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Nine job interview questions you must ask to find out about a candidate's employment history

by , 09 May 2014
Once you've created a short list of candidates by assessing their applications against your job requirements and choosing candidates that fit the brief the best, you're ready to start interviewing. But what kind of interview questions should you ask? It all depends on what you want to know. If you want to know more about the candidate's employment history, ask these nine job interview questions and ensure your recruitment process is a success.


The A-Z of legal recruitment

  • Did you know there are 11 legal requirements for recruitment?
  • Do you know how the Employment Equity Act affects your job advertisement?
  • Do you know what checks you can legally conduct on an applicant?
  • Are you sure your employment contract includes the 16 clauses the law says you must have?

If you don't have all of these aspects correct, you'll be on the wrong side of the law when it comes to your recruitment process.


Nine job questions to ask about the candidate's employment history

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management recommends you ask your candidate the following if you want to know about his employment history:

#1: Did you work while studying?

#2: What was your first work position?

Also ask the following questions for every position your candidate has held:

#3: How did you get the position? For example:

  • Advertised in media;
  • Through a parent; or
  • By word-of-mouth.

#4: What was the job title of the position?

#5: What area was the position based in?

#6: What were the functions and duties of the job? If they've had several positions within one company, ask the following:

  • What did you like about the position?
  • What did you dislike about the position?

#7: What was your salary; benefits and perks on leaving?

#8: What was your real reason for leaving?

The Guide says this must be detailed and realistic.

If, for example, the candidate says he left 'for growth' or 'better prospects', explore what he means by asking what growth and if their expectations were met.

#9: What has been your greatest accomplishment in each position?

But asking about the candidate's employment history isn't the only thing you must ask when recruiting.


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With over 500 original pages, the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service deciphers labour legislation: So you can apply the BCEA and the LRA exactly as it should be applied!

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Once you've gone through your employee's employment history, ask the following job questions

You also need to ask your candidate about their educational history, notice period and their skills. For the complete list of job questions you need to ask, check out the Recruitment: The Complete Guide and ensure your recruitment process is a success.

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