21 questions to really find out more about someone’s personality during a job interview

You can tell someone about his analytical skills, how he handles conflict, his decisiveness or leadership, but then you forget something important in the job interview: his personality!

Your click with someone and his motivations is at least as important. Something that is sometimes skipped.

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The recruiter profession needs to become much more professional, says Gusta Timmermans, who wrote the book 199 questions for a successful selection interview.

The recruitment guru has years of experience as head of recruitment at ING and as co-owner of a recruitment and selection agency. Until June 2021, she was chair of Recruiters United, the independent network for recruitment and labor market professionals in the Netherlands. Now she is director of Recruitment Builders.

The recruitment guru has years of experience

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Where do you start with professionalization? Timmermans advises to always use a questionnaire, because it is impossible to remember all the questions you want to ask.

“You pay more attention to the answers you get, and that’s what a selection interview is all about, after all,” says the expert.

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Her 199 questions are not sacred, she says: “As you gain experience, you will develop your own list of questions that suit you and your organization.”

Below is a selection of the 199 questions for a successful selection interview from Timmermans:

1. How would you describe yourself as a person?2. How and where did you grow up?3. If you had to choose, would you rather work alone or in a team?4. If I called your last manager, what would he say about you?5. Which characteristic always comes back positively in a performance appraisal?

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6. Which feedback has touched you the most?7. Have you ever gotten really angry at work? What happened?8. What role do you take in a team?9. If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you do differently?10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

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11. What do you need to get there?12. How do you spend your free time?13. If you have children: how did you arrange childcare?14. How important do you think personal development is?15. Have you worked on your personal development in recent years?

16. Suppose a colleague is late, what do you do with that?17. Do you take your work home with you?18. What do you do to relax?19. What challenge are you looking for in a position?20. How do you make important decisions in your life?21.

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Author: Jobly