Selecting the right interview questions pays immediate dividends: your candidate will reveal himself or herself more fully which means you’ll have more information on which to base your hiring decision. But the benefits don’t end there.
Good interview questions help hiring managers and human resource professionals squeeze extra value out of the limited time available for job interviews.
By replacing perfunctory or vague questions like ‘Tell me about yourself‘ with something a little more focused, your company will fare better when competing for in-demand skill sets. We’ll say more about how this advice can improve the candidate experience at the end of this article. Let’s get right into a few recommended questions.
Sample Interview Questions
As you’re reading these sample questions, think about how you would answer them and what a potential employer would learn about you from your responses.
- Tell me about your current position. What do you enjoy most? Least?
- Why are you interested in making a job change?
- Tell me about a time when you had to make an important decision with limited facts.
- What is the most difficult experience you’ve ever had to deal with and how did you handle it?
- Tell me about a time you saved your employer time or money.
- What is your most memorable mistake?
- What is something you have done to show you are a self-motivated high achiever?
- What is most important to you in your next company or position? What interests you about this position?
Those are just a few of the questions you’ll find on Interview Questions and Preparation Tips. The document was written for job seekers but there are nuggets for everyone in its pages.
Interview Questions You DON’T Want To Ask
We can’t discuss interview questions without mentioning prohibited topics. The ones we probably all know about are questions on religion or ethnic background, but did you know it’s not good to ask an applicant about his or her marital status or plans for marriage? The protected grounds in Canada are: citizenship, race, place of origin, ethnic origin, colour, disability, age, creed, gender, family status, marital status, sexual orientation, receipt of public assistance, and record of offence.
What Can Happen When An Employer Asks The Wrong Questions?
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal heard a case in which a job applicant — 60 years of age at the time — was asked to record his date of birth on a job application. The Tribunal ruled against the company even though it was clear the applicant had not satisfied mandatory qualification criteria for the position. Their conclusion: the mere act of asking a question related to a protected ground is discriminatory.
The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled against a Kitimat company because of a hiring policy that reserved summer jobs for students who are children of their regular employees. The obvious problem here is that the company sought family relationship information on applicants and made hiring decisions based on that information which resulted in discrimination against applicants who did not have familial relationships within the company.
The Alberta Learning Information Service has a tip sheet that puts a fine point on areas that can be problematic. For instance, it’s alright to ask if an applicant is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident but questions about ethnicity or country of origin are out.
Using Interview Questions To Improve Candidate Experience
You may have heard the term ‘Candidate Experience’ — it’s the reaction a job seeker has about a company’s application and interview process. We think about it a lot as Red Seal Recruiting specializes in eight of the top ten most difficult positions to fill in Canada. The link between interview questions and candidate experience is this: Asking thoughtful questions means applicants leave the interview knowing they were given sufficient opportunity to present what they have to offer and feeling they’ve been heard. This may help you land the new hires your business needs.
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