Employer interview questions to ask candidates
We always advise graduates to prepare for a job interview; and the same goes for employers.
In an interview, the aim is to gain as much information about a candidate to determine whether or not they are right for a role. Given that you will already have read their graduate CV, and possibly their LinkedIn profile or online portfolio as well, it should be relatively straightforward to ascertain whether or not they are a good fit.
Yet interviewers of all levels of experience find that this can be a real challenge in such a short space of time; and selecting the right questions can be make or break when it comes to finding out the necessary information to make a decision.
You’ll have in your hand what they can do on paper, but interview questions should be used to help you make those key decisions on a candidate’s suitability. When interviewing a candidate, you will be looking to find out:
- Whether or not the candidate meets the requirements of the job
- How the candidate reacts under pressure
- How well the candidate would fit in to your team
- How the candidate explains and builds upon their CV
You might like to start by running through the candidate’s graduate CV, including their education, previous work experience and skills they have listed – as well as asking them to explain any large gaps in employment, or question marks you have.
Then, once you know the basics of what they can offer, you can move onto more investigative questions, that will help you decide whether they are the right fit for your company in relation to the above statements. Here are the top interview questions for employers in every industry.
Scroll straight to the bottom to watch a summary video.
20 best interview questions to ask candidates (general)
Here are some general interview questions for employers that can be asked for most job roles, graduate or otherwise:
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What attracted you to this particular role / company?
- What can you tell me about our company? Are you familiar with our industry? Who would you guess are our biggest competitors?
- What is your biggest achievement to date?
- Tell me something about yourself that isn’t on your CV
- Describe yourself in 3 words
- Can you tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge?
- What makes you unique?
- What kind of environment do you enjoy working in?
- What kind of management style do you prefer?
- What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
- Who do you admire or look up to the most?
- What interests you most about this industry?
- Are there skills you’d like the opportunity to develop in the future?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Why are you leaving your current job? What will you miss about your current work environment and what will you not miss?
- How did you learn about this open position?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Are you interviewing anywhere else?
- Do you have any questions for me?
These cover the basic interview questions for employers; and they will you a fairly good insight into whether the candidate is the right culture fit for your company.
At the end of the interview, asking questions about salary expectations and whether the candidate is interviewing elsewhere, will help to gauge whether you are both on the same page, and enable you to see where the candidate is in their application and interview process(if you like the candidate, this will help to indicate how quickly you need to make your decision!)
However, there are also more sector / job-specific interview questions to ask candidates.
Specific questions to ask an interviewee
For different roles that you are recruiting for, there are also different sets of interview questions to ask candidates based upon the skills, personality traits and experiences you want them to demonstrate or discuss.
Find out the best interview questions to ask graduate sales candidates, finance candidates, graduate developers, and creative candidates below.
Top 10 sales interview questions to ask candidates
If you’re hiring sales candidates, chances are there will be certain character traits or attributes of a salesperson you are looking to find in your perfect graduate hire. Target-driven? Adaptable? Confident? Perhaps you are looking for some previous business development or sales experience, or, in the least, experience in a client-facing role?
By asking a combination of role-specific and skill-specific questions, you can ascertain whether the sales candidate is right for this particular graduate role.
Try some of these employer interview questions to evaluate candidates’ skills, and gauge whether the candidate is right for your sales opportunity:
- What do you think is more important; keeping clients happy, or meeting targets?
- When do you think is right to stop pursuing a client?
- How do you handle stress?
- How do you handle rejection?
- What is your ultimate career goal?
- What drew you to this company?
- What do you already know about the company?
- Tell me about a time you have gone above and beyond
- What kind of rewards do you find the most satisfying?
- Sell this company’s service / product to me
Top 10 finance interview questions to ask candidates
In finance graduate recruitment, there are several strategic interview questions to ask candidates in order to work out if they are the right fit. Given the tendency for finance jobs to involve long hours, it’s a good idea to work out whether the candidate is flexible and adaptable in their approach to work.
Likewise, you’ll probably want the candidate to demonstrate a keen interest in financial markets, as well as a good knowledge of your company, key competitors and specific field. When deciding on the best finance interview questions to ask candidates, focus on those which will help you uncover their passion for finance, their working style, and ambition.
- Are you willing to work flexibly?
- Are you willing to relocate?
- What are some of your interests outside of work?
- What do you know about our company / industry?
- Can you name a few of our competitors?
- Can you tell me about an event that has happened in the last year which has affected our industry?
- What motivates you?
- How would your previous or current colleagues describe you?
- Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
- What do you think is the biggest challenge our company is currently facing?
Top 10 employer interview questions to ask a graduate developer
In IT graduate recruitment, hiring a developer who has both the skills your business requires, and is the right team fit, can be tricky; so as an employer, asking the right interview questions is key.
Given that you will already have reviewed their graduate CV, plus their GitHub if they have one, you need to ask questions that will prompt the candidate to elaborate on their skills, and when they have utilised them. Plus, you’ll also be looking to assess whether the candidate has soft skills like communication and the ability to adapt to situations; important qualities in any graduate hire.
When interviewing a graduate developer, it’s a good idea to run through their CV in depth – plus find out if they have any other skills to add to it. Then, once you have a good understanding of their education, experiences and an overview of their skills, you can move onto more investigative questions to find out about their motives, successful previous projects, and their methods of working.
- Can you list all frameworks / programming languages that you have worked with previously?
- Which are you most comfortable with?
- What is your ideal developing environment?
- Tell us about a previous successful project
- Tell us about a previous project which did not go so well. What would you do differently?
- Why do you want to be a web / software developer?
- Imagine that I know nothing about technology. Can you explain what ___ is to me?
- How do you test the quality of your codes?
- Do you prefer working with other technical people, non-technical team members, or a combination of the two?
- What are some of your other interests?
Find out how to hire Developers, with information on the different types of Developers to hire, how to write a compelling job description and how to onboard the Developer you hire.
Top 10 marketing interview questions to ask candidates
- In your own words, what’s the goal of marketing? OR how would you convince someone of the value of marketing?
- What social media channels are you familiar with?
- What channels do you think we should be focusing on and why? Are there any we’re currently not using that you think we should be?
- Are you familiar with our target market?
- How would you manage a new product launch?
- How do you stay up-to-date with digitial marketing trends?
- What blogs and publications do you read?
- Who’s your favourite marketer or marketing blogger and why?
- Which marketing tools or software platforms do you have experience using?
- Are you comfortable using data to guide decision-making?
Top 10 Interview Questions For Creatives
- What projects are you working on right now?
- What creative tech tools do you use on a daily basis?
- What do you think of our existing creative materials? What would you do differently?
- What sets you apart from other candidates that we’re interviewing for this position?
- How would you describe your design style? Why do you think this contributes to our company’s needs?
- What is your favourite font and why?
- What sources do you use for industry news? Can you tell us what are the latest trends you’ve noticed in the creative and design industry?
- Who is your favourite artist or industry creative?
- How would you feel about working towards a tight project deadline or within a strict brief?
- What, in your opinion, makes a good picture or photograph?
In graduate recruitment, it’s important for employers to know the best interview questions to ask candidates. If employers want to ensure that they make the right hire, this includes both general interview questions and more role / sector-specific interview questions for employers to ask.
Summary video for employer interview questions to ask candidates
Tip: Change the playback speed in the settings at the bottom right corner, to suit your learning requirements! Please feel free to embed this video on your website (get in touch for more info), or for more great videos for graduates and employers visit the Give A Grad A Go Recruitment YouTube Channel.
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- May 15, 2019
Author: Give A Grad A Go