16 Very Effective Pre-Interview Questions

At the sifting stage of the recruitment process, where information is being gathered on the telephone ahead of perhaps an Assessment Centre Event or the Interview itself, a large amount of helpful information about a candidate can be gained relatively quickly and easily.

The trick is to ask a series of focused questions that draw out information in a systematic and reliable manner. The following might be some to consider:

  1. Why did you apply for this particular opening/opportunity and what is the attraction for you of our company?
  2. Why have you chosen to work in this specific sector?
  3. What do you know about the company?
  4. What is your overall career ambition?
  5. What drives you both personally and professionally?
  6. What does it need to get your full commitment in the workplace?
  7. What do you bring to a team? Give me some examples of this.
  8. How could you make a team successful?
  9. Explain a recent mistake that you have made and tell me what you were able to learn from this.
  10. How can you apply what you learned from making that mistake?
  11. Give me an example of a situation when you have found communicating with someone as being difficult and explain why.
  12. What are your biggest strengths and what areas you feel you need to develop or to improve in?
  13. How do you maintain enthusiasm for projects or tasks that are assigned to you?
  14. How do you monitor your own performance levels?
  15. Describe a situation where you had to persuade a group to accept a proposal or idea? How did you go about this and what was the result?
  16. Think about a situation where you had to coordinate the work of others: was this successful and what could you have done to be more effective?