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How to Ask Interview Questions that Help You Uncover the Character of a Job Seeker

Every employer understands that the interview is a critically important stage in the course of the recruitment process. By building a successful interview strategy, employers are much more likely to gain a clear and reliable picture of a candidate’s unique strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. A poorly-defined or underprepared strategy, on the other hand, can often lead employers to miss a golden hiring opportunity or, conversely, to hire someone who is unfit for the role.

So what does an ideal interview strategy for employers actually look like?

Asking questions that are designed to get a sense of a candidate’s technical skills and professional background is obviously vitally important. That said, those questions should not take up the entire interview. In addition to probing a candidate for his or her particular technical skills, it’s equally important for interviewers to ask questions aimed at uncovering a candidate’s unique personality and character traits. This distinction – between technical expertise and characterological strength – is often referred to as “hard skills” versus “soft skills”.

Here are some examples of interview questions that will help you to gain a better sense of a candidate’s personality, character, and interpersonal abilities:

  • Do you prefer to work alone or within a group setting? Can you explain why?

 

  • Tell me about a time that you experienced conflict with a coworker. What happened, and how did you go about resolving it?

 

  • What are your greatest passions?

 

  • What are the activities, hobbies, or pastimes that you engage in while you’re not at work?

 

  • What adjectives would your best friend use to describe you?

 

  • Who is your greatest professional influence or inspiration? Why?

 

  • Is there a book that you would recommend to someone working in this role? Why? What were the major lessons that you gleaned from reading it?

 

  • Tell me about a time that you experienced failure at a past job. What did you learn from that experience?

At the end of the day, employers should be seeking to build a comprehensive picture of a candidate during the interview process. By balancing your “hard skill” interview questions with questions that are geared towards building a picture of a candidate’s unique character, you’ll be much more likely to find someone who’s the right fit not only for the role but also for the broader culture of your workplace.

If you’re ready to connect with talented candidates who will be a perfect match for your organization, contact us today!


4 Mistakes You Should Avoid During Your Next Interview

The interview is arguably the most pivotal phase of the entire hiring process. After a candidate has been deemed to be a potentially good fit for a role based on his or her resume and cover letter, the interview is the chance for applicant and employer alike to determine if there truly is a match between the candidate’s personality, temperament, and ability, with the unique culture of the workplace that they would be entering into. It’s crucial, therefore, for candidates to know what they should expect during a typical interview, and how they should prepare.   

Knowing what to say, what to wear, and how to compose oneself during an interview is one thing; knowing what not to say and what sort of behaviors to avoid is quite another. In this post, we’ll walk you through four common mistakes that you should be careful to avoid in your next job interview. 

1. Failing to familiarize yourself beforehand with your interview.

In most cases, employers and hiring managers will let you know before your interview who it is that you’ll be speaking with once you arrive at your prospective workplace. By taking the time beforehand to read up on your interviewer’s (or interviewers’) profile(s), you will have a better sense going in of which points of your experience you should be sure to touch upon. It will also give you a chance to see if you have any professional connections with your employer that might provide some common ground. 

2. Asking questions with answers that were provided by the job post.

Before you head into an interview, always be sure to study (and study again) the job post or other resources from which you initially learned about the opening job. No job posting will be fully comprehensive in its description of the role and its responsibilities, but they will usually provide you with answers to the most basic questions. If you ask your interviewer questions with obvious answers, that could convey a message that you’re disorganized or unable to do your homework prior to an important meeting. 

3. Failing to dress appropriately.

A candidate showing up to an interview looking scruffy, disheveled, or inappropriately dressed is sending a message that he or she might be equally careless with their work. Showing up to an interview looking groomed and sharp, on the other hand, sends a clear message that you have respect for the interviewer and that you take your professionalism seriously.

4. Being distracted by your phone.

For many of us, glancing at our phones during a conversation has become such a deeply ingrained habit that we tend to do it almost unconsciously. This may be (more or less) okay during a normal social interaction, but it can greatly harm your chances of success during a job interview. Before you go into an interview, be sure to turn your phone off so that you’ll be fully present and undistracted by incoming messages or calls.

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page. 


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