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Why your questions matter

A lot of the formal interview training I have gone through has been in the aspects of making sure that I get the most out of the 60 minutes I have to make a decision about you as a candidate. I am trained to want to know as much as possible about the patterns of your behaviour, the reasons for your actions and if you might be a good co-worker at our company but also to understand if you according to these questions would enjoy working here. I sometimes ask the candidates afterwards if they thought the interview was tough. Almost everyone says yes. Though but rewarding, because you know that you will end up with colleagues that has been assessed in the same way.


Digitalent works with a interview structure called “competence based interview questions”. The way competence based questions work is that you as a candidate will need to answer a bunch of questions about your previous experiences. How and why you acted as you did and what the result of your actions was. This is how we understand your behaviour. Interviewing during a recruitment process might not give us the whole picture, but this is one of the best tools we have in our toolbox when it comes to hire new people. Sure, it might be more relaxing to answer questions about your background and your hobbies, but this doesn’t give me any idea of your competence as a consultant or not. Research shows that competence based questions are the most validated interview method there is, and this is why we use it. If you had to choose, how would you like me to recruit your own co-workers in the future? With a method that works, or one that is more convenient to the candidate?


My thought is, this should not feel any harder than showing your technical skills. A reflection of why you sometimes feel that the interview part is harder is that you might feel exposed. Questions start going through your mind - Is my behaviour within the norm? Is it okay to expose my bad sides as well? What will they think of me? Was this a good example or did I just rambled on? We are sometime, maybe often, more critical to our own personal skills than our technical. But have no fear! I want to get to know you and there is nothing wrong about talking about a situation where you felt you didn’t preform to the best of your ability. Just don’t forget to also tell me what you’ve learned from it.


So, how can we make this the best possible meeting for the both of us, and how can you as a candidate also get the most out of the 60 minutes that we spend together? For me, this is more of a conversation than an interview, and it is important for me to understand why you are interested in us and what your concerns might be. Is our company behaviour something that you want to be a part of? Are we making decisions in a way you feel comfortable with? Is the involvement in our company to high or to low for you preferences? To get to know this, you need to ask me questions as well. And I promise, even though I might ask myself later if I was clear enough or if this was a good answer, I will always be honest and just as nervous to see if you like Digitalent.




Linnea Börjesson

Talent relations manager at Digitalent

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