The best interview questions allow candidates to show how their experience prepares them for the job at hand, and should focus on evaluating ambition, productivity, skill set and potential culture fit.
Before interviewing your next batch of candidates, why not review your key list of interview questions? Here are five of our favorites:
Basic Interview Questions
Basic interview questions test whether a candidate did their homework and researched your company before coming in for an interview. These questions are important to ask in order to gauge whether a candidate is genuinely interested in the position.
What interests you about this position?
A candidate’s response should point to their personal or professional motivation to apply for the position. They should explain why their skill set matches the job description and why they want to work for your company.
What is your greatest weakness?
A smart job seeker will think about this question ahead of time. A great response shows how a candidate took a weakness, and through some hard work, turned it into a strength. Don’t be fooled by responses like, “I’m a perfectionist” or “Sometimes I just work too hard.”
Tell me about yourself.
It's the go-to question for almost every interviewer, and for good reason! This question reveals a candidate’s true career aspirations, and how they view themselves as a member of a community. You should question why a candidate is applying if they struggle to deliver a solid elevator pitch.
Hard Interview Questions
Asking about a candidate’s resume and responsibilities at past jobs is expected. But to really see how they would mesh with your company, you’ll need to ask the hard questions. These questions are great because they force candidates to think quickly and provide meaningful responses.
Tell me about a time you had to overcome a major obstacle.
Look for responses that tell a story, reflect stamina, and reveal a candidate’s thought process. Some candidates will immediately point to a personal obstacle, but if they don’t, make sure to ask for an anecdote. A good candidate’s response could cover switching career goals, or tackling a tough project successfully.
If you could take back one career decision, what would it be?
Pay attention to how long the candidate contemplates this question. It’s not necessarily what they say, but how they say it that counts here. Candidates should be comfortable with encountering problems, and nothing is ever perfect. It’s what they learned and how they grew from past failures that can show how they deal with opposition and maneuver through tough situations.