Interview Questions – The Ice Breaker

As recruiters, we are wanting to get a fully comprehensive understanding of what makes the candidate ideal for the company and the role with the right interview questions. We are also attempting to build a 360 profile of the candidate as succinctly as possible. Recruitment isn’t an exact science and there will be times when you don’t get it right. Not getting it right can simply come down to the candidate not fitting the role or the company even after a great interview and glowing reference checks.

A great interview relies on the recruiter asking questions which are

  • relevant to the role being interviewed for
  • questions that draw out the candidate’s knowledge and experience
  • readiness to not only take on the role but to also
  • make the move potentially from once company to another.

To make the interview even greater, a skilled recruiter will draw upon their experience to make the candidate feel at ease. To do this they will use ice breaker questions, which not only ease a candidate into the interview but also draw information from the candidate with the right interview questions. The recruiter therefore not wasting any opportunity in the limited time they have face to face with the candidate to collect data about the candidate.

Ice breaking interview questions not only help the candidate to feel at ease, but l know from experience that they have also assisted me as the recruiter to settle any nerves that they may have about the interview.

  • Often l would let the candidate know that I had set aside a certain amount of time for the interview and if that was still ok with them. This was especially useful for those candidates that may have parked in metered parking or were meeting before or during their current work hours (last thing that wanted was a candidate getting a parking ticket or being late to work), l feel that this shows that l as the recruiter understood the importance of keeping the interview on track and on time.
  • Depending on the role and the company, the ice breaking question was as simple as asking the candidate what they got up to on the weekend or if they had any plans for the coming weekend. This type of question allows the recruiter to get an insight into how the candidate liked to unwind or generally what they liked to do away from the daily grind of the office.
  • One ice breaking question that l was taught very early on in my recruiting career was never to ask the candidate one along the lines of “you located our office without any trouble?”, why was l taught this? Well, obviously, the candidate did get to the office ok because they are standing there in front of me ready to be interviewed.

As l said at the start, recruitment isn’t an exact science, but with the right ice breaking question or questions followed by your well thought out and prepared interview questions, you’ll get as close to an exact science as possible and not only will you have a great interview, glowing reference checks but a candidate that seamlessly fits both the role and the company.  

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Jenny Lloyd

Founder/Director of Connections
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