How to discover the most suitable candidate for the job

By Robert Half on 9 November 2016

The job interview is your chance as a manager to connect the dots and determine whether a candidate is really qualified to do the job you’re offering. In a majority of cases, hiring the right employee is no easy feat.

If you’re prepared with the right questions though, it can make all the difference to help you separate the contenders from the pretenders. And you don’t necessarily need to ask tough interview questions.

Here are six questions you should ask to help narrow down the most suitable candidate:

1. What do you know about our company, and why do you want to work here?

You would think with the easy access to information online today, most suitable candidates would do their homework. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Ask this question and you’ll find out quickly who is actually interested in working for your company.

2. What skills and strengths make you a suitable candidate for this position?

Did the person just blindly apply to your opening or did they consider how they match your company’s needs? Applicants should be able to think critically and explain cohesively about how their abilities will benefit your team. If you find the candidate is shooting wildly in the dark with their answers to this question, they probably haven’t put enough thought into the job offered.

3. Can you tell me about your current job?

This is a great interview question to evaluate the candidate’s communication skills. Can they effectively describe not only what they do, but how they make a contribution? This is also an avenue to gain insight into the applicant’s professional background that goes beyond what their resume can say on paper.

4. What could your current company do to be more successful?

This interview question can give you a sense of whether applicants see the big picture at their current place of employment, or whether they’re only just job hopping between opportunities. It may also open up the floodgates to reveal why they really want to leave their current job.

5. Can you tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with a boss or colleague and how you handled the situation?

This is one of the more valuable interview questions you should ask candidates, because you’ll get a sense of their conflict management abilities, personality and potential for future issues. What tone do they use when talking about their colleagues involved? Were they able to describe the situation appropriately? Did they implement problem solving skills to find a solution?

6. Do you have any questions for me?

If candidates have been paying attention during the discussion or done their homework prior to the interview, they shouldn’t find this to be one of those infamous tough interview questions. The most suitable candidate will have already prepared some questions for you, and/or have questions in response to what you had discussed during the interview.

Finding the most suitable candidate can sometimes be a tricky process. But sometimes with the right questions, you can encourage an applicant to open up about their capabilities and understanding of the job being offered.

The article originally appeared as 6 Really Smart Interview Questions to Ask Candidates Revealed on the OfficeTeam blog.

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