The First Interview Question You Need To Ask… And Why It Works

A simple ice-breaker, or valuable insight into the person you're about to hire?
There are hundreds of formulas for conducting the ‘perfect’ job interview, with new strategies, tips and tricks unveiled by the experts on a never-ending basis. And there’s certainly a market for it: every hiring manager is on the quest to conduct better interviews, identify the best candidates, and to tighten the recruitment process to avoid ‘getting it wrong’.

We recently wrote that studies show a bad hire at a £42k salary could cost your business over £130,000 in wasted training, lost productivity and associated disruption. So with this in mind, what is the most first, and most powerful job interview question you can ask to truly assess the type of person that’s sitting in front of you… going beyond hard-skills and into the deeper psyche of the candidate.

Here it is:
"Tell Me About YOU..."
Not, “Tell me about your current role” or, “Tell me about your work experience”, but “Tell me about YOU.”

By asking this seemingly innocent, open-ended interview question first, you’re very quickly able to assess who the candidate is as a person.

Ultimately, you’re asking the candidate to share with you their philosophy of work and life. And the answers they provide will give valuable context to the remainder of the interview to come.
There are many skills that can be taught: from hard-skills, to leadership skills to time-management skills and everything in between. Yet what you learn from this question will be far more powerful for judging whether the candidate will fit into your ogranisation, your culture and crucially, contribute to your overall mission as a company.

So, next time you have a crucial hire sitting in front of you, try starting with ‘Tell me about you…’. By asking the right questions, you’re already half way there to getting the right answers.
Thank you for reading
Classic Consulting is a multi-award winning recruitment consultancy making a genuine impact in the Sussex business community.

You can call our professional recruiters on 01273 607129 for a confidential discussion on how we can match your teams with the right candidates, with the right skills, at the right time to support your business goals.

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