Interview questions to challenge your potential new hire

Interviews provide such a small window of opportunity to understand the capabilities of your potential new hire. We often rely on pre-set behavioural questions which candidates may well have rehearsed and

prepared for.

Here we explore some of our favourite questions which will not only assist you to determine the candidate fit within your organisation, but will reveal their strengths, motivation, and level of self-awareness.

1.    What’s the hardest feedback you’ve received?

When someone shares feedback they’ve received, it can mean they have taken this feedback on and used it as a means for growth. Follow on questions could include:

·       How do you think you responded to this feedback at the time?

·       Did you make any changes after hearing this feedback?

·       Have you proactively sought feedback in prior roles and how did you do this?

2.   What is your biggest career achievement?

This is a great way to understand if the person is driven by achievement and if they take the time to review and reflect on their work performance. Try asking “what steps did you take to achieve your goal?”

When they’re answering, notice if they refer to their individual efforts or speak of collaborative team efforts. This will give you an understanding of how they work and acknowledge others in their work success – if they’re humble enough to attribute success to all those involved or just themselves.

3.   What sort of team culture provides you the right environment (for doing your best work)?

This question will reveal if they understand and can observe a workplace culture and will give you an idea of what sort of environment, they will thrive in. Prompting questions might be:

·       What sort of environment do you prefer to work in, the hustle and bustle of open office or quiet work?

·       What type of work gets you excited? 

4. What’s something you’ve recently learned and then applied to your current work?

This question will reveal if the candidate is interested in developing and applying new skills, even if that skill is not work related. Follow on questions could be:

·       How would you describe your learning style? (i.e. on-the-job, face-to-face, online formal training)

·       Do you enjoy and or undertake any additional learning or study? (in a personal context?)

5.   Thinking about your past Managers or Supervisor, tell us about your favourite workplace Manager and why? Have you had a Manager you disliked? What could that Manager have done better?

This will reveal their ability to reflect and express themselves in a considered way. Have they thought about previous managers they’ve worked for and whether their management style played a part in their success in their previous role? Are they able to reflect on what their manager did well and what they could have improved upon?

6.   Can you share an example of when you’ve taken a secondary role to let someone else take the lead?

This question reveals if they’re a collaborator willing to allow others with more skills, experience or wanting to learn, to step up. What motivated them to step aside? Would they do the same again or what would they do differently?

7.   Why do you want to work for us and why are you seeking a new position/change?

This question provides an opportunity to discuss the motivating factors that made them choose to apply for a role with your business. Listen, to see if they know what you do and what it was that piqued their interest. Understanding why they are moving roles may reveal why they’re leaving their previous workplace and give you insights into the type of workplace they prefer.

These questions will also help discover more about their personal style.

·       What frustrates you in the workplace?

·       How can people earn kudos with you? 

·       What qualities do you value in your colleagues? 

·       What are some things people might misunderstand about you that you should clarify? 

·       How do you support others to do their best work and develop their talents? 

·       What’s the best way to communicate with you? 

·       What’s the best way to convince you of something? 

If you need support with the recruitment or onboarding your new employee, please contact us at [email protected] or 1300 720 004.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors, such as government legislation changes, may not be up to date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.



More Posts

No Contract and still an employee?

Recently a case was heard before the Fair Work Commission (FWC) where a worker claimed unfair dismissal from their employer. The employer objected to the

How engaged are your employees?

How would you define employee engagement? How often do you obtain feedback from your employees about their satisfaction? Do you know what to ask? Employee

Send Us A Message