To ask or not to ask- Top tips for Hiring Managers and Candidates

  • Interview with Managers

I was asked a couple of weeks ago by some individual clients as well as a business client what questions to ask in an interview to really get to know either the candidate in the interviewers case or the company in the case of the candidate to make a solid decision before taking on a new role.

This has been asked of me repeatedly over our time in the HR space over many years… There are definitely inappropriate and unadvisable questions from an EEO point of view. Some hiring managers still struggle with some of these due to a lack of coaching but I will save that topic for another time…

The critical and sometimes overlooked fact when it comes to the hiring process is that it’s a 2 way street. Gone are the days when it was all about impressing the big boss with what you could do and having to jump hoops and gratefully accept a lower salary just so you can work a 40 week for the next 45 years!

Don’t get me wrong, candidates need to impress but business has their part to play as well here. So many recruitment processes are carried out only skimming the surface and this is just not enough. Hiring Managers need to really get a good view of the person they are interviewing, not just a cursory glance.

It’s essential that as a candidate you have done your due diligence and can really make a hand on heart decision that the role you are being interviewed for; ticks as many of your ‘must haves’ as possible. Hiring Managers really need to know their current staff and what type of person they are looking for to compliment their team. It’s not just about whether the person has the right skills set.

Here are some potential questions to ask for both camps


  1. What is your ideal environment to be part of?
  2. What type of management style do you enjoy working alongside (prompt for detail here)….
  3. Tell me what your peers would say were your greatest strengths? Would they mention any areas for development? If so, what would they be?
  4. Tell me what you think your most recent Manager would say about you?
  5. What are the things that keep you motivated in your job roles?
  6. What demotivates you and why?
  7. Have you got any skills that you would really like to have the opportunity to utilise in your next role? What are they?


  1. How long have you worked for this firm and what do you enjoy about it?
  2. How does reward and recognition work here? Can you talk me through this please?
  3. What do you think are the biggest challenges the firm will face over the next 12 months, how will this role affect that?
  4. Are there any other skills that you cannot see on my resume that you feel are vital for the role?
  5. Can you give me a little bit of information on the team that this role is part of?
  6. Is there anything about working here that you are not keen on/does not motivate you?

As always, remember, 'Energy equals outcome, so make sure that you are focusing on the right things'.

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