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As a market-leading global recruitment group focused on information technology, our purpose is clear – we help people and organisations realise their potential. We take time to listen and advise our clients throughout the recruitment process. It’s these relationships that enable us to offer our clients the best talent in the market.
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Planning your Interview Questions
There are two main types of interview questions: closed-ended interview questions and open-ended interview questions.
Closed-ended questions are simple questions that only require a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ type of answer. They are useful for clarifying simple facts such as:
- Do you own a car?
- This position requires travelling overseas 30% of the time. Are you ok with it?
Open-ended questions are questions that require more than a simple ‘Yes’ or ’No’.
- Tell me more about…
- What is your opinion of…
- How did you overcome…
Hypothetical questions are questions that encourage the interviewees to use their imagination.
- What's your idea of a difficult customer?
- How would you handle them?
- Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Behavioural interview questions
An effective interview typically involves a mix of behavioural and situational questions.
Behavioural interview questions focus on a candidate’s behaviours and competencies. Examples of such interview questions are:
- What do you do if you disagree with your boss?
- How do you handle a challenge? Give an example.
- How do you deal with a colleague who is not cooperative?
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Situational interview questions
Situational interview questions explore how the candidate coped with a certain situation. Examples of such interview questions are:
- Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem.
- Give an example of a goal you didn't meet and how you handled it.
- Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled it.
- Describe a situation where you had to collaborate with a difficult colleague.
- Describe a situation where you had to work with a difficult manager or an important client/customer.
- Describe a situation where you needed to persuade someone to accept your point of view or convince them to change something.
- Describe a difficult problem you faced and how you approached it.
- Describe a situation when you needed to take initiative.
Devising your interview questions
Decide what information you will need to help you determine if a candidate is suitable. To do this, you can follow these two steps:
- List the information required in terms of the candidate’s experience, background, skills and competencies to do the job well. This can be derived from the job description you drew up before the candidate search process.
- List the questions that will help you draw out the required information from the candidate.
Examples of how you can use the aforementioned two steps to plan your interview questions are:
Requirement: Hands on experience with computer application design, development and maintenance
Potential interview questions:
- Could you tell me about your past computer application design projects?
- What challenges did you face with the application projects? How did you manage to resolve them?
- How did the final application turn out? Were you satisfied with it? What do you think could have been better?
Requirement: Good understanding of Ruby
Potential interview questions:
- Where have you used Ruby?
- Can you explain different features of Ruby Programming Language?
- What are different Ruby editors?
- What are the different data types used in Ruby?
- What is the difference between NIL and FALSE in Ruby?
Requirement: Strong communication skills
Potential interview questions:
- Tell me about a time when you have talk to a team member who is not performing well
- How do you communicate with a manager who has an opposing opinion?
Other interview questions
In addition to the competency-related questions above, you may wish to ask questions that cover these areas as well:
- Why is the candidate looking for a job?
- Can the candidate fit into our team and company culture?
- Will the candidate be accepted and liked by the other team members?
- Is the candidate really interested in the job and the company?
- Have they conducted research about the company?
- When can the candidate start work?
- Does the candidate have questions to ask?
Taking interview notes
It is recommended that you take down notes during the interview. For each of the interview question you prepared, you could note down what the candidate’s answer was. This will allow you to objectively compare candidates in order to choose who you might shortlist for further interviews and who you will reject.
Your notes will also help you provide feedback to the candidate for the interview. Providing post-interview feedback contributes to a great candidate experience. At Evolution, we send out feedback survey to every candidate who interviews with our client. According to our findings from the analyses of candidates' responses, the top factor that irks candidates is the lack of interview feedback.
Some tips for interview note-taking:
- Keep notes short and to the point.
- Put the interviewee's words between quotation marks.
- Do not forget to acknowlegde the candidate's reply by nodding to the candidate or making an occasional eye contact. This tells the candidate that you are listening attentively even while writing your notes.
- Note down facts and not personal information, e.g. marital status, appearance etc
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