The Best Questions for Recruiting New Employees

Best QuestionsWhat are the best questions to ask to help predict future performance of employees? In my experience the best questions are either situational or behavioural based.

Situational based

Candidates are asked questions on how they would handle/react to a hypothetical job related situation in the future.  These are the best questions for candidates who don’t have past experience in the area concerned, and you wish to test how they would handle themselves.

For example

It is just before Christmas, you are snowed under with work and you receive an incoming call from an irate customer. The customer is quite upset about the service they have received by a member of staff. How would you handle the situation?

Behavioural based

Candidates are asked to describe a specific situation in their past, what action they took, and the outcome or result. These are the best questions for candidates who have experience.

For example

Tell us about a time when you had conflicting priorities that meant customer satisfaction might become compromised. What actions did you take? What was the outcome?

Further examples of the best questions:

Customer Focus

Have you ever had to “go the extra mile” to satisfy a customer?  Tell me about what you did?  What was the outcome?


Can you think of the most difficult communication challenge you have faced in recent years.  Describe the situation, your input, and the outcome.


Tell me about a situation in which you had to adjust quickly to changes?  How did the changes affect you?  What was your attitude to the changes?  What was the outcome?

Attention to Detail

Can you describe what your system for ensuring accuracy in your work is? How does this system ensure accuracy? What would you do differently?

Next time you are recruiting remember to factor in at least 3 situational or behavioural based questions. These need to cover areas that the candidate must be able to perform well at.