Interviews are best regarded as mutual exchanges of information rather than inquisitions. Remember that you are selling your firm to the potential employee as much as they are selling themselves to you.

You need to find out whether the person would make a good addition to your team. They want to find out whether they would like to work with you.

It is always useful to discuss family at some point in the interview. The quality of the candidate’s family relationships says a lot about the person and their ability to fit well into an organisation.

You should consider attitude as well as skills. Skill can be enhanced, whereas attitude cannot easily be changed.

Involve any relevant team members in the interview process. Their feedback is often very useful.


Tips on conducting the interview

Engage in natural conversation with the candidates. This is important so you get a good feel for how they may or may not fit into the team.

Keeping this in mind, the following are areas you should ensure are covered during the interviews:

  • Brief history and mission of your company
  • Discussions around the position description
  • Discussion around skills required
  • Discussion around applicant’s skills and experience
  • Identification of broad remuneration range
  • Discussion around applicant’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Discussion on next steps (e.g. if they are successful in this interview, there will be skills checking, behavioural profiling and a second interview)

Some specific questions are provided on the next page as a guide for you to use if needed.



The following are provided as suggested questions you can use as a guide to ensure you cover the basics:

  • Tell me about your last role
  • What did you enjoy / dislike about the role?
  • How would you describe your core competencies?
  • Do you have any limitations or areas you’d like to improve on?
  • Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • What motivates you?
  • What de-motivates you?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What do you see as your biggest learning curve for this role?
  • Describe your computer skills (for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, ranging from beginner through to advanced)
  • What are your salary expectations for this role?


Do not ask

In accordance with the NZ Human Rights act, you cannot ask any questions related to the following areas:

  • Sex, pregnancy and birth
  • Marital status
  • Religious beliefs (or lack of)
  • Ethical beliefs
  • Colour, race
  • Ethnic or nationality origins
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Political opinion
  • Employment status; being unemployed or being a recipient of the benefit