It’s not uncommon for businesses to hire the wrong fit for a new role. Out of 5,000 managers in 13 different countries, 39% said that they had made a bad hire, with 42% believing their chosen candidate was underqualified and 44% stating that there was a skills mismatch. One of the most effective ways to eliminate these two hiring issues is to conduct interview tasks to assess candidates’ suitability for the role, before offering them a position.

Related: 3 consequences of a bad hire

Whether you want to test for cultural fit, a specific set of competencies or technical skills, this selection of interview task examples is suitable for group or one on one interviews and will help you get the insights you need to choose the right candidate.

Examples of how to test candidates in an interview:

1. Technical tests

2. Fixing tasks

3. Personality tests

4. Communication tests

5. Creativity and confidence

5 interview task examples:

1. Technical test

You can start simple by asking your candidate to sit a quick 15-minute test which compiles specific technical questions for their area of expertise. This provides undeniable proof that your candidate has the exact skills and competencies you’re looking for in the role.

2. Fixing task

Testing the problem-solving abilities of your candidate is especially useful if you’re hiring for a role like IT support or development. Try setting up a flawed piece of tech or code and asking your candidate to fix it in a set time limit. When they’ve finished, ask them to explain how they identified the problem and how they chose to solve it.

3. Personality test 

This interview task is a great way to determine a candidate’s cultural fit. It will help you identify their approach to work and reveals what kind of a leader/colleague they might be. Ask your candidate to sit a Myers-Briggs personality assessment, the Keirsey temperament test or the DiSC behaviour assessment and get a deeper understanding of their potential place in the team dynamic. 

4. Communication

Some say that if you can’t explain a complex idea to a child, you don’t truly understand it yourself. Ask your candidate to explain a series of industry-specific technical concepts in a way that someone outside of the industry might understand. Some job roles naturally require a candidate who is able to communicate complex ideas to other team members, and this task can serve as a demonstration of their abilities in this area.

Related: Why you should use a recruitment agency

5. Creativity and confidence

Wondering how you can use a performance based task? Ask candidates to prepare a short 10-minute presentation on a given subject or theme to test their communication and creativity. You can also ask a series of questions about the presentation once it’s concluded to further probe your candidates’ ability to talk confidently and react on the spot.


For more like this, please visit our recruitment process advice section. Robert Half also offers clear support with your recruitment strategy for hiring talent all year round, understanding your specific business needs to find you the best possible candidate, please contact us or submit your vacancy today.