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If we want to assign a questions to a list of great interview questions, what requirements should it fulfill?

  • It should help us to distinguish talkers from the people who really know their job.
  • It should help us to take a decision about the candidate and not create another dilemma (or even number of other of questions).
  • It should be a question that we can use to equally judge all of the applicants.
  • Great interview questions should be questions that candidate is not prepared for in advance – so we can see his his immediate reaction and the way he thinks.

For really good recruiters, most of the interviews conducted all around the world daily are ridiculous. All the time the same questions candidates are simply perfectly prepared for.
Note: See top 10 interview questions.

All the time questions that are just little related to the job or working duties of the candidate. If you really believe that questions like Tell me about yourself or what are your weaknesses belong to great interview questions, you should rather think again… Most of the job seekers are perfectly prepared for such questions and answer it immediately with an accuracy of computer.

Do not try to ease your work when preparing your list of interview questions. Job interview is important. Even good managers can make a mistake in their decisions if they use only the well-known “great” interview questions in the job interview.

Rather try to be more creative when thinking about great interview questions for your interview and your open position. When you really want to put the job seekers under the test, case study is the best tool to use.

Prepare concrete scenarios from your job. Give some information to the applicants and let them to think. Let them to show you how they would handle the given task. That is one of the great interview questions!

How does such a case study look like? Let’s inspire with the case study we used in one of our latest internal recruitment, when we were searching for a recruiting manager.

Case study: Recruit 100 nurses in six month time
Description: Your task is to recruit 100 nurses from Great Britain to work in Norway. These nurses need to learn Norwegian language and start the job within six month. The conditions for them in Norway are excellent – twice as high salary, one week on one week off (back home), great benefits, clean environment, newest equipment.

Describe how would you proceed in the project in order to achieve the goal. Define the main steps of the process, potential challenges, threats and opportunities. You have fifteen minutes for preparation.

Can you see the difference between so called great interview questions and case studies? If not, let us to show you:

  • candidate has probably never solved such a task before in other interviews
  • candidate is definitely not prepared for such a question
  • you will easily evaluate the way of thinking, approaches, attitudes and the ability to deliver of an applicant using these case studies
  • many other advantages.

So the answer to the question what are great interview questions is: Unique case studies related to the actual role.
Anyway, it is good to not overdo it with case studies. Some companies like to use a little different type of case studies, believing it goes about great interview questions. For example:


You have two mobile phones and are in an eleven floor high building. Your task is to find out from which floor the mobile would not break once thrown to ground. How would you proceed?

To use such case studies has some advantages. But if you are not sure what you expect to be the answer of ideal applicant, you should rather avoid using it. At the end of the day, it can make you just more confused…

Great interview questions article should help you to understand better how to compose an interview effectively. Use case studies to determine which applicants are the best one. We wish you good luck!

See also:

Interviewing techniques – Learn how to interview applicants effectively

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