Business Small Business

Thursday 19 July 2018

The 5 Interview Questions You Should always Ask Potential Employees

Group of business people sitting on chair in office .
Group of business people sitting on chair in office .

Hilarie Geary, Founder and Managing Director, Executive Connections

At the beginning of the year I predicted a war on talent as vacancies across a number of sectors began to show signs of real growth.

At Executive Connections we have seen this come to fruition with a noticeable increase in the number of companies adding to their staff. Effective interviewing for a vacancy has become more important than ever - asking the right questions will help you make the right hiring decisions more consistently and save on costly bad hires.  Here’s our top 5 when it comes to the questions you need to ask potential employees during a job interview.

1. Why do you want to work here?

With this question you get a strong idea of the research a prospective employee has put into learning about your business and how enthusiastic they are to work for your company.  This is their opportunity to show how well they know your company, their understanding of your products, services and culture and why they want to be a part of your business specifically and not just take any job.  This is where genuine enthusiasm can shine through.  Make note of those who have gone that extra mile and sought information beyond the company website.  I’m always impressed if someone can reference something about my company from a newspaper article or guest blog post or how we stack up against the competition.

2. Where do you want to be in 5 years?

This question will tell you a lot about a person’s drive and career aspirations.  The ideal candidate should see a job opening as a valuable career move with progression being a key factor.  This question will also help determine whether their individual goals relate to the organisation’s. Are their career aspirations in line with how you would like your business to grow and succeed?  Will the company be able to sufficiently motivate them?

3.How would you make an immediate impact on the business?

As hiring manager or director of a company, constant progression should be at the heart of your business goals. Hiring someone who can help take your company to the next level should be top of your agenda. When asking this question you want to be sure you are enticing someone who is innovative, can identify and clearly communicate any flaws in your approach or strategy and is enthusiastic about making some changes very early on.

4.Tell me about a time when you succeeded under pressure.

More than ever we live in a ‘want it now’ culture with businesses expected to respond to a customer’s needs faster than ever before. This question will help determine how someone deals with pressure and if they can remain composed and keep a cool head to get the job done. Whether it is working to a strict deadline, or dealing with a conflicting situation, someone with the ability to thrive and succeed in this environment is a real asset.

5.What skills do you have that make you a good fit for this job?

Overall you want to hire someone who possesses the relevant skills to succeed in the role at hand. This questions allows you to see the level of expertise a potential employee can bring to your business. When answering this question, interviewees can demonstrate their suitability for the role by speaking about relevant qualifications and times when they were able to put key skills to practice in previous positions to achieve positive outcome.


Founded in 1991 Irish company Executive Connections provides recruitment and human resource consulting services to the banking, finance and commercial sectors.  The company has recently launched a dedicated technology recruitment division focused on matching quality tech candidates with companies hiring in this thriving sector. Established and owned by Hilarie Geary, Executive Connections clients include a range of high profile blue chip companies. More information at

Online Editors

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business