Women In Recruitment | Top 5 questions to un-veil your candidate’s authentic self
Women in Recruitment is supported by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), and sponsored by Barclays plc and Squire Patton Boggs. The Committee members are all passionate about ensuring that the industry we have worked in for many years continues to offer exciting but meritocratic opportunities for everyone within it.
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Top 5 questions to un-veil your candidate’s authentic self

Last month in celebration of International Women’s Day, Women in Recruitment held our first round table event.


We were delighted to be joined Frank Douglas, CEO at Caerus Executive, as our keynote speaker. Frank has a wealth of experience in the recruitment sector, gained in the US and UK FTSE and Fortune 100 companies. He is also a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is recognised as one of the 30 most influential HR Executives, In the UK.

Frank’s subject matter for our round table event was Authenticity:

“Everyone has a (back) story yet the hiring process and work environment tends to disregard it. To really be authentic at work, cultures must be more inclusive. And, more importantly don’t run away from your own story. Embrace it and make it a competitive advantage”

After hearing Frank speak we began to think about what ‘Authenticity’ really means when hiring?

The dictionary definition of ‘Authentic’ is:

“An undisputed origin and not a copy, based on facts; accurate and reliable, thus genuine”

However, the challenge for jobseekers is to be able to communicate their true and authentic self to a prospective employer during the hiring process, often within a very short space of time, while ultimately trying to impress and land the job. On the flip slide, employers need to be able to assess candidates quickly and accurately, while recognising that each candidate has something unique to offer and being a bit different can be good!

Unsurprisingly, hiring managers usually take interviewees at the face value of their profile, skill set, experience & references from past employers. While asking the same questions of each candidate will ensure a consistent interview process, it’s not always the best way to really get to ‘know’ the interviewee? As a recruiter, how can you help exceptional candidates to shine during the interview process?

Candidates have a small window of opportunity to really ‘sell’ themselves and often that pressure and time restraint won’t give you the true picture of someone’s personality. Will they fit in culturally, will they be able to deliver what they are promising? How do we truly know the answer until they have joined the business? This is where the elements of trust, intuition and experience play a part. We have come up with 5 question types you could use when trying to reach the ‘real’ candidate you’re interviewing.

  • Ask a thought provoking question, something a little off the wall, right brain thinking?!
  • Challenge their weak spots – Everyone has them, not everyone will want to talk about them.
  • Find out how they have made a difference today?
  • The Magic Wand – if you had a magic wand how would you use it to improve your current job?
  • Past behaviour is a key indicator of future behaviour
  • Life outside work – This information can clarify cultural fit for a role

Challenging your clients’ thinking and helping them to select the right candidates based on an individual’s authenticity is absolutely vital and in the long term will ultimately help them to increase productivity, improve profits and reduce attrition!

For more information about Women in Recruitment please visit www.womeninrecruitment.org or email: information@womeninrecruitment.org

Thank you to Frank Douglas for speaking – you can follow Frank on Twitter @fdoug23