29
Oct
2014
article

5 of the most revealing interview questions

For every standard interview question, you can bet your candidates know how to answer it the ‘right’ way. If you want to maximise the opportunity to get to know your candidates outside of a script and really understand what motivates them, you need to ask questions that will challenge them to answer spontaneously and honestly. Rebecca Supierz, SEEK’s HR Manager, shares five revealing interview questions to prompt answers that you can really work with when making that all-important hiring decision:

1. What’s the biggest misconception people have about you?

By asking the candidate to think about themselves through the eyes of others, you will get an important insight into their levels of perception and self-awareness. It’s also a less obvious way for candidates to reveal their weak spots, without hirers having to ask that much-anticipated ‘weakness’ question outright.

2. Describe a recent project and how you could have done it better.

Look for candidates who think big, not just in their failures, but also in their successes. Candidates might be used to describing how they made something work. This particular question gives you an insight into their drive to make something that was good even better the next time.

3. What are the things you do not like to do and not want to work on?

This is another, less confronting, way of asking a candidate about their weaknesses. We all tend to do better at the things we enjoy; an honest answer from your candidate on what they don’t like will give you great insight into where they will likely struggle in this role.

4. What is most important to you in your work?

Ask your candidate what motivates them to come to work each day. It will help you determine their values and cultural fit; both of which are important factors that go beyond the skills and experience they can bring to the role and ones that can ensure a candidate’s longevity

5. How do you unplug?

Employees who shine bright then burn out are no good to themselves or the company they work for. Find out if your candidate understands the importance of work-life balance, and has techniques in place to stay focused and fresh both in and out of work.

Interviews play a major part in the hiring process. To get the most out of this time with your candidates, you don’t have to ask the most tricky or clever questions, but you don’t have to stick with ‘recruitment 101’ questions either. Simple, direct questions that are designed to reveal your candidate’s character and motivations will go a long way toward helping you find the perfect candidate for your role.

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About the author

SEEK

HR Manager – AU and NZ

Rebecca Supierz leads the HR function at SEEK for three of our business units: employment and learning; product, development and strategy; and finance. Before joining SEEK in 2013, Rebecca spent nine years working at Telstra, leading teams across global contact...

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