Are You Asking the Right Interview Questions?

Finding the right fit for your company is no easy task. While a candidate may possess a unique skill set, every environment is different and qualifications listed on a resume do not always translate. Interviews (either virtually or in person) can allow for a more in-depth understanding of a candidate’s personality. Getting a full picture of how this individual will fit into your team requires thoughtful consideration (“how they will interact with others on your team”) and strategic questions (“do you enjoy managing people?”) and of course, your intuition.  Before you bring on a new member to your team, make sure you are asking the best interview questions to determine their fit.

Assessing Brand Familiarity

Bringing the right person onto your team takes detailed vetting and thoughtful selection. In many cases, it is critical that the candidate understands your brand. If the candidate has a passion for the product or the company, this can be a positive indicator that they may be a good fit for the position.  Asking if the candidate is familiar with the brand is a great place to start, however familiarity does not necessarily indicate alignment with the company’s goals and values. You can extend your analysis of this brand awareness by strategizing the best interview questions to probe further into the scope of their understanding:

  • “What do you like about this brand/product?”
  • “Why do you feel like you would be a good fit for our company?”
  • “What made you interested in working with our company?”

As they answer these questions, look for a genuine response. If the candidate can talk about the brand and what they like about it in a sophisticated and authentic manner, this can indicate a true understanding of your company.  

Assessing Comparable Experience

Another area where you can uncover more about your candidate is their past experiences. Before you meet in an interview, explore a candidate’s professional experiences and their journey to where they are today. Picture how this opportunity fits into their professional trajectory. Look at their career from a bird’s eye view and ask yourself: what story does this tell? If their prior experience is in a different field, maybe take a note to ask them about their career transition during the interview. While product categories or lines of work may change, if the personalities of a brand tell similar stories that can also indicate a strong cultural fit. For example, a candidate with experience in sports apparel marketing could make a great fit in a tech company that prides itself on its street-style branding; or a candidate with experience in womenswear merchandising could make an excellent fit for an ecommerce role in a cosmetics company. These assessments will differ between companies and even between roles, but looking at the larger story of someone’s career can bring insight into how they will fit in your workplace.  

Matching Workplace Values

In any industry, having employees that are happy with their workplace structure is critical.  Consider the best interview questions you can ask to determine if your workplace will meet the needs of the candidate:

  • Ask why they left their last position, this can often illicit a response about styles of work that this candidate does not work well with.
  • Do they like a slower or faster paced work environment?
  • Do they prefer a larger or smaller team size?
  • Does this candidate prefer a structured, layered reporting system or would they prefer a flatter environment with more autonomy?
  • Are they seeking a more entrepreneurial environment or one with more of an emphasis on teaching and continued learning?

Each of these questions can help you narrow down how a candidate works best and ultimately decide whether this individual is right for your company.  

Personality Fit

While professional qualifications can be assessed through a careful review of a candidate’s competency and skillset, understanding the personality fit is a particularly difficult part of the hiring process. Many aspects of a candidate’s personality take time to unfold, and it is impossible to gain a full picture of who they are in the fast-paced interview process. Ultimately, their personality may be the most important factor determining their success in your company, yet it truly is the most difficult part to assess.  As recruiters, we invest in our relationships with candidates so we can gain an authentic picture of who they are. It is so important for us to have a solid understanding of both the company culture as well as the candidate’s personality so that we can make a well-rounded placement for both parties.  

At Career Group Companies we pride ourselves on a truly hands-on approach. From start to finish, we hold ourselves to the highest standards and do not stop until we have found the perfect fit – both professionally and personally – for your company.  If you are looking to build out your teams or struggling to fill an open role, we are here to be your recruiting partners. Head to our Hire Talent page to get started and follow our LinkedIn to stay up to date with everything that we are doing.

Sara Spector

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Originally from Philadelphia, Sara Spector received her Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Journalism with a focus on Advertising and PR. Before joining Career Group Companies, she worked as a Sales Planner and Account Manager in the advertising industry. Since first joining Syndicatebleu in 2017, Sara has gained experience recruiting across industries, including Digital Marketing, Ecommerce, Sales, Creative, Technology, and Executive Search. In her current role as a Senior Search Consultant, Sara leverages her diverse industry knowledge to truly connect with her clients and candidates – allowing her to anticipate their needs and provide strategic insight.

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