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Three Interview Questions Recruiters Should Always Use

I’ve done my fair share of interviewing and hiring in the past. Thinking ahead, I try and plan relevant and thoughtful questions prior to meeting each candidate. Your time with each person is limited, so you need to quickly gain the necessary knowledge to determine whether a potential hire is the right fit for a specific job. Each position you are recruiting for might need its own set of specific questions, but the following three questions will help you better determine a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Tell me about yourself

It’s an obvious one, but often goes unasked. It’s a great way to begin an interview because it allows you to take a step back from the process and see how the potential hire takes control of the conversation. A mumbled or disjointed answer can indicate that a potential hire is unable to think on their feet. Are they able to communicate who they are as a professional? Do they answer in brief sentences, or waffle on for a way too long? This one simple question can tell you a lot very quickly.  

Why do you want to work here?

What this question really asks is “how much do you know about the company?” As a result, it is the ideal opportunity for you to examine how much effort the person has put into the interview. Do they know anything about you as a recruiter? How much homework have they done ahead of time? If the candidate has failed to find out anything it can show a lack of commitment and dedication. 

Asking this question allows the candidate to show how good of a ‘student’ they are. Let them provide you with facts and figures and dazzle you with their knowledge. Knowing that a candidate really wants a specific job will help when submitting them to your client for a second or third interview.

Tell me about a challenging situation that did not end well

If a recruiter really wants to gauge how a person will react in the workplace, sometimes it’s best to understand their faults before their strengths. By specifying that the situation had to end poorly, you are setting the person up to describe a situation in which they failed to perform well. If the individual says no situation like this exists or can’t think of one, they may be inexperienced or could be simply brushing over the truth.

What are your go to questions? Sometimes ‘less is more’. Asking simple direct questions can provide you with the most detailed responses. Leave them open ended and encourage the candidate to talk and share their knowledge and experiences. 


Megan Walker

Marketing Manager | Bond International Software (UK) Ltd

p. +44 (0)1903 707031

m. +44 (0)7808736113



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