The Perfect Interview Question

22 April 2015

We suggest that there is a simple question which should be posed to each and every candidate your business interviews

“If you weren’t appointed to the role,
what would we be missing out on?”

It is not a question the candidate will typically be expecting. This is a huge positive as far as you are concerned as it allows you to see how quickly the candidate (who is, after all, your potential employee) is able to think on their feet. Being able to think quickly and react to an unexpected situation is likely to be a significant asset in the workplace.

The question also gives the candidate the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of your business and the role they are applying for. A flaky answer may suggest a lack of motivation – and the last thing you want is to recruit a new employee who is unable to self-motivate!

It puts the candidate on the spot and gives them the floor. Put in such situations, people can often reveal all sorts of things about their character and, as such, this could unearth valuable information for you.

Finally, the question is non-discriminatory. You may or may not be aware that claims for discrimination can even be brought by unsuccessful job applicants who believe they have been put at a disadvantage in relation to a protected characteristic. This question can offer a non-discriminatory reason for justifying the appointment of one candidate over another who is less suited to the role. Make a note of the answer you’re given and this will assist your defence against any claim the candidate may attempt to bring.

You will probably be aware of questions that you cannot not pose during an interview, these include anything that could potentially be of a discriminatory nature. Of course, should you have any queries about questions you should not pose or further assistance with your recruitment processes, please feel free to contact us.


  • Martin Kaye

    Martin Kaye have provided advice in some highly complex HR matters and they continue to provide our day to day HR advice through their "ALPHA" HR scheme. They offer a very commercial and pragmatic approach and we have always been impressed by the level of service. The members of staff are approachable and easy to deal with.

    Eurofilms Extrusion Ltd

  • Martin Kaye

    Martin Kaye have provided us with employment and HR advice for several years and we have been very pleased with the level of service and quality of advice provided. We have no hesitation in recommending the team to any organisation which wishes to manage its employment related enquiries.

    D Wauchope, Company Secretary - McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd

  • Martin Kaye

    As a large employer of cleaning personnel, we require expert and prompt employment related advice. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" service provides this in a clear and robust manner. We have been extremely impressed with the service and would thoroughly recommend them to any employer requiring expert HR & employment support.

    J Conry, Chairman - JPC Cleaning

  • Martin Kaye

    It is important for us to create a close relationship with our advisors. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" HR service is excellent. It enables us to work closely with our lawyers particularly in the complex area of employment law.

    Johnny Hobeika, Operations Manager - Sanita (UK) Ltd

  • Martin Kaye

    ALPHA is an excellent, reliable, professional service which is an integrated part of our business that we could not do without.  This service is part of our structure and provides staff and business with the professional HR Support it requires - Invaluable

    Wendy Cox - Genvolt

Martin Kaye are rated 4 out of 5 based on 20 testimonials.