Top 10 most challenging interview questions to ask a candidate

 in All markets by Robert Blain

Top 10 most challenging interview questions to ask a candidate

top 10 most challenging interview questions to ask a candidate  

So you’ve been through a pile of CVs and whittled it down to a handful of candidates. They all seem impressive on paper, but how do you identify the true talent – the individual who is the best fit for your organisation?

How do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

A good interviewing technique is crucial in Hong Kong’s competitive job market. Good interview questions help HR professionals come to grips with what they need to know about a candidate – their skills, their strengths, and potential cultural fit. However, with a wealth of information available to candidates on the “right” thing to say, it’s not always easy to see through the bluff and bluster.

Here are 10 curly questions to put to candidates during your organisation’s next round of recruitment.

No.1 If a colleague’s behaviour (talking too much on the phone incessantly) distracted you to the point it affected your work performance, how would you resolve it?

This is a good opportunity to determine how well a prospective candidate can resolve conflicts in the workplace, while maintaining a good relationship within the team.

No.2 Without consulting your CV, tell me what defines you

Helps the interviewer gauge the candidate’s ability to think on their feet and also reveals how well they know themselves. It’s also a chance for them to tie why they are interested in the role and why they’re a good fit in your organisation.

No.3 What bothered you most about your most recent employer?

This is a trap for potential candidates who like to gripe excessively about their employers – past or present – and who could potentially have a negative effect on the morale of your team. But it’s also an opportunity for them to explain why they are looking for a new role, and help you to gauge their expectations.

No.4 What do you read to enhance your professional development?

A switched-on candidate who is genuinely interested in the role should be able to fill you in on relevant topics, trade publications and appropriate media channels to the industry and position at hand.

No.5 Can you give me an example when you had to make a snap decision without all the facts?

Demonstrates how agile and flexible the candidate is. A good answer reveals their ability at problem-solving – a handy attribute in any organisation.

No.6 What’s a brand that typifies you?

The candidate’s answer will depend on their individual circumstances and the role they are applying for. A well-prepared candidate should have a good answer at their finger tips.

No.7 Describe your worst boss

Watch out for candidates quick to criticise their past managers. Rather, look out for candidates who use the question to explain their preferred management style and how they adapt to different personalities in the workplace.

No.8 What five words best describe you?

This question gives pointers about whether the candidate is a good fit your organisation’s culture and core values.

No.9 Convince me of one idea, then convince me of the opposite.

This demonstrates their ability to think clearly and a willingness to challenge their own preconceived notions about a topic. It should also illuminate the interviewer as to whether the candidate can organise their thoughts coherently and communicate ideas convincingly, even when they don’t entirely agree.

No.10 Which person, living or dead, would you like to have dinner with? Why?

This helps the interviewer understand where the candidate draws their inspiration from. Their chosen dinner conversation could also shed light on what they are truly passionate about.

Photo / 123RF

This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. 
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