The best candidate: how to choose one?

Pauline Volovik
3 min readJun 23, 2022

Every successful cooperation between employer and employee begins with an interview. It can turn out to be a great start or a complete failure. Today, I am gonna talk from the position of an employer. I will share the questions that usually help me find the right person.

If a person who conducts an interview is a qualified specialist, the questions he asks are usually based on the employer’s expectations. There is a certain list of priorities, or better say qualities a candidate should have, which includes, for instance, stability and long-term cooperation, scrupulousness and attentiveness to work, or, on the contrary, artsy side and ideas generation. And based on this list, a pool of questions is formed.

And here’s my personal list.

#1. Why did you leave a previous workplace?

One of the key priorities I have is long-term and loyal cooperation. Therefore, it’s important to understand the reason a person retired. If the reason was boredom or team problems. These are the markers of certain conduct, sometimes negative ones. For example, if an employer often changes workplaces, it can be a sign that a person is fickle and or is unable to stick to rules, rarely does it have to do with growth and development.

In this case, a response must be not only honest but also ethical. If a person s inclined to say some unflattering things about an ex-boss or team, it can characterize the choice of employer and demonstrates his non-selectivity/ Moreover, he can potentially have a negative reputational impact on a potential employer.

#2. What content do you consume (examples are required in this case)?

If a person shares the types of content he is interested in, it becomes possible to get to know his outline, the way he thinks. Besides the intellectual level, it gives a chance to understand if he matches the team.

Every company should have a certain internal micro space to have well-coordinated work and mutual understanding. If team members have a similar scope of interests, it leads to a warmer atmosphere, a greater level of trust, and there is something that united them besides working issues.

The best response would be: give specific examples of the groups, channels, websites, online media, and books you watch or read.

#3. The longest continuous period of work on a project.

This question helps to understand how a person works in a long run. When he is able to handle prolonged cooperation, it suggests the skills to find a compromise, endure difficulties, and be stress-resistant.

#4. How do you see the process and your responsibilities?

This question helps to model future cooperation. A person describes the thing he finds critically important in his future work. And now only the things he mentioned are important, but also the way he does it [how many details he mentioned, if he uses general phrases or specific steps and stages of work]. The way a person describes processes shows his understanding of the workflow and the approach to it in general.

The list of questions directly depends on the position a candidate claims and an employer’s individual requirements. When choosing questions, it’s always better to rely on your actual expectations from the person you want to hire instead of ready-made questionnaires.