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Choosing the right candidate: 7 questions to ensure a good fit

29 June 2021, par Équipe Thorens Chasseurs de têtes

In a hiring process, choosing the right candidate is not always easy. Or more difficult still, choosing between 2 qualified candidates …

Recruiters and headhunters often talk about compatibility or ‘fit’. But what does that really mean? Compatibility is not just a matter of intuition. Indeed, it is possible to measure and evaluate compatibility thanks to concrete questions.

In this article, we’ll give you examples of interview questions to make sure a candidate is the right fit.


Before the interview

Before thinking about the questions to ask, you must first make sure that you have clearly defined your values and your corporate culture. It is these specific points that can guide you on the questions to ask. Your corporate values will also be very useful in analyzing the compatibility of the applications received. But don’t panic if you don’t have a defined corporate culture or employer branding. The important thing is, above all, to know how to present your business in a realistic way.


The Job description

Now that you know how to present your business, it’s time to write the job description. Try to bring out the values and culture of your company in your job posting. This will attract candidates who identify with your position and your company, and you will eliminate those who do not see themselves in the job described.

Warning! It is a human reflex to embellish a job description. However, when reading the offer, the candidate will have certain expectations and ideas about the job and the work environment. It is therefore important that these expectations match reality, because while some people might adjust, many will instead choose to quit the job because it isn’t what they were looking for.

This is the concept of the Realistic Job Preview (RJP). “The evidence indicates [that exposing the realistic aspects of the job] leads to several benefits such as a perception that the employer is genuine, higher engagement, and lower early turnover. “(Ordre des CRHA – Article in French)

So, throughout the hiring process, be authentic and transparent.

Represent the business as it really is. No humor in your job postings, if this humor is not part of the daily life of employees!

During the interview

We recommend that you introduce your candidate to some future colleagues. This way, you will be able to see how the person interacts with different people and you will also have different opinions about the candidate. You can also hold group interviews with a limited number of employees who will be part of the candidate’s future team. Usually at the 2nd interview or after. This way, you will find out quickly if the candidate is not a right fit for the team.

Now let’s get into the thick of it: what are the interview questions to help you choose the right candidate?


Personality questions

What behaviors do you value most in a manager?

With this question, you will be able to see if the candidate’s preferred management or collaboration style matches the management style of the supervisor in place in the company, for example.

How would your last manager describe you? How would your colleagues describe you?

Take note of the personality traits the candidate emphasizes. Not only are these the candidate’s strengths, but most of the time, these are also the personality traits that he or she values the most.

What does X value mean to you? Give us an example of a time when you showed X value?

Here, choose a value that is important to your business. For example, if innovation is part of your corporate culture, you might want to hire a candidate who has demonstrated innovation at least once in their career. Be careful to choose a value that is used in a concrete way in the company, and which is therefore of great importance.


Motivations and aspirations questions

What type of work environment makes you motivated?

Rather than guessing if your business is what the candidate is looking for, ask this question directly. If your work environment motivates the candidate, this is a very good sign of compatibility. The person hired is then more likely to stay in your business for the long term.

Why do you want to work in our company?

The aspects that the candidate will emphasize are often the ones he attaches the most importance to. Are these aspects important for your business as well?


Behavioral questions 

Given a choice, what percentage of your work would you like to devote to teamwork and individual work?

With this question you will be able to see if the candidate’s preferred collaboration / work style matches the way work is done in your company.

Did you have certains irritants or aspects that you didn’t like in the last companies you worked for? 

This question is crucial and should be explored in depth. Here you have to make sure that these irritants are not present in your business. For example, if the employee left because they lacked autonomy in their old position, make sure that the need for autonomy is met in your company, otherwise the candidate risks leaving quickly.


Open discussion on the position and the company.

During the interview, it is necessary to clearly describe the obstacles, challenges and the reality of the position and the company. In other words: the good and the bad. Once the Realistic Job Preview has been presented, the end of the interview is a good time to address the gaps between what the candidate is looking for and what you offer. Answer the candidate’s questions honestly and find out if there is still interest in the job.

Click here to see an example of Realistic Job Preview (RJP).


In conclusion, these questions are not absolute. A candidate does not have to be perfect on all points. After all, you are hiring a human, and no one is perfect. In addition to these more technical questions, use your judgment when it comes to choosing the right candidate. Compatibility can be felt, but it can’t always be explained!

It is important, but not always easy, to ensure a good fit between the candidate and the company, so that everyone benefits and to prevent new employees from leaving quickly.

In addition, as mentioned previously, it is essential to properly expose and present your environment and the culture of your company in a realistic way. Remember that the candidate too must assess compatibility with the company to make an informed career choice.


If you need recruitment advice, or if you need our headhunting services, contact us