7 Great Questions To Ask Interview Candidates

Asking great questions is a key skill when conducting a job interview, writes Kristie McDermott.

Conducting a great job interview is a skill. Knowing how to get the best out of a candidate is crucial so that you can be sure you make a great hire, and avoid taking on someone who just won’t work out. Not only is that a waste of time, it’s also expensive and can cause serious hiccups, especially in a small business. 

So having a few tips and tricks up your sleeve ahead of any job hiring process is going to be key. Preparing for a great hiring process has several parts, from making sure you write a really tailored, succinct job description in the first place, to planning out your interview steps to make sure they will be a success. 

When it comes to the actual interview stage, getting a sense of candidates’ technical, creative or sales skills is crucial for roles within the beauty industry. But you’ll also need to check to make sure that their interpersonal skills, leadership abilities, decision making and communication skills are up to par. 

How you do this is nearly as important. Many older candidates may remember interviews where they were “grilled” about their education and work related experiences, but times have changed. These days, not only does 83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company, but from an employer’s perspective, a structured interview is the way forward to get the best out of candidates. 

Seventy-four percent of HR professionals globally use structured interviews. Conversational in style, you’ll ask each person you’re talking to for the job a list of questions in a set order, collect their responses, and grade them against a scoring system. That way, it’s easy to see who does best. 

There are any number of questions you can ask; some of the seven below can be useful to help you measure a candidate’s work style in terms of how they approach team issues, management problems and wider communication. 

1. What skills and strengths can you bring to this position? 

Asking this will help you to understand what the candidate considers to be their key competencies and abilities. How do these fit into what you need? 

2. What is the most important achievement in your career so far, and how did you get there? 

This question allows the candidate to talk about their passions, work ethic, and their planning and organisational skills. Big goals take a lot of work and commitment. Is this person a go-getter, and would you like them to work for you? 

3. Was there a time you didn’t agree with a coworker? How did you handle the situation? 

This is a key question to ask in deciding how this person will fit in with your existing team. Communication and interpersonal skills can also be assessed here. While no one will get on with all their co-workers all of the time and occasional incidents are par for the course, what you are looking for is how a cool head will respond to any issues. 

4. Tell me about a time you identified a problem, and how did you resolve it? 

This answer will show you some of the leadership skills, problem solving abilities and communication skills the candidate has. 

5. How would your boss describe you? 

Asking this gets the candidate to think about how they are perceived. Do they hesitate to provide an answer, or do they answer confidently? 

6. Do you work best alone, or on a team? 

Depending on the job, you may prefer a solo operator, but if this is a job on a tight-knit team, you’re going to want someone who actively enjoys, and does their best work as part of a group. 

7. How do you make a good impression on a client? What sort of things do you do to achieve this? 

Many beauty businesses are reliant on great client relationships, often built up over many years and through word of mouth. Can you trust this person to maintain yours? 

There will likely be many more questions you’ll want to add, relative to the job and your own particular business. The key is to make sure you’re asking the right questions to help you make the correct hiring decision.

If you want to post your job to our Professional Beauty Job Board, get in touch today. And if you’re more interested in exploring your career potential, browse all the open positions waiting for your application.

This article was created in a partnership with Jobbio.

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