The interview for a new job is an important time for both the candidate and the recruiter, and a good outcome depends on the ability of both to conduct it well.

With ‘a good outcome’, I do not mean the interview ending well in the sense that the candidate will actually be selected for the job. In my experience, in fact, the actual successful outcome of a selection can only be seen after the selected candidate has spent some time in the workplace for which he has been positively selected.
So, with a good outcome for a job interview, I mean an outcome that allowed the candidate to: 
  • convey their main competences and interests, arousing curiosity and interest in the recruiter;
  • feel confident, without feeling the need to play a part or invent answers;
  • acquire, also because of the questions and answers during the interview, additional elements of self-knowledge to be used as experience for future interviews or for further reflection on their work expectations and career project.
This also in the case the candidate is facing their first job interview.

On the other hand, from the point of view of the recruiter, an interview that can be defined as good should be an interview that allows to:
  • clearly compare the role requirements with the actual expectations and competences of the candidate in order to effectively assess whether they can be ‘the right person in the right place’;
  • build a sufficiently exhaustive overview of the candidate, especially if it is the first interview.

To obtain this kind of ‘good outcome’ it is important that both the recruiter and the candidate have the feeling of ‘directing’ the meeting and are well prepared to do so.

Both of them, in fact, should avoid improvisation. A good interview should be planned, rehearsed, and prepared by both parties.

Starting from two general rules:
  • one for the recruiter, which is to ask open and non-judgmental questions as much as possible;
  • one for the candidate, which is to always give direct answers and use specific examples whenever possible;
I prepared a series of questions that could be useful for preparing both of them for the interview, some of which are often actually asked during the interview.
As a reading tip, if the reader is a potential candidate, they may use the following questions as a starting point to conduct the interview more directly and to provide interesting elements about themselves even in the case of a recruiter who conducts the interview by asking simpler or more general questions.

Examples of questions that help understand the person’s relationship with work

What excites you about work?

What stresses you?

Under what conditions do you work better?

How did you learn to work? Who were your mentors at work? How did they teach you to work? What did you learn about work in your family? Tell a specific episode

What role does work have in your life? How do you balance your working life with your personal life?

Examples of questions that help understand the ability to build a career project

If you were to explain to a ten-year-old child what you do for work, or what you would like to do for work, what would you tell him?

What are the difficulties of your current job?

What are the opportunities of your current job?

What ideas or innovations have you been able to bring to your job?

What were the elements that made you choose your current job?

Should you change your job, what would you miss of your current job?

What was the most important decision you took for your job and your career? What were the steps that led you to it? How would you evaluate it in retrospect?

Examples of questions that help understand some relational and problem-solving skills

With what kind of people do you tend to get along well at work? How would you describe them in terms of skills, behaviour, attitude?
How are the people, instead, with whom you do not get along well at work?

What was the most serious conflict situation you have ever faced at work? How did you deal with it?

When you disagree with someone, how do you behave?

What do you do to make people feel comfortable at work, for example when a new colleague arrives?

What do you do when you see a colleague or your boss in trouble?

What do you usually do when you have a problem? What steps do you take to solve a problem? With whom do you speak to understand how to solve it? 

Getting ready to ask or answer these questions can be a good way to make the job interview an interesting and useful moment for both the recruiter and the candidate.

If you want some ideas on how to answer some of these questions, contact us!