Good questions for effective job interviews
July 2016, by Audrey Chrétien

Good questions for effective job interviews

Since you might not have the chance to be assisted by a recruitment agency, here’s some sound advice from one of our recruitment managers to help you prepare your job interviews. Read on to find out what Audrey Chrétien, manager of our Engineering, Production and Logistics team, has to say.

1. What constitutes an effective interview?

I think that a good interview helps you better understand candidates and determine if their profile matches the requirements of the position. You need to find out as much as you can about both their personal qualities (“soft skills”) and their technical know-how (“hard skills”).

2. Why is it important to choose good interview questions?

You should adapt your questions to the position you’re interviewing for, because it’s the best way to make sure you hire the right candidate. Considering how much time and money is needed to recruit and train an employee, hiring the wrong person for the job can be very expensive, because you have to start over from the beginning. That’s why it’s important to take the time to prepare an effective interview.

3. How to pick the right questions?

Start by making a list of the personal and technical skills required for the position. Then prepare your questions based on those skills. For example, if you are looking for a determined and tenacious person, you can ask:

Can you tell me about a time of which you are particularly proud when you overcame an obstacle, either personal or professional?

Feel free to ask for specific reasons for their pride and how they went about finding solutions. Do the same for each skill you’re looking for.

One good way to get know your candidate is to ask original questions or propose scenarios. This will probably result in more spontaneous responses. For example, on the topic of team spirit: “What position do you prefer in team sports?” Or to find out if the job requirements have been understood: “Fast forward a couple of months. Why am I happy that I hired you?”

4. Are there any mistakes to avoid during an interview?

For starters, I strongly suggest avoiding closed-ended questions that can be answered by just a yes or a no. Some people are shy or reserved. Draft your questions in such a way as to encourage further development of ideas so you can really get to know them. Also, try not to be too vague: Tell me about yourself. More specific questions get more useful answers. Finally, it goes without saying that you absolutely must avoid any discriminatory question.