A recruiter’s ultimate role is to evaluate candidates and make sure they are the right fit for an organization’s culture and position. A crucial part of their job is getting to know the candidates through the interview aspect of the hiring process.

Apart from having a good judgment of character, a recruiter should also come up with the right questions before conducting an interview.

Every recruiter should take advantage of it to select the best person for a vacancy. Landing a bad hire not only causes tremendous financial damage but also takes a toll on a company’s productivity and workflow.

Below are top interview questions every recruiter and professional involved in the recruitment process should prioritize asking prospective employees.


1. Based on your knowledge about this company and the role you are applying for, what can you bring in?

This question mainly sorts out candidates in 2 categories: competent contenders and also-rans. Those who truly prepared for the job will certainly stand out by proving that they have done their homework.

The question is a typical inquiry that also tells a recruiter that they fully understand the nature of the position, the roles it involves, and how well their skills are up for it. A good candidate should be able to determine the key elements that a position entails, and have an idea about how his set skills correspond to it.


2. Why should we hire you?

A recruiter can also rephrase this question with “Why are you the best choice for this role?” or “Why do you believe this job is for you?”

This, in particular, prompts the sales person in a candidate. He should be challenged by the recruiter to essentially make a sales pitch aimed to convince a recruiter to buy his candidature.

The inquiry will also stimulate the candidate to differentiate himself from his contenders. A recruiter, in turn, will know how strongly a candidate feels about the position and how he is good for their organization.


3. Describe your ideal work environment. What culture suits your personality best?

Every person has a preferred working environment, and it is important for a recruiter to know right away whether their potential new hire will thrive in their company’s culture. Knowing beforehand whether a candidate is a team player or comfortable working alone will predetermine how well a candidate will mesh with other employees.


4.  What are you most proud of in your professional experience?

Asking about successes or career milestones will provide a recruiter insight about a candidate’s  confidence in his skills and the strategies and methods he use to attain his objectives.

In case the interview involves a technical job, this inquiry will compel a candidate to communicate beyond the jargon he knows—and for that matter, determine his level of expertise.


5. What have your failures and challenges been in your previous jobs?

Every job presents challenges, and this question yields insight into how a job applicant navigates his way around difficult situations. A competent candidate should be able to lay out a fair narration of a situation and explain how he aligned a strategy to it regardless of succeeding or not.

The failure part, likewise, tells if a candidate has learned from his mistakes and if he failed forward or used their weakness to improve.

Be reminded that a good candidate is one who will be able to admit to a shortcoming and own up to it. As humans, we err, but how we take responsibility for our mistakes is what counts. Will the candidate blame others or will he use their experience to better himself instead?


6.  What makes a good leader for you? What type of relationship did you have with your previous boss?

A candidates’ answer to this question will ultimately allow a recruiter to determine if the company’s management style matches the candidates’ expectations. Moreover, this inquiry will dig deeper into whether the person will be an asset to a team by how well the candidate manages his superior.


7. What motivates you?

As an open-ended question, this will help a recruiter uncover a person’s key motivators behind leaving a job and looking for another. In reality, we all work to earn money and self-fulfillment. We all seek the perfect work-life balance.

This question will help determine if the candidate will be happy to take on the job and work in the organization for a long time.


8. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

With this question, what’s important is not what the candidate answers but how he answers it. Seeing a person’s eyes light up at the thought of the future is telling if the individual has an ambition and any idea at all about where to go further in life.

It will also determine how willing a candidate is to do everything in his power to help the organization achieve its long-term objectives.


With these 8 interview questions, a recruiter should gain valuable insight into the mind and behavior of a candidate. In the end, hiring the best person for the job will contribute to a business’ success.

Hire the best people for a position! APEX’s recruitment and HR training will aid professionals to carry out the most effective hiring process.



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