that make them feel fulfilled and satisfied in their career. For instance, if the candidate mentioned an accomplishment because they received an award, you will know that they value recognition. Learning about what motivates the candidate to perform well will give you a better idea on whether or not they suit the position you are trying to fill.

What Do You Believe Are the Things You Need to Improve On?

You can readily gauge a candidate’s sincerity when you ask this question. Those who  provide vague responses or pick an answer that speaks of strength but downplays it as weakness are most likely insincere or lack self-awareness. When asking this question, look for detailed answers. The candidate should be able to describe how their weaknesses might come into conflict with their job requirements, how they recognized the problem, and what specific steps they are taking to overcome them. 

Why Are You Leaving Your Current Organization?

Listen to how the job applicant answers this question as it will reveal their sense of professionalism and civility. Are they concentrating on the negative aspects of the company and their bosses? Candidates who have no qualms criticizing the organization they used to work for or the people they use to work with are probably not the people you want to hire. After all, they might do the same to you in the future.

What Are Your Long-Term Career Goals?

You want to hire a candidate who knows where they want to go and what they want to achieve instead of somebody who will merely follow the tide. Asking this question will help you understand the applicant’s ambitions and career goals and how long they will likely stay in your company when hired. For example, if you can determine that the candidate can achieve their career plans by working with you, you can expect them to remain employed in your organization for a long time. They will probably be more motivated and be more hardworking, as well.

What Will You Do If We Don’t Hire You?

This question can help you assess a candidate’s attitude, perseverance, and sense of self-worth. Someone who knows that they have the ability and skills to contribute to an organization will not be flustered by this question. Instead, they will confidently share their intention to continue pursuing other opportunities until they get their desired job. On the other hand, a candidate who lacks passion and focus will most likely have a challenging time answering this question.

The interview process is your chance to get a better sense of a candidate’s potential and personality traits, which are crucial factors in selecting a new hire. Make the most of this opportunity by asking purposeful questions like the ones above and being mindful of the applicant’s body language and facial expressions when answering them. Hopefully, this guide has set you on the right track to finding the best candidate for your organization.

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