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7 Questions Recruiters Should Always Ask Candidates

Updated: Apr 15

Recruiters often use the same or similar questions for candidates, and there’s a reason



Some of the best interview questions posed by top recruiters are designed to give insight into the candidate as a person, a leader and employee.

1. Why should we hire you over any other candidate?

Candidates who have researched the company and who know the details of the business will have a clear, definitive answer to this question. Those candidates who have not so much as visited the company’s website will immediately throw together a generic answer, and will be ousted by their own lack of preparedness.

2. Describe the best boss you’ve ever worked for and their managerial style.

This open ended question can tell you a lot about a job applicant. Candidates can generally be placed into two categories with this question: The candidate who knows what style of management they prefer to work under, and those who do not. By understanding why a candidate enjoyed working under a particular person, the recruiter can judge whether the potential hire would mesh well into the new company.

3. What motivates you?

Everyone is motivated by different things. Generally speaking, we all like to earn a paycheck, prefer to have a work and home life balance and would enjoy working under fair managers. So the candidate who answers outside of the expected factors is someone to keep an eye on. Do they have a deep passion for seeing team members learn new skills, is the person driven by expanding a company into new technology or platforms that have never been considered for potential revenue? These candidates know what will drive them to be the best leader for a new company.

4. Why are you looking to make a career move (if employed)? Why did you leave your last position (if unemployed)?

This question, maybe more than any other, can bring red flags to the surface pretty quickly. A candidate’s answer to this question will give a good recruiter understanding of the potential hire’s work ethic and sense of team.  An idea of the candidate’s ability to compromise on work related issues with managers or teammates should also be revealed.

5. What would success look like for you in this role?

The funny thing about success is how different it can look to different people. Simply asking a candidate what success would look like to them in a managerial role will allow a recruiter to see if the applicant is a big picture person or focuses on the day-to-day routine, does the person structure priorities well and do they mention the team in their success plan?

6. Tell me about the most difficult day you’ve had on the job.

Like success, difficulties can be viewed very differently depending on a person’s vantage point. Hearing a candidate explain the most difficult day on the job will help a recruiter better understand the applicant’s ability to deal with stress and decision making skills.

7. What questions do you have about the job?

Again, a well prepared applicant will have questions lined up. A serious candidate wants a better idea of what the job will look like on a daily basis and if it is the best fit for them. Often a recruiter can learn more about a candidate from the questions that person asks than how they respond to the recruiter’s questions.




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