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Interview Questions

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The interview is the most frequently used selection method for assessing candidate suitability. However, interviews can be fraught with the risk of discrimination, and can also be a very unreliable method of evaluating a candidate.  While it is understandable that Employers will generally want to meet their candidates prior to making a decision, it is advised that planning be invested prior to conducting any interviews.  The more structured the interview, the more reliable it becomes.

In all cases, the interviewer or interview panel should prepare for the interview by designing questions which will evaluate a candidate’s skills, knowledge and attitudes as required for the position. It is also recommended that more than one interviewer is present at any interview and that there is gender balance on the panel. 

In a well-planned interview, interviewers remain in control of the interview while being both relaxed and friendly, and thereby encourage the candidate to do himself/herself justice.

The questions should assess the candidate against all the key criteria from the person specification to determine how his/her past experience; knowledge and qualities can be applied to the post. Questions should be organised so that they draw out the skills, abilities, experience, knowledge and education of the candidate. Sufficient evidence is necessary to demonstrate the ability to do the job but attitudes and motivation relevant to the job and person specification should also be ascertained. A useful way of gaining information is the "funnel" technique starting with an "open" question, which relates to a skill from the interview plan and follow-up questions can then be used to probe more deeply.