Chemistry sessions; finding your perfect employer


heart jigsawFinding your perfect employer is like finding your perfect partner, there needs to be chemistry.

In 2020 we expect to see more chemistry sessions taking place. These meetings are an opportunity to learn more about a candidate’s personal interests, working style and attributes. Whilst experience and skillset are equally as important, more employers are using chemistry sessions as way of getting to know future employees to ensure they are a good fit for their company.

The Process

A chemistry session can take place at any part of the interview process, it may form part of the pre-screen process or as a final stage as part of the decision-making process. These types of meetings can take place on site or over coffee in a relaxed environment to put the candidate at ease. Most hiring managers will have a selection of questions they wish to ask which will form part of the conversation.

Typical Questions

Questions you are asked during a chemistry session may feel less competency based but more open ended. However, some hiring managers may wish to more hypothetical so they can understand more about the approach you would take and your style.


If leadership or team collaboration is key to the role, you may find you are asked a series of questions around areas such as:

  • How do you like to be managed?
  • What is your leadership style?
  • How do you motivate yourself or team?
Working Style

By understanding your working style and preferences will determine how you fit into the culture of the organisation. These common questions may be directly linked to the role you are applying to learn more about your working style and resilience:

  • How do you handle stress?
  • How do you cope with pressure?
  • How do you respond to criticism?
Motivations/ Aspirations

Many hiring managers want to understand more about career aspirations and drivers to ensure there is an alignment between the future employee and the role:

  • What are your plans for the next 5 years?
  • How does this role fit into those plans?
  • What are you most passionate about outside of work?
Curve Ball Questions

Finally, don’t be surprised if you are asked a completely random question. Sometimes these questions are asked to see how you can think on the spot and under pressure. They are also used to learn more about your personality and sense of humour. The hiring manager will already know the personal strengths of their existing team members and where there could be some gaps.

  • Which emoji best represents your personality?
  • What chocolate bar would you be and why?
  • If you had a dinner party and you could invite 3 famous guests, who would they be?

Renovo is the UK’s leading specialist provider of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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