Top tips for interviewing candidates

Posted on July 2021 By Judy Cole
Tim Gouw Bwki71ap Y8 Unsplash

A good recruitment agency can put up strong candidates for a role, but ultimately, it’s up to you, the hiring manager, to make the final decision. The truth is, when it comes to SAP, the right candidate needs to have more than just the technical know-how!

So even if you are not an expert in their specific field, don’t underestimate your ability to ensure they are the right fit for your role.

We have put together some question insights to help you navigate your next interview;

The classics

These questions are common and I am sure you will have asked them time and again but don’t underestimate them – listen to the answer and read into the details of what you are being told.

1.  What interests you about this role at our organisation?

The answer to this will tell you if the candidate is serious. A good and committed candidate will have researched your company and the role. If they haven’t, then are they really that keen? Or could the lack of preparation be a sign of things to come? If they don’t know then don’t be afraid to challenge this and dig deeper.

2.  Conflict – tell me about a time you have dealt with conflict within your role and what did you do to help resolve it?

This is an interesting one - if they haven’t dealt with conflict or difficult customers then are they really the business-facing person you want? If they have always been sheltered from conflict, it suggests where they have previously sat within team structures, and whether this suits your role. After all, how many SAP projects do you know that are completed with no conflict, disagreement, or difficult customers?

3.  What are your strengths and weaknesses/Areas of improvement?

This is a classic for a reason. This makes or breaks the interview for me! It’s interview prep 101 and yet so many people still struggle with it and so many managers allow an ‘I’m a perfectionist’ or ‘I sometimes work too hard’ to sneak by unchallenged. The trick with this question is to probe around their answer.

If you get a weakness that isn’t actually a weakness then follow up with ‘And how has that negatively impacted you in your role and what did you do to try and improve?’ If it hasn’t, ask for another area of improvement as they haven’t answered your original question.

4.  What do you see as your biggest challenge to face in this role?

This will give a good indication of the candidate’s self-awareness with their skillsets versus your role and business challenges.

The unusual

1. What is one misconception people have about you?

Another good one for self-awareness but also unusual enough to get a truthful answer from that could provide insight into how they present themself.

2. How do you deal with a bad day?

This is very similar to the old classic ‘How do you handle stress and pressure?’. However, making the language less formal may spark a more honest and emotive answer.

3.  How do you explain SAP to people who know nothing about it?

This will reveal a candidate’s ability to translate complex information into simpler language for your employees without an SAP background. 

4.  How do you like to be managed?

Ok, not too unusual but not many people ask it. This is great one for you as their manager – hopefully you know your own style and ultimately if these do not align then then that could be a big problem.

What are some of the best interview questions that you use? We would love to hear them.