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8 Killer Questions Every Hiring Manager Should Ask During a Job Interview

by Deana Zafir

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Interview questions are a crucial step in any job hunting and hiring process. They let hiring managers discover if a candidate is right for them, and they also let candidates know if the company and if the position is suitable for them.

If you want to make the most out of your next interview, here are some killer questions to ask your candidates.

I see that there’s a gap in your resume. Do you mind telling me what you did during that period of time?  

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Sometimes, candidates who take a gap year fail to report what they did on their resume. If there is a gap, try asking the candidate to elaborate on what they did during their time away. By digging into the candidate’s history, you’ll be able to find out if they have any unique skill sets or experiences that will help further your company.

Do note that the reasons for the candidate’s gap year are not always positive. There can be a medley of reasons as to why an employee would take some time off of work i.e. medical purposes or unforeseen circumstances to name a few.

Some follow up questions you can ask are:

(A) What are some skills you’ve learned from your previous voluntary/personal experience?
(B) Why did you leave your previous job?
(C) Are you planning on taking another gap year sometime in the near future?

How can you contribute to help further the company?

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This is a commonly asked question as it lets the hiring managers know what benefits the candidate is confident about bringing to the company. A good answer to this questions will cover topics such as past accomplishments and attempts to connect their answers to the company’s motto and goals. This shows that the candidate has actively done their research about your organisation prior to the interview. As a hiring manager, you can expect the candidate to do the same amount of research in their new position within your company.

According to Wisestep, the best answers to look out for will include the employee’s attempt to align their skills and experience with the company’s core values and motto, as well as answers that are detailed. After all, you do want to hire someone most aligned with your company motto and values and meticulous.

Describe the best boss you’ve ever reported to

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This question allows hiring managers to see if you are someone who holds onto grudges and former mistakes. Additionally, this question gives the hiring manager a glimpse into the candidate's working style. Did the candidate's idea of a good boss describe a micromanaging boss or someone who lets their employees work independently?

Look out for positive sounding answers that demonstrate the candidate's loyalty to their previous managers. Don't forget to keep an eye out for any strengths and weaknesses mentioned!

What motivated you to apply for this job?

 

A broad question that provides the hiring manager with an inkling as to what motivates the candidate to apply for the job. Was money the motivating factor? Or did the candidate specify their need for experience at a prestigious company such as yours? 

Good answers to the question will highlight specific skills that the candidate wants to learn as well as creative ideas they'd want to contribute to the company. Click here for what answers to look out for when candidates answer this question
 

What do you want to accomplish in your first six months of the job here?

 

If you're looking to throw your candidate off, ask them this question. Seasoned interviewers and/or hiring managers will know that this is a question that candidates often ask their interviewees to get a better idea of what the company is looking to achieve. 

But don't let this deter you! A good answer to this question will feature the various responsibilities that align with the position (e.g. "I want to be savvy with the POS system, for those applying for a cashier based position"). 

Answers that show a lot of research and outlines specific goals also reflects well on the candidate. 

Why did you leave your last job? 

Much like the "describe the best boss you've ever reported to" question, this question is often asked,

to assess the candidate's personality. Listen to the answers carefully and look out for any negative remarks made about the candidate's last office and/or job. Additionally, hiring managers will be able to find out if the candidates left their previous job willingly or if they were fired. 

Describe a personal project that you’re proud of? 

 
Again, another probing question to find out if the candidate is working on any external achievements (i.e. voluntary projects, creative projects available on social media etc). You should also evaluate the answer provided to see if the candidate's skill set and personality traits are a great fit for the position on offer. 

Keep an eye out for answers that describe the interviewee's practical and soft skills, as well as the obstacles and challenges they've described. If you're looking to find what a good answer to this broad question is, Livecareer has an article on it here

Do you have any questions for me?

 
 
It is an unspoken rule that every candidate interviewed will have to ask at least one question at the end of the interview session. A word of advice to potential candidates reading this, always answer this question with a "yes". It shows that you (the candidate) was engaged and paid attention throughout the interview session. 
 
There you have it! Eight killer questions to ask your candidates - from Singapore's very own recruitment company, BGC. 
 
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