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Interview questions to ask your candidates and what to listen for.

16 Dec 17:00 By Vicki-Anne Craigen

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When your Recruiter does a really good job, you’re going to meet three candidates for your position, and you’re probably going to really like all three. Each of them will very likely have the experience to do the job, each of them will bring something unique to the table, and each of them will get along with you and your team. So how do you decide who you’re going to make an offer to? It’s a great problem to have liking all three but you’re also at a critical moment in the interview process.  


Preparation is the key if you want the decision to be an easier one for you at the end. You need to prepare your questions in advance and ask everyone at interview the same sets of questions. Think about the values that are important to you, such as resilience, leading by example, being solutions focussed.


Think about the behaviour you want the successful candidate to display on a daily basis in order for you to feel reassured during their probationary period that you’ve made the right decision.


In very simple terms, if you’re looking for resilience, you could ask them to describe a time when everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.  If you’re looking for someone who is solutions focussed, ask them to describe a time when a system or process failed them.  If you’re looking for someone who will “lead by example”,  ask them to talk about a task they really didn’t like to do, but they knew it was imperative they did it anyway.


If they’ve prepared properly for their interview they’ll have case studies they can talk to you about.

  • They’ll take about a Project
  • They’ll talk about the actions they took
  • They’ll talk about the end Result.  (We call these PAR’s.)


Your job is to listen very closely to the actions they took. Everything you need to know about the person and the value they will bring to the role will be heard right there.


Listen for resilience.  Listen for their ability to focus on solutions rather than problems. Listen for curiosity, accountability, proactiveness. Listen for signs they have a sense of urgency if that’s important to you.


Be sure to make detailed notes that you can refer to later rather than trying to rely on your memory. Once the excitement of liking someone the most dies down it’s important that you can then refer back to your notes as it will become more obvious to you who the person is that will add the most value to your business.


Choosing the right people for your business is critical therefore finding out as much as you can about how they’ll behave when they work for you… that’s where the magic is.


If you need a hand preparing behavioural questions prior to your interview, that’s something we can help you with. So please feel free to contact me any time on 0413 453 563 or