8 questions candidates will ask you - Main Region

8 questions candidates will ask you


Interviewing a job candidate is the most critical element in assessing their suitability for your role, so it makes sense to prepare. Yet while most hiring managers take steps to research the candidate and develop suitable questions, they often overlook one crucial factor – preparing answers to the common questions job candidates ask of them.

Interestingly, there’s ample information available online to help job candidates prepare answers to common questions employers ask in job interviews. But for employers who want to learn more about how to answer questions from candidates, information is scarce – yet highly important.

The answers you provide to your job candidates when they ask you questions in a job interview significantly shapes how they feel about the job on offer.

If you are interviewing a dream candidate for a role that is tricky to fill, it’s imperative to treat the job interview as a two-way conversation. After all, you are selling the candidate the role as much as they are selling you their suitability. 

So, what are common interview questions job candidates ask?

1. How would you describe your management style?

When a job candidate asks about your management style, it helps them uncover a lot about the workplace culture they are likely to work within. 

Your answer can reveal to the candidate how supportive your organisation is, how strong the leadership is and whether they are a good fit for your style of management.

While there are many styles of management, there are also good principles of management to keep in mind when you describe your management style to a job candidate.

As we’ve previously highlighted, great leaders assume responsibility for their words and actions, inspire team members, make good decisions, display emotional intelligence and influence big picture thinking. Consider which positive traits you exhibit before you explain your management style to job candidates.

2. How would you describe the organisational culture?

Your organisational culture plays a major part in your capacity to attract and retain talent.
According to Glassdoor’s Mission and Culture Survey 2019, 77 per cent of respondents would consider an organisation’s culture before applying for a job there, and company culture is one of the main reasons almost two thirds of employees stay in their jobs.

Today’s candidates want to work for organisations that deliver exemplary values, fair expectations, reward and recognition programs, work-life balance, onboarding support, and strong leadership.

Keep examples of these characteristics of your organisational culture in mind when you talk to job candidates.

3. Is this role new? If not, how has it evolved over time?

When a job candidate asks if a role has evolved over time, it helps them understand how your organisation has responded to change, the approaches you now value and what it will take to be deemed successful.
If there’s room for your prospective employee to grow in the role they are applying for, or to grow the role, make that clear to them. Also explain what support you’ll offer to allow them to achieve this.

4. How do you support the learning and development of your staff and what career pathways are available?

According to our annual Hays Salary Guide,a lack of learning, development and promotional opportunities is a key reason that people enter the job market in search of a new job. It’s understandable, therefore, that to secure skilled professionals, you need to offer clear and transparent career progression pathways and ensure your job candidates are aware of what you can offer to support their career advancement.

So, share examples of how your organisation is dedicated to learning and development. Tell them about employees who have used learning and development opportunities to advance their careers at your organisation.

Leave them with a clear impression of how they can develop in your organisation.

5. How does the team fit into the overall structure of the organisation?

Job interview questions like this reveal to your candidates who they will support and receive support from, share goals with, communicate with, learn from and help to learn.

They provide your job candidate with better sight of the nature of the relationships they need to develop organisation-wide.

Provide your job candidate with an answer that helps them think about the nature of relationships they will need to nurture to help the team, and wider organisation, succeed.

6. What does success look like in this role and in this team?

This question gives job candidates insights into how realistic your expectations of their output and achievements are, and how challenging the role they are interviewing for is.

Your answer is also a potential window into the corporate culture that underpins your organisation’s success.

Highlight your organisation’s priorities, expectations and work philosophy. Explain what success in the role looks like in concrete terms and provide insights into how they can achieve it.

Job candidates can use this information to better understand how likely they are to succeed in the role.

7. What are the main challenges your organisation is currently facing and how are you responding?

Given the enormous upheaval COVID-19 is creating across the world of work, candidates want to be confident they will join an organisation that is secure, resilient and equipped to navigate through times of change.

Show employees that your organisation has the capacity to adapt to challenges and the strategy in place to respond and grow. If workplace flexibility and diversity are strong suits for your organisation, point this out too.

8. How often will my performance be reviewed?

Different organisations conduct performance reviews at different frequencies, based on factors such as company size, structure and resources.

When you are asked this question, it’s good practice to provide candidates with factual information about your organisation’s performance review process.
When you tell your candidate how often their performance will be reviewed, take the opportunity to explain the value of performance reviews in your organisation for employers and employees.
Explain how your organisation evaluates performance, the format used and how managers and employees make the most of reviews. This allows you to confidently communicate the value of reviews and present your approach in the best possible light.

For more advice on conducting a job interview, browse our recruitment advice.