Great news, you have a pool of shortlisted candidates who qualify for an interview with your company; you’re over one of the most challenging recruitment hurdles.

Now you’ve reached this stage in your hiring process, having a list of valuable interview questions will serve you well. Now we understand that this is easier said than done, especially if interviewing isn’t your forte. Yet there are some top tips to follow when formatting a handful of applicable interview questions; ideal for both telephone and face to face interviews.

Searching on the likes of Google may seem the most convenient route to take when preparing for an interview. Yet it is important to remember that every industry, company and job role is different, influencing the need for diverse interview questions.

To gain the most out of your next stream of interviews, see the importance of bespoke interview questions and how to format them below…


Creating interview questions suitable for your job opening may sound like an activity which requires great effort, taking up your valuable time. However, there are many benefits linked to investing into your recruitment processes, by ensuring that your interview questions can achieve the best results…

  • They can determine whether a candidate is right for you:Formatting your own interview questions which take both the job description and your company values into consideration will help identify candidates who are suitable for your opening efficiently.
  • They can help candidates conclude whether you’re right for them: Likewise, a handful of interview questions which are personalised for an individual role will provide enough detail and direction for candidates to grasp suitability. An interview is the best time for both parties to make this decision by providing a worthwhile experience.
  • They are an effective way to narrow down your shortlist even more:Sometimes, post interview it can be difficult to narrow down your shortlist. By formatting your own interview questions you’ll have an idea of the aim of each and the answers you hope to hear. This approach will use your time effectively, by moving candidates through the hiring funnel promptly.
  • They can improve the quality of your overall hiring strategy:By investing into your interview techniques, this will contribute to the quality of your overall strategy. Following a personalised approach when consider interview questions will ensure candidates feel valued, ultimately influencing a positive perspective of your employer brand.
  • They will help to structure your interview:An hour-long interview can fly past; sometimes without fully establishing whether suitability is present. By creating a list of interview questions, a structure will be in place to ensure you obtain all of the details needed to make an informative decision. Of course, flexibility is required as some questions will natural lead to a discussion. Yet to manage your time effectively, preparing interview questions will help.


Like formatting your job description, structuring your interview questions will improve your hiring process. Here’s some top tips on formatting your interview questions to reflect your industry, company and open position; helping you achieve the end result of hiring the ideal employee. Remember that as each company has different requirements, questions will need to be adapted to suit your job opening…

    • Ask for real life examples:When structuring your interview questions, try and generate some which will influence answers using real life examples. This is a great way to determine whether a candidate can fulfil the job requirements and responsibilities. This approach will also help establish whether values and ways of working are mutual.

‘Tell me about a time where you’ve gone above and beyond in the workplace?’

    • Generate questions which concentrate on industry skills and experience:Asking candidates about industry focused skills, experience or techniques will help you gain an understanding of their ability. This will usually determine the seniority of a candidate and whether they’ve experienced exposure to common processes, resources or approaches. Including interview questions following this route will help determine whether candidates can walk the walk and achieve what is noted on their CV.

‘What are the best tools you’ve used to create unique visuals?’

    • Include questions focusing on positive experiences:By formatting interview questions which touch on positive experiences or success, this will uncover what makes a candidate tic. This will determine the type of personality they have, along with the value of achievements and success.

‘Describe a scenario which reflects your biggest career accomplishment and how did this make you feel?’

    • Likewise, include questions focusing on challenges:Touching on challenges in your interview questions will help to reveal how challenges make candidates feel and how they’ve previously overcome any encounters.

‘Describe one of the biggest challenges you’ve been faced with in the workplace, how did this make you feel and how did you overcome it?’

    • Ensure questions are measurable:To ensure questions are effective, asking questions which are measurable will be best. For example, asking candidates to provide stats or results from previous projects will help to identify ability.

‘Please share a previous sales target you have set; did you reach it and if so how?’

  • Ask questions focusing on candidate expectations:This approach will be highly valuable for both parties. For hiring managers, this will help gain an understanding of what candidates expect from the role and company, in return of their hard work. Likewise, this will provide candidates with an insight on whether their expectations can be matched through this opportunity. Setting clear expectations from the offset will help find the most ideal employee for your opening…

‘Why did you apply for this position?’

‘What do you expect to achieve within your first 6 months here?’

‘What qualities can you bring to our workplace?’

…And remember to open up the table and ask candidates if they have any questions in return; this is a great way to gauge interest levels. All in all, it is important that interview questions are adapted to fit your industry, company and role, as differing techniques will work best for each.

Here at Smartsearch, we understand how drawn out this process can be, especially if you’re hiring multiple employees. With this in mind, we can support you by recommending the most appropriate interview questions for your requirements, while ensuring your complete hiring strategy is effective.

Get in touch today to recruit in a smarter, more effective way – 0333 939 0074 / info@smartsearch-recruitment.com