The ten interview questions that will guarantee you build your dream team

Claire Ward
Sesame Street character (L-R) Cookei Mon
What key responses should you look for in candidates? (Source: Getty)

Making great hires is tough. And as a leader, you can spend hours interviewing those with potential in order to build your dream team.

To give yourself the best chance of finding people who love what your organisation does and want to be part of its success, use searching interview questions which get to the heart of individual differences and highlight strong personality traits.

Read more: How to nail your job interview

1. Who trusts you at work and how do you know this is true?

When someone starts to discuss what trust means to them, it can reveal whether they talk straight, what they value and how they demonstrate respect or transparency.

2. What benefits do our products/ services offer to customers?

A useful one to use in order to understand how commercially focused the candidate is, and to demonstrate how much (or little!) research they’ve done on you.

3. What have you learnt recently that helped you work better?

The self-awareness to continue learning regardless of experience is an important trait as you don’t want someone who sits complacently in their role as the world moves beyond them.

4. What has been your most significant achievement in your career to date? Walk me through how you did it.

They will have prepared for this one, so you should expect to be impressed by their ambition and sense of ownership, not to mention getting a sneak preview into what motivates them.

5. Tell me about a project that didn’t succeed. What happened and how did you recover?

Again, they should be expecting this one too. But those that choose to reveal a true challenge, as opposed to playing the blame game or using a soft/faux one (“I was just too much of a perfectionist”), are the real keepers.

6. What was the most productive team you worked with? Describe them to me and what made them so effective.

Wheedle out what role they played in contributing to the team’s success and their part in steering the outcome by probing around any past team dynamics. No wo(man) is an island, however, and good candidates should recognise the efforts of others in landing a successful project and give credit where it’s due.

7. What standout strength do you possess that makes your colleagues love having you on board and where have you used this to great effect?

All businesses need to have a team with a balance of strengths. Discovering how they have used theirs will help to ascertain if the individual is the right “fit” for your team.

8. Tell me where you’ve made the greatest contribution to an employer?

A distant-but-related-cousin of question four, this taps into how aligned they are to any business goals.

9. Tell me of a recent major change you have had to cope with. How did you adapt?

This opens up the level of change people consider to be just part of everyday life versus something they consider pretty major.

10. What would you change about this interview process?

This shows how observant and engaged they are, as well as providing a chance for you to improve.

A final thought

Always ask for examples to substantiate answers, probe further and get your team involved wherever possible. When the team has a voice in these decisions, it strengthens success for all concerned.

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