Decoding Candidates' Most Frequently Asked Questions

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the minds of candidates as they navigate the interview process? Interviews serve as a crucial junction where both employers and potential employees engage in a delicate dance of questions and answers. Most of us put a lot of time into thinking about what questions we want to ask candidates, but do we think enough about what candidates are going to ask us?

In this month’s blog, I want to turn the spotlight onto the questions that candidates frequently ask during interviews. These give a unique window into their mindset and attitude towards joining an organization and offer real insight into the candidate experience you provide them. 

So, let’s take a dive into the tens of thousands of interviews our customers have conducted in Pillar so far this year and look at the top three questions from candidates within some of the popular roles our customers are hiring for.


  1. What is your commission structure?

    Earning potential is a key motivator for sales talent, so articulating your commission structure and any additional perks associated with the role is important.

  2. Could you describe your approach to sales management and how you typically support your sales team?

    Successful sales teams need support. Different management styles offer different levels of support and guidance to the sales team. Candidates may want to know how hands-on or hands-off the management is and how that might impact their ability to perform well in the role.

  3. What do you believe sets your company apart from your competitors in the industry?

    Sales candidates will want to gain insights into the competitive landscape to better understand the challenges and opportunities they might encounter in the role. This knowledge can also inform their sales strategies and tactics to stand out in the market.


  1. What does your engineering tech stack look like?

    Engineers are often interested in working with the latest technologies and tools. They seek employers who invest in cutting-edge technology and provide access to the resources needed to stay at the forefront of their field.

  2. Can you share some examples of projects I’d be working on?

    Engineers are often drawn to employers who offer intellectually stimulating and challenging projects. They want opportunities to apply their skills and knowledge to solve complex problems and make a tangible impact.

  3. What is the scope for me to level up into more prominent roles in the future?

    Engineering candidates value employers who provide clear paths for career advancement. Skill development, training, mentorship, and potential advancement into leadership roles are important to them. 


  1. Will I have creative freedom?

    Marketing professionals value employers who allow them the creative freedom to innovate and experiment with new ideas and strategies. They seek environments where their creativity is encouraged and where they can make a significant impact.

  2. What does your marketing tech stack look like?

    Just like engineers, marketing candidates are often interested in working with the latest technology and tools to enhance their marketing efforts. They want an employer who invests in innovative marketing technology and provides access to the resources needed to stay at the forefront of their field.

  3. How supportive is leadership of marketing?

    Supportive and inspiring leadership is crucial for marketing candidates. Leadership support helps to garner advocacy and buy-in for marketing initiatives across the organization. When leaders are actively involved and supportive of marketing efforts, it increases the likelihood of support from other departments and stakeholders.

Customer Success 

  1. What does a typical customer look like and what problem does the product solve for them?

    Serving customers is the name of the game for customer success candidates! So, it only makes sense that they’d want intel on the type of customer they’d be working with. By knowing who the typical customer is, they can better understand their needs, pain points, and goals. This understanding allows them to tailor their approach to better meet customer expectations and drive success.

  2. What KPIs will I be measured against?

    Customer success candidates will want to have a clear understanding of what metrics or targets they will be expected to meet in the role. Knowing the KPIs (and how the company is currently performing against them) will help them gauge the level of performance expected from them.

  3. What does collaboration across departments look like?

    Customer success candidates value collaboration across departments to ensure a seamless customer experience. They seek employers who promote cross-functional teamwork and communication, enabling them to work effectively with sales, marketing, product development, and other teams.

If we look more generally, there are common questions that come up across all candidates (aside from the typical questions about compensation and benefits).

  1. What does the work-life balance look like?

    Now more than ever before, candidates value employers who prioritize work-life balance and offer flexible work arrangements, remote work options, and supportive policies that allow them to manage their personal and professional responsibilities effectively.

  2. Tell me more about your company culture.

    Company culture plays a significant role in attracting candidates. Many are looking for employers with a positive and inclusive culture where collaboration, teamwork, and mutual respect are valued.

  3. How do you show recognition and appreciation for your employees?

    Candidates appreciate employers who recognize and appreciate their employees' contributions. They care about organizations that value employee recognition programs, rewards, and incentives for outstanding performance and achievements.


I hope these questions have provided some insight into what candidates value most. Now it’s over to you to make sure you impress them with your answers! 

If there’s a role you’re continually hiring for, drop me a message here, and I can send you the most common questions we’re seeing inside Pillar. 

The insight we gain from recording live interviews is fascinating. I touched more on this in last month’s blog too. If there’s any specific data that you’re really interested in from interviews, feel free to reach out.

Until next month,

Mark Simpson
CEO & Founder 

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