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As any business owner will know, hiring the right people is crucial as your business grows. Which is why asking the right interview questions is key. Hiring the right people includes such activities as:

  • drafting a good job description;
  • accessing networks; 
  • background checks; and most importantly,
  • conducting a good interview.

This article will set out how to make the most of your interview using well-considered interview questions.

Making the Most of Interviewing New Employees

Before you arrange to interview a candidate, check their background and experience. Ensure you draft interview questions based on the key facts you already have about the candidate. This will help you to evaluate how appropriate they are for the role and the business. No matter how thorough your pre-interview checks are, interviewing a candidate always provides you with more information about a prospective employee, allowing you to get to know them better.

For instance, you can discover important characteristics about someone in an interview, including:

  • how well they relate to others; and
  • whether they get along with you and anyone else on the interview panel.

These characteristics are very difficult to determine without an in-person interview.

Remember that who you hire will have an impact on your business’ culture. Further, a great business culture increases your likelihood of recruiting ideal candidates for new roles. Make sure to have a clear idea about your business’ mission, story and values. Then approach your interview with this broader context in mind.

Examples of Good Interview Questions 

As a general rule, make sure to ask open-ended interview questions, not just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Asking open-ended questions gives you more information about a candidate and gives them more of an opportunity to shine. 

Good interview questions will help you decide whether the candidate demonstrates a range of qualities and skills. They also provide the candidate with an opportunity to bring their previous experience or ideas to the table.

For example, good interview questions might include:

  1. Tell me what the most important things you would bring to the role and the business are?
  2. Can you share what is the biggest mistake you have made at work, and would you do anything differently in hindsight?
  3. What questions do you have about the role or the business?

Insight Into Your Interview Questions

The first question allows the candidate to highlight their strengths and convince you they would be successful in the role. It allows the candidate to discuss anything extra they might bring to the business, including skills or experiences you may not have been aware of. 

The second question highlights the candidate’s ability to:

  • confidently self-assess;
  • show how open they are to feedback or a process change; and
  • share how they responded to such situations in the past.

Lastly, a prepared candidate will usually have a question or two about your business or the role. So, it is worth prompting them to see if they have any questions about the business. This will provide insight into whether they have done any research on the business, showing how genuinely interested and prepared they are for the interview.

Key Takeaways 

There are no hard and fast rules about what to ask when interviewing new employees. However, there are some general principles about how to conduct a successful interview. For example, remember that you are not just interviewing a worker, but a person who should fit into your business’ culture and team. You should keep specific questions open-ended and have a plan for the information you are looking for. It is also useful to let the candidate raise their own skills and experience during the interview. If you want to know more about interviewing new employees, contact LegalVision’s employment lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to interview a new employee if you are in a rush to fill a vacancy?

It is almost always a good idea to interview a prospective employee, no matter how urgent it is to fill a vacancy. Interviews can be conducted over the phone or Zoom if required, to ensure they happen sooner. While it can be easy to think you know a candidate from checking their cover letter, CV and other documents, an interview provides extra context and lets you gauge the person’s character to a greater extent.

What are good questions to ask in an interview?

There are all manner of good questions to ask, depending on what information you are seeking about the candidate and any details that are specifically relevant to the job. However, in general, it is a good idea to ask open-ended questions, give the candidate the opportunity to put their best foot forward, and give the candidate the option to ask questions of you in return.

How long should an interview be?

Interviews usually range between 30 and 60 minutes, with most either 30 or 45 minutes in duration depending on whether there are multiple interviewers (on a panel, for instance) and the complexity of the role in question. More senior roles may demand longer interviews and multiple interviews with different people within the business.

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