Top 5 interview questions revealed!

Every company wants to hire great people, but often there is a finite amount of time employers spend with candidates before making a decision about a potential hire. At The SmartList we work closely with candidates to ensure the right ones are sent to you for interviewing- but how do you ensure you choose the right person?

Here are the top 5 questions to quickly assess a potential hire’s personality, business acumen, passion for your industry and, most importantly, whether they’re the right person for the job.

1.     Why should we hire you?

It may sound like an obvious question to ask, but when faced with an Everest of application letters and CVs, this “to the point” question forces interviewees to explain what makes them stand out from the crowd. A good candidate will use this question to explain how their unique experience, education, industry credentials, and personal interests will benefit your business once hired. A bad candidate will freeze at this question and fumble through an answer.

2.     When I ask your last employer which areas of your work need the most improvement, what will they say?

If you want the absolute truth about your candidate’s flaws and weaknesses, this is the question to ask. Implying that you plan to contact their former supervisor garners the interviewee to give an honest response as they know the truth will come out anyway. Beware of candidates who claim their only negative trait is that they just “work too hard” or “care too much”!

3.     Describe the best boss you ever had.

This question will give you some real insight into the candidate’s ability to work with people and how they respond to leadership. Through answering this question candidates will give clear insight into their communication skills, work style and potential cultural fit. Does the interviewee thrive in an autonomous environment or do they need constant hand holding?

4.     Tell me how you feel you’d make a contribution to our company

This question tests whether interviewees have done their research. You want candidates who are committed to work for your company, not just after any job anywhere. Those who have really prepared will love this opportunity to shine and stand out, demonstrating that they have done their research and that they have a decent idea of the challenges the business might face and how they can help.

5.     Tell me what motivates and what frustrates you?

This question tries to find out what drives your candidate, and if it matches the requirements for the role and more importantly your company ethos. When the candidate then talks about past frustrations, they shine a light on details about their personality, diplomacy skills and ability to resolve conflict. Discussing motivation will again give you insight into what makes the candidate tick, and whether you’re able to provide an environment to keep them motivated to deliver for your business.


    ertret says…


    Great advice.

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