Interviewing an Applicant With Appropriate Questions

Appropriate Questions

Conducting an interview with a candidate for a specific position requires a sufficient level of professionalism despite its seemingly simple goals and steps. Specifically, an interviewer must be fully aware of the essential job requirements, the criteria based on which the candidate’s ability to meet them should be assessed, and the principles of proper conduct during the interview. However, asking the right questions is by far the most important part of a successful interview with an applicant. By focusing on the questions related to the job and the key aspects of it, as well as the applicant’s professional strengths and limitations, an interviewer will achieve the key goals while also winning the trust of the candidate for the job, which will set the premise for the further development of employee engagement in the latter.

The questions related to the experience and qualifications of an applicant should come first, creating the baseline for the further development of the interview and helping the interviewer to keep on track. For instance, one may ask an applicant about his or her education and the related experiences. Afterward, one can transfer to the questions about professional practice by asking whether the applicant has ever worked in the selected area in the position for which the individual applies (Acikgoz, 2019). The specified questions will help the interviewee to prove his or her eligibility for the position, while also being convinced in the professionalism of the recruiter.

Additionally asking questions about professional and personal strengths and weaknesses is an important part of an interview. By answering them, a candidate can showcase his or her skills and assets, which will help a recruiter to decide whether to hire the applicant or not. Finally, questions about hobbies and personal interests will create a friendlier atmosphere and help to enhance the rapport between the interviewer and the applicant.

What You Cannot Ask

Apart from the questions that are vital for conducting a successful interview, there are also ones that must never be asked at any cost on account of their intrusiveness and tactlessness. These questions destroy the atmosphere of trust and understanding that an interviewer must strive to build, leading to a drop in the interviewee’s motivation to become a part of the organization. Specifically, an interviewer must learn to never ask the questions that cross the line and request the data that is far too personal or sensitive.

Among the questions that an interviewer must never ask, one should mention the characteristics that are protected by the law and are often used as the grounds for discrimination. These include race, ethnicity, age, religion, political affiliations, sexual orientation, and gender. Typically defined as the protected characteristics, the specified issues are highly sensitive and, therefore, are not to be discussed with an employee, either during an interview or in any other setting. Moreover, discussing the questions of religion and politics may lead to conflict due to the possible differences in opinions, which is likely to lead to a biased conclusion regarding the outcomes of the interview and the further recruitment decision (Rockliffe et al., 2018). Overall, avoiding the questions that are too personal and may serve as the breeding grounds for the further confrontations must be seen as unacceptable.

Professional Conduct during Interviews

In order to ensure that the interview is successful, an HRM expert must create the setting that the candidate will deem as comfortable. The specified requirement concerns not only the general environment but also the atmosphere created by the use of nonverbal language, particularly, the use of gestures and poses. Namely, the ones that may signal an increase in tension must be avoided at all costs so that the applicant could feel encouraged to demonstrate his or her strengths to their full extent.

Additionally, it is instrumental for a recruiter to do proper research before starting an interview. Specifically, if the applicant belongs to a different culture, ensuring that no misunderstandings or misconceptions occur during the conversation as a result of language differences is instrumental. Furthermore, a recruiter must be ready for potential miscommunications in the situations involving cross-cultural dialogue and have a range of strategies prepared for managing the described type of situations (Shenoy & Aithal, 2018). These may include clarifications, negotiation- and compromise-based conflict management strategies, and similar approaches that will invite the applicant for an open discussion.

Additionally, a generally positive demeanor is vital in creating a positive impression and ensuring that the candidate is engaged and ready to start collaboration. Smiling and being agreeable should be seen as the foundational principle of creating a rapport with the potential recruit. Furthermore, wearing appropriate clothes, specifically, the ones that meet the standards of the corporate dress culture, is crucial. Wearing anything that could be regarded as unsuitable for the office setting is likely to distract the applicant, at best, and make him or her consider the target workplace an unreliable and inappropriate setting, at worst. Following the steps outlined above, one is likely to conduct a proper interview.


Acikgoz, Y. (2019). Employee recruitment and job search: Towards a multi-level integration. Human Resource Management Review, 29(1), 1-13. Web.

Rockliffe, L., Chorley, A. J., Marlow, L. A., & Forster, A. S. (2018). It’s hard to reach the “hard-to-reach”: the challenges of recruiting people who do not access preventative healthcare services into interview studies. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 13(1), 1-12. Web.

Shenoy, V., & Aithal, P. S. (2018). Literature review on primary organizational recruitment sources. International Journal of Management, Technology, and Social Sciences (IJMTS), 3(1), 37-58. Web.

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BusinessEssay. "Interviewing an Applicant With Appropriate Questions." December 16, 2022.