Employers are constantly told that asking certain questions during an interview could lead to trouble if they touch, even unintentionally, on protected characteristics such as disability or religion. But what can employers ask about? Moreover, what should employers be asking about?

Interviews are the one chance employers have to learn whether the candidate is exactly the person they are looking for, so the time should be used well. Here are 5 questions that should help employers work out who should come out on top.

Why are you looking for a new job?
This will reveal what the candidate’s motivation is for wanting the job – do they really want to come and work for you, or just get away from where they work now?

What makes a good team?
Many businesses these days are built in a team structure. Even where there is no specific team structure, a small organisation can be a team in itself. Team players – those who can support others, take on board other’s ideas whilst sharing their own – are arguably better for your organisation than those who struggle with such things.

What do you think the main challenges will be?

Asking this question will show whether the candidate has a good awareness of the role and what will be demanded of him/her in the job. Knowing where personal strengths and weaknesses lie means the candidate is aware of what areas they need to work on and where you can expect them to show skill and flair, and whether that fits with the organisation’s needs.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Candidates with a good foresight are useful for employers who are looking for someone with ambition who can drive the organisation forward with their progression.

What notice do you have to give?

From a more practical point of view, employers need to be aware how long they may have to wait before their new employee can start work for them. Some employers insert long notice periods in their employees’ contracts of employment and although these can occasionally be negotiated down it is important that the maximum period of time is factored in.

For any further clarification, please call our 24 Hour Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.