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Recruitment is a tough process. Only a person in the recruiting game knows how competitive the job market has become and that finding the right candidate is no longer a walk in the park. Once you have shortlisted the ideal candidates for an interview, how will you determine or identify which candidate is the best and the most suitable for the job? Unless your interview is incisive and well-designed, the entire exercise is pointless.

That’s where we come in. We have collated for you the top 10 interview questions that interviewers should ask candidates during the interview to ensure the right hire.

1. What is your proudest professional achievement?

This is one of the top 10 interview questions to ask a candidate during the interview. Candidates arrive at the personal interview with the primary objective of impressing the interviewer. So, the interviewee will come prepared to showcase their best accomplishment to the interviewer.

By asking the candidate about their proudest moment, you can assess their true potential and find out their qualities and core skills. Whether it is a difficult project that got completed smoothly, a prized certification or an award, asking about these achievements helps you know more about the candidate. And this can pave the way for a perfect personal interview.

This question will automatically make the candidate enthusiastic, which will help clear the air of anxiety within the candidate. This question also offers a chance to elaborate on something the candidate feels nice about, which will calm their nerves and boost their confidence for the remainder of the interview process.

2. What is that one skill which makes you most suitable for the job position?

This is one of the best interview questions to ask candidates. The primary objective of the interview process is to determine if the candidates possess the required essential qualifications to fit the job role. This question will help you understand how the candidate will fare with the given job role.

With this simple question, you can determine whether the candidate has the necessary skills and the confidence for the job. If the interviewer probes a little more, it helps them gain a deep insight into the knowledge and skills acquired by the candidate. The question highlights the core competencies of the candidate as well as displays how they truly feel about the responsibilities associated with the position.

3. Describe your working style.

Every candidate has a unique working style. In fact, you may not want a team with the same kind of working style, as this would make things boring and inhibit creative thinking. But it is worthwhile to ensure that the working style of the candidate is not so radical as to become a major impediment in the existing team operations.

Thus, it is important to know whether the candidate has a collaborative approach to working or prefers to work more independently. Do they need ample assistance to perform better, or are they capable of discovering their path?

Answering this question will provide deep insight into the way the candidate handles tasks during the tightest of the situations. Further, it is the best approach to check if the candidate is the right fit, not only for the job, but also for the team.

4. Tell us about your worst challenge and how you overcame it.

Behavioural questions are the most effective way to gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s reaction to a challenging real-world situation. This is one reason why candidates dread behavioural questions the most during the interview.

And this question is one of the most popular behavioural questions that is asked in the interview. For a new hire, starting work in a new company is not that easy. Even when the new hire becomes a seasoned employee, they still are bound to face certain roadblocks at work, such as a project that seems difficult to initiate or a conflict with a team member.

Getting more insight into the way the candidate tackles such situations and copes with difficult circumstances is the best way to determine whether the candidates will suit the culture of your company or not.

5. Why do you want to leave your current company?

This is easily the most exciting of the top 10 interview questions to ask candidates. No candidate would want to come out as bad-mouthing or telling negative things about their previous company or the boss. This is what makes this question the trickiest of the lot to answer for the candidates.

However, the answer will help you understand the candidate’s professional history. Plus, it also helps to identify the red flags. For instance, endless complaining about the boss or company is an indication that the candidate may not be the best fit for your organisation.

6. What does hard work mean to you?

This is one of the rare questions recruiters ask candidates. Every organisation works at a different pace, and this question helps you discover clues about the hard-working nature of the candidate and the role it plays in their day-to-day work. The answer to this question will allow you to gauge whether the candidate will be able to keep pace with the requirements of your team.

Plus, it will help you determine if the person is actually hard-working, but is currently in a role that is not suited to their calibre, or the pace of the organisation is slow which mismatches with the ability of the individual.

7. What is that one skill within you that you would want to improve?

Questions such as ‘what is your biggest weakness’ are asked a gazillion times and prove almost ineffective in deriving a favourable outcome. Instead, they force the candidate to go on the defensive. Let’s face it — the word weakness itself is so negative that no one wants to talk about it.

So, why not frame the question in a new way and ask them about that one skill which they would want to improve? This will start the discussion on a positive note, and you will be surprised to find that candidates start talking about their weaknesses, unknowingly though. The idea behind this question is to encourage the candidates to speak about their limitations, instead of letting them be defensive about them.

The answer to this question will give you an insight into the candidate’s mindset towards limitations and weaknesses. And how well are they able to solve them.

8. What do you find most exciting about this job role?

One can learn skills over time, but nobody can teach you passion. Enthusiasm and energy are the secret ingredients that spell success at work. So, it is essential to know what motivates the candidate for this job role. Because once the initial frenzy of the new job dies down, it is that motivation which will keep the candidate going even through the tough times.

After all, excitement about work ultimately translates to excellent performance and longevity with the company.

9. What are some of the things you love doing in your free time?

You will not usually find this one in the top interview questions to ask candidates. Sure, this may not be a true blue interview question, but it will still help you identify what kind of person the candidate truly is, outside of the professional sphere. After all, you need a complete person for your team and not another robot to work aimlessly without any purpose.

This question is also essential because it provides insight into who the person truly is. Further, if the candidate gets selected, the answer will give clues to the managers about their likes and dislikes, which will help build a rapport with the prospective employee.

10. Tell us about an instance when you messed up.

This is one of the unique questions to ask candidates. It tests the self-awareness of the candidate. An old question, but still holds weight in modern times. The answer to this question shows the candidate’s ability to take ownership of the mistake that they had committed at work. After all, it takes huge courage to take ownership of the failure and work on it to improve the shortcomings.

These are the top 10 interview questions to ask when interviewing someone. These questions will help you discover the true qualities as well as the capabilities of the candidate. After all, you need a skilled as well as a culture fit candidate for your company.

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Shalini L

One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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