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An employer’s guide to interview questions

Written by Kimberley Startup | August 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

Interviewer Advice, Interview, Employer Advice, RecruitmentIt’s not just job seekers who have to prepare their answers for interview questions, employers need to ensure they are asking the right questions to get the most out of the interview. Considerations include putting the candidate at ease, gleaning the right information, staying within the law, to name but a few. Here is a quick guide to interview questions for employers from online recruitment experts webrecruit (

Know the CV

When compiling your interview questions in advance, there will be some standard questions applicable to all candidates pertaining to the position for which you are looking to recruit staff. However, it’s important to know each CV well so that you can add in questions specific to the candidate. For instance, is there a previous job you would like to hear more about, should you be concerned about the amount of times the candidate has moved company, etc.? You will get much more out of the interview if you don’t just stick to the same template of questions for every candidate.

Ask open questions

Recruitment experts have long advised us on the importance of asking open questions, and for good reason. Closed questions, those which are answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, not only provide the interviewer with very little information, but they frustrate an interviewee who is, after all, there to sell themselves. It’s a basic rule of thumb, but one which works, to ask questions which start with ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’.

Personality fit, not just personal history

When recruiting staff, it’s important that they have the right credentials for the job but also that they are a good fit with the company and the team in which they will be working. Ask questions which will help reveal motivation, ambition, communication skills, whether they are shy or outgoing, work well in a team or perform best one-on-one with a manager.

Drill down and probe

It may seem obvious, but listen carefully to the answers, not only so that you can take notes, but also so that you can drill down with further questions which probe for more revealing information.

Control the interview

Your questions should govern the format, direction and approximate length of the interview, giving you control over the situation and the information you need to ascertain.

Consider the law

Finally, and importantly, always ensure your questions are within the confines of the law. For instance, the Equality Act 2010 stipulates that it is unlawful for an employer to ask any job applicant about their health or disability unless (and until) the applicant has been offered a job. Your recruitment agency should be able to advise you on which questions are unlawful to ask.

For more employer tips and resources for staff recruitment go to the webrecruit website at

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