5 Interview Questions Asked By Big Companies

The competition to recruit the best candidates is fierce nowadays – especially when there are so many ways to reach people via digital technology and social media.

That’s why it’s vital that your business implements every trick to ensure you attract the very best and can identify them effectively during the interview stage.

With this in mind, one of the best places to start is with big companies.

After all, they’re classed as big or corporate for a reason!

What makes huge companies like The Coca-Cola Company and Facebook so good at what they do is that they find a way to employ only the best in their respected industries, despite having multiple offices and factories across the world.

The key to this recruitment success hinges a lot on the type of interview questions that they ask their candidates.

While all of these big companies may have an impressive screening process in place, getting a true indication about what a candidate is like all boils down to the interview process.

Sorting the contenders from the pretenders is about asking the right interview questions so you can establish what a candidate’s work ethic, personality and knowledge is like.

To help get you started, here are five examples used by big companies which you can implement yourself.

“On your very best day at work – the day you come home and think you have the best job in the world – what did you do that day?” Facebook

In an interview with Facebook’s head of recruitment, Miranda Kalinowski, this is one of their most commonly asked interview questions.

If you feel that the candidate is nervous, you should ask this one.

The nature of it will allow them to open up and be enthusiastic about what makes them happy.

The truth is, interviews can often be very premeditated and repetitive, so by encouraging a candidate to inject a bit of their true personality into proceedings will give you ample opportunities to personalise the experience and make your job a lot less dull!

You’ll also get a handy indication of what makes each particular candidate tick and whether it matches your own company values.

For example, if a candidate mentions going above and beyond for a customer and your company prides itself on putting customers first, this is a great sign.

Ultimately, candidates should use this as an opportunity to showcase one of their proudest achievements so far.

“Describe AdWords to a 7-year-old” Google

Using one of your own services as a basis of an interview question like Google is a touch of genius for a number of reasons.

For starters, this interview question will enable you to find a candidate who possesses first-class communication skills and has the ability to work well under pressure.

You see, this question isn’t just a matter of explaining what the product or service is, a candidate must do it in such a way that a young child can understand.

It’s about turning a complex scenario or product and simplifying it – which is an essential trait for any professional who deals with taking a product to market.

In your own business, you can tweak Google’s interview question to focus on your own service or product.

This way, you’ll soon be able to tell if the candidate has done their research on your company beforehand.  

“What didn’t you get the chance to include on your resume?” Virgin

As Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson’s favourite interview question, this is a wonderful way of learning more about a candidate, which is integral when you may have to work with this person for a very long time.

In his book, The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership, Sir Richard Branson writes: “Obviously a good CV is important, but if you were going to hire by what they say about themselves on paper, you wouldn’t need to waste time on an interview.”

This is a very profound way of approaching interviews.

While experience and skills are essential, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a good person and someone you want to see five days a week.

The issue is, every candidate is under the illusion that they must refrain from including any interesting extras on their CVs.

To combat this, ask them this question and generate supplementary questions off the back of the answers.

Not only will you get more honest answers and greater insight, but the candidate will feel more valued as well.

It’s also a lot more enjoyable when you mix it up too!

“On a scale from 1 to 10, rate me as an interviewer” Kraft Foods

If you want to put a candidate on the spot and receive some feedback in the process too, you’ll probably like the sound of this interview question from the large American snack company.

It tests how a candidate reacts under pressure, how honest they are and whether they stay calm under pressure.

We all have to deal with tricky customers, clients and situations from time to time, so finding a candidate who reacts positively to this on-the-spot addition will certainly stand them in good stead.

“Describe how you would change the culture of the company” Tesla

The final interview question in my list is a test of a candidate’s company knowhow, as well as their technical and soft skills to come up with a rational answer.

Tesla wants people who work well under pressure to hit deadlines, are open-minded and possess a high level of intelligence.

They relish constructive feedback, as it helps them innovate and improve as a result.

For a question like this, a top candidate will give you a well-rounded and educated answer based on their company research.

You can use this as a starting point in finding someone who is aligned with your company’s values.

Enjoy reading this?

If you want to learn from more of the best brands in the world, check out our previous blogs based on improving your ability to attract, assess and retain candidates or employees.

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