5 unique interview questions you should ask all candidates


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Building a team is one of the most important things you’ll do as a business owner. The right team can be the difference between success and failure. With great people around you, with a shared vision, your business becomes more than the sum of its parts.

And, on the contrary, a bad hire or two can be catastrophic. Not only do weak team members risk destabilising your organisation, but the cost of finding, hiring, and training is significant – and you don’t want to see that investment go to waste.

The key to picking out the best candidates is a thorough interview process. One designed to help those with talent stand out, and to expose those that aren’t up to the job.

To help you find your next great hire, here are five interview questions that you should ask all candidates.

1. Have you ever received negative feedback? If so, how did you handle it?

This two-fold question can open up a world of possibilities for interviewers. First and foremost, you are assessing how open and honest the candidate is. We’ve all had negative feedback. Anyone who says they haven’t is likely not being entirely forthcoming.

Next, you are testing their communication skills – a hugely important asset in any business. Not only is the candidate having to relay a potentially tricky subject matter to you, but they are also demonstrating their ability to receive and implement constructive criticism.

So, what’s the perfect answer here? Really you are searching for a candidate with the self-awareness to admit a mistake, the diplomacy to take on board negative feedback, and the courage to incorporate criticism into their process.

2. Is it more important to do things right or do things quickly?

This is something of a trick question. Let’s be honest, there’s no right answer here. What you really want is an employee who can work fast and to maintain a high standard.

But whatever answer a candidate gives will offer insight. And it will allow you to start a conversation about your work environment or culture.

Let’s say they think it’s more important to work fast. Now you know you have a candidate that understands the importance of deadlines and has no issues meeting them. You can also start a conversation about how, while speed is important, so is quality. Your candidate can now explain their process, giving you insight into how they work at speed without compromising on standards.

If they say that doing things right is more important than speed, you know you are talking to more of a perfectionist. And that is no bad thing. It also allows you to highlight the importance of working to deadlines.

Again, the candidate now has an opportunity to convince you of their ability to work to a high standard at an efficient speed.

3. Can you think of a time when you have motivated others?

Even if you are not interviewing for a managerial role, a great team needs its fair share of motivators. So, ideally, your candidate will be able to offer more than one example in answer to this question.

Here, you want the interviewee to find it easy to recall an instance or two rather than having to search long and hard. The answer to this question will shine a light on how well any candidate is at reading the emotions of others. And if they are able to impact those emotions positively.

Once again, this question opens the door for you to discuss your company culture. You can explore how their motivation techniques fit with those in your organisation.

4. How do you integrate with a team?

Of course, you need a team player. But rather than asking a more straightforward question – do you work well in a team? This variation should open up a broader conversation about teamwork, delegation, communication, and much more.

If a candidate struggles to find an answer, it could be a warning sign. Team dynamics are so important to success, and any new hire must understand that.

Here you are looking for examples of selflessness, flexibility, and expectations. Are they willing to work a little late to help a co-worker? Are they interested in the social side of work?

This presents you with another opportunity to discuss your company culture and determine if the candidate is a good fit.

5. Why did you apply for this job?

This question cuts right to the core of why the candidate is sitting in front of you. Why your company, why this role, and why now.

Any answer here will give you an insight into how well the candidate will fit with your organisation. It will also let you know how much they know about your business and the way you work. A candidate that has taken the time to do some research is always a positive.

As well as gaining an understanding of the candidate’s motivations, it will also allow you to paint more of a picture of your business – and whether the interviewee’s preconceptions match with reality.

Grow your business with Business Incorporation Zone

Are you looking to expand your business? Move into new markets? Or turn a side gig into a full-time hustle? Then you’ll know the importance of building a hardworking, adaptable team around you.

Open-ended questions can make all the difference in helping you build that team – and can be the difference between a valuable and in-depth conversation and an awkward silence.

Here at Set Hub, we know all about growth – with years of experience helping businesses flourish through startup and beyond.

We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.

As well as handling trade license applications, Set Hub can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.

We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits, and visa applications required to trade in the UAE.

In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.