Finding Your Perfect Match: Question Tips for Interviewers

Posted on August 2014 By Speller International
Speller International Interviewer Questions Blog

​A few posts ago, we talked about the kinds of questions a candidate should ask in interviews in order to position themselves as a ‘perfect match’ for the role. Well, as we all know, there are two sides to every story (and two sides to every interview table) so this post covers the kinds of questions interviewers should ask in order to ascertain whether the candidate will be a good match for the team in terms of behaviour and team fit, broader attitudes, aptitudes and achievements.

Unfortunately, because every organisation is unique and so each role within it has specific requirements, there isn’t any single set of questions to ask all candidates in order to find the right one for you. Happily, though, as a hiring manager you should know what technical skills and experience are required to join your team and these should be listed on an applicant’s CV – so at least we’re giving you a hand with the tricky bit.

How you act determines how you work, so the kinds of questions to ask in order to ascertain whether or not the candidate will be a good fit for your team are centred around behaviour. Surprisingly enough, these are called behavioural questions, and they help identify the following:

  • Focusing effort on delivering to internal and external customer needs

  • Working with customers to better understand and anticipate their needs

  • Educating customers/clients

  • Working in a cooperative and helpful manner with other team members as opposed to working independently

  • Focusing on team as well as individual goals

  • Actively assisting team members towards the achievement of a common goal

  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with people at all levels

Questions you can ask to help give you an idea of whether a candidate is strong in these areas relate directly to the behaviours you are hoping to see in the successful applicant. Examples include:

  • Give me an example of a time you effectively used your people skills to solve a customer problem

  • Give me an example of when you initiated a change in process or procedure in response to customer feedback

  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an awkward person (someone uncooperative, negative or rude, for example). How did you handle the situation? Were you able to get along? (How? Why Not?)

  • Describe a time when you were able to ‘read’ another person effectively and, as a result, were able to adjust your actions to meet this person’s needs or values.

  • Describe a team experience you found disappointing. What, specifically, made it disappointing, and what could you have done to change it from a disappointing to a rewarding experience?

  • Tell me about a time where, if it hadn’t been for teamwork, your goal might not have been achieved

After you have got a pretty good idea of the candidate’s behavioural match, it is useful to move on to some broader questions to get an idea of whether or not their personality, values and life experience are a good match for you and your team. These are some good ones:

What do you know about the role/company?

An obvious one, as a candidate who has researched the company and, where possible, the role is someone who is interested in the role. The types of things they have paid attention to can also give a greater perspective on the sorts of things that they value in a company and workplace.

Why would you want to work here?

This goes in hand with the above question. To be able to answer this properly, a candidate must have researched the company to understand the environment and opportunities that are on offer.

What would you see as your greatest challenge/learning curve coming in to this role?

This demonstrates understanding of what the role actually entails. It give you insight into some of the areas the candidate might need strengthening in, but it also shows the candidate’s own awareness of where their strengths lie.

What is your greatest accomplishment (or something you are most proud of) in your working life and/or personal life?

This one is a great way of understanding where the candidates true strengths and passion lie. Are they a proud parent? A skilled negotiator? A big sales hunter? This question will show you.

What style of management brings the best out in you?

This is a good guideline for whether the candidate is going to fit into the team and management structure in place. It can also give insight into the type of person and indeed, employee the candidate will be. If the candidate is having trouble answering, asking them to think about a manager they had in a role where they felt they achieved the most might be helpful in drawing out their preferred management style.

What don’t you like in a manager?

You might not always get a detailed answer to this question but, again, it can give you insight into the type of employee they will be and whether they will suit the management structure currently in place. This question also requires a bit of ‘self awareness’ on your own management style – so you can tell whether or not you might be the manager they’re not fond of should their application be successful.

So there you go! While it is slightly more difficult to provide pointers to interviewers thanks to the multitude of specific questions surrounding a particular role, we hope these will help you develop your interviewing style and answer what is perhaps is the most important interview question of all: will this person be a good fit for my team?