My number one interview question

Working with a set of interview questions that you plan to ask each interviewee (aligned to the job requirements and objectives) gives all applicants an equal chance to shine. I find that it also helps to eliminate any unintended bias that I might have from reviewing the resume (and with stats showing that 1 in 2 resumes are fudged, great resumes don’t always equal great people!).

I’ll detour along the way, asking applicant specific questions that explore their unique set of skills and experience, but if you ask the right set of main questions, often this conversation will evolve very naturally.

So with this in mind, one of my favourite questions (when recruiting a permanent role), to get the conversation started is “Based on your understanding of our role, which of your unique skills do you believe will be most valuable to our organisation and why?”.

It’s a great way to find out how much research the applicant has done (in terms of the role and the company values) and allows you to better identify what sets this candidate apart from your other applicants (their point of difference). It also gives an indication of the applicants’ level of self-awareness as in an era of constant change, this may be key to their capacity for personal and professional growth with your company in the future.

Remember that past performance is often the best predictor of future performance so it’s a good idea to weave in some behavioural questions (“Tell me about a time when…”) and ensure that any observations made by the applicant are supported by valid reference checking.

And finally, if you are looking for assistance with sourcing talent for the next opportunity in your business, contact me today on 07 3812 2920 or email

Belinda Hermann is the Managing Director of Top Office Group Pty Ltd and Inspired Career Planning. An Accredited Career Practitioner, she has specialised in sourcing and recruiting talent for businesses across South East Queensland for 25 years.