The 3 Most Effective Interview Questions Recruiters Ask

Crawford Thomas Recruiting Blog

iStock_000064894321_SmallSome interview questions seem to have stood the test of time, to have been asked as long as interviews have been around. Other popular interview questions have developed from the usual canned interview questions, but are still as effective, if not more.

3 Effective Interview Questions Recruiters Ask: And Why They Work

We’ll explore these popular interview questions, to identify why they work for recruiters, and whether they are right for you.

  1. What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?

Joe Konop writes for Forbes and advises using this popular and timeless interview question. This question is both simple and open-ended. This means that the answer shouldn’t be complex, but is open-ended enough for the candidate to demonstrate multiple positive attributes.

Firstly, you can identify whether the candidate has understood what the job entails, and in such a way, you can understand the extent to which they are genuinely interested in the job on offer and if they really understand what success looks like in the role.

This question also gives them the opportunity to talk about their best achievements and their top attributes. This gets right to the point, and gives the candidate a clear chance to show their best.

Finally, this question requires significant self-awareness, showing that the candidate is open to self-improvement.

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question is arguably a classic, recommended by an author at Monster. However, we have included it as it answers a fundamental question: if I hire this candidate, will they stand the test of time? Hiring is a costly investment, and retaining employees is one of the biggest challenges for recruiters. This question is a direct way of asking a candidate whether or not their career goals are in line with growth opportunities within the organization.

Note that many candidates will have an answer prepared for this question as it is so frequently asked. So it may be worth digging a little deeper to understand the reasons behind their answer. This will uncover what truly drives them in their professional lives, and so equally, will help you to understand if you can adequately motivate and incentivize this employee.

  1. When are you happiest?

This question may become increasingly popular as recruiters are more and more interested in diving a little deeper and getting away from the cliché questions. An author for Inc explains how this question helps to uncover how a candidate may fit well within your organization’s company culture.

Although there is no right or wrong answer for this question, it does help the candidate to open up to their authentic self.

Crucially, as a recruiter, you aren’t looking to agree with your candidate on this question, rather, to understand what makes them tick and how they’ll fit.

Find the Right Questions, the Rest Will Follow

Finding the right questions will help to drive your interview in the right direction. Understand what you want to get from each question in order to ensure an effective interview.

For more expert advice on recruiting and head-hunting, or for specialist consultation on recruiting, please find out more at Crawford Thomas’ website.


Crawford Thomas RecruitingThe 3 Most Effective Interview Questions Recruiters Ask