Tough But Creative Interview Questions For An Employer And Applicant

By | 2018-03-06T17:17:16+00:00 March 6th, 2013|Categories: Advice|Tags: , |

In a previous article we detailed the changes that the recruitment process has undertaken and how it has  ‘evolved’ since the advent of  e-recruitment systems.  Filtering applicants based on certain criteria can be achieved using modern e-recruitment systems, and the applicants who qualify can then be interviewed.  The interview is the employers opportunity to gain further insight into who the applicant is and whether they will be right for the job.  It is also an opportunity for the applicant to find out more about the business and role that they are applying for.

Questions to ask the applicant at interview:

  1. What is one misconception people have about you?
  2. Who at your former place of work gave you the most energy and why?
  3. If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?
  4. What was your most and least satisfying job and why?
  5. What is your 5 year goal?
  6. What criteria do you use for evaluating success?
  7. Describe a project that you’re especially proud of.
  8. How do you spend your spare time?
  9. Which of your skills, technical or otherwise, have helped you most on the job?
  10. Describe how you prepared for this interview?
  11. What is your typical working week in hours?
  12. What have you learned most from your previous role?
  13. What kinds of people do you have difficulties working with?
  14. When have you been most satisfied in your career?
  15. What was your greatest contribution to your last job/company?
  16. How would your best friend describe you?
  17. How much do you invest in your personal development?
  18. Who do you see as our top 3 competitors or potential threats in the future?
  19. When was the last time you took a risk? What did you learn from it?
  20. Can you think of a recent problem in which old solutions wouldn’t work?


Questions to ask the employer at the interview:

  1. On average, how many new employees does the company hire each year?
  2. Can you name some of the competing companies?
  3. Are any positions or functions at this company outsourced?
  4. Are there any job tasks for this position that aren’t on the job description?
  5. How would you describe your management style?
  6. How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
  7. Is this a new position?  If not, where did the previous employee in this role go?
  8. What are the biggest initiatives for the company in the next 6-12 months and how does this job contribute to those initiatives?
  9. What’s been your best experience working at this company?
  10. What is the biggest challenge facing the organization today?
  11. Can you describe an ideal employee?
  12. What would be the most challenging thing for someone like me in this position to get used to?
  13. Why did you choose to work for this company?
  14. What is the most unique aspect about your company?
  15. What is the first problem the person you hire must attend to?
  16. What do you consider to be your firm’s most important assets?
  17. Do you promote from within?
  18. How would you describe your company’s culture?
  19. How would you define “success” for this position?
  20. What is the organization’s competitive advantage in the marketplace?


Question NOT to ask an employer at the interview:

  1. Can I do this job from home?
  2. When can I take time off for vacation?
  3. How many hours will I be expected to work each week?
  4. What does the company do?
  5. Will you check my Facebook page?
  6. How often do you give raises?
  7. How many warnings do you get before you’re fired?