01993 220 590 jobs@marsrecruitment.com

How to Identify High Calibre Candidates

Screening a candidate for their potential is often the toughest part of an interview. But, by asking targeted behavioural interview questions as well as looking at their skills and experience, you should instinctively know if your candidate has all the qualities to succeed and bring success to your company.

To help you be more effective in your interviews, scroll down for our top pick of behavioural questions to ascertain a candidate’s soft skills, characteristics and ultimately potential within your company. And just to keep things interesting, we’ve also added some unconventional questions to ask your candidate! Answers to creative questions can reveal a lot about the candidate’s personality and the way they think.

Screen for Adaptability

  1. Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something you’ve never done before. How did you react? What did you learn?
  2. Talk about a time when you were assigned a task outside of your job description. How did you handle the situation and what was the outcome?
  3. Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a colleague’s working style in order to complete a project or achieve your objectives.

Screen for Culture Fit

  1. What are the three things that are most important to you in a job?
  2. What’s the biggest misconception your colleagues have about you? Why do they think that?
  3. What’s the most interesting thing about you that’s not on your CV?



Screen for Collaboration

  1. Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.
  2. Describe the best manager you’ve worked with. What part of their managing style appealed to you?
  3. Tell me about one of your favourite experiences working with a team and your contribution.

Screen for Leadership

  1. Tell me about the last time a significant project didn’t go according to plan. What was your role and what was the outcome?
  2. Give me an example of a time when you felt you led by example. What did you do and how did colleagues react?
  3. Tell me about the toughest decision you had to make in the last 12 months.

Screen for Potential

  1. Recall a time when your manager was unavailable when a problem arose. How did you handle the situation?
  2. Describe a time when you volunteered to expand your knowledge at work, as opposed to being directed to do so.
  3. What would motivate you to make a move from your current role?

Creative questions

  • How would your manager describe you? Now tell me, how would your best friend describe you?
  • It’s a Saturday night one year from now. What are you doing?
  • Is it better to submit a project that’s perfect and late, or one that’s good and on time?

The STAR Interview Technique

If your candidate is struggling to give concise answers to your interview questions then we recommend referring back to the STAR interview technique, which you may be familiar with. By breaking your questions down to the specific Situation, Task, Action and Result the candidate should be able to better communicate their knowledge and experience.



The STAR format stands for SituationTaskActionResult:

  1. Situation: An event, project, or challenge faced
  2. Task: Your responsibilities and assignments for the situation
  3. Action: Steps or procedure taken to relieve or rectify situation
  4. Result: Results of actions taken.

Looking to hire?

Partnering with a technical recruitment company such as MARS Recruitment can help you retain and attract the top talent to your organisation. 

With over 10 years’ experience within the Engineering, Manufacturing and IT recruitment industry, our team is perfectly placed to help your business grow. We offer innovative and expert recruitment solutions which deliver real hiring results for your business.