Are you looking to fill a new position in your company?
If so, you know that the interview process is one of the essential steps in finding the best talent to join your team.
You need to understand how to ask the right interview questions to identify the best candidates for the job.
In this article, we will discuss 15 effective interview questions that will help identify top candidates for your organization. We’ll also talk about why these questions matter and how they can help you make better hiring decisions.
The Importance of Interview Questions
Before you can ask the best questions that help you uncover candidate quality, it’s good to review the importance of questions during your interview process.
Interview questions help a hiring manager assess a candidate’s skills and qualifications. You need to quickly determine whether an interviewee possesses the skill sets required for the role.
Questions can help you gauge a candidate’s fit for the job and the company culture. There’s nothing worse than bringing in a new person who upsets the current team’s workplace relationships.
The right questions will help you determine a candidate’s motivation and interest in the position. The interviewee who wants to work for your company will show enthusiasm and interest when you ask quality questions.
Questions help you assess a candidate’s communication and problem-solving skills. It’s important to hire someone who can effectively communicate with colleagues and clients.
You can determine if a candidate has the potential to grow in the position when using questions during the hiring process. Asking the right questions during your informational interview brings the following benefits, as well:
- Assess a candidate’s attitude and work ethic
- Quickly weed out unqualified candidates
- Save time and resources in the hiring process
- Improve your decision-making when it comes to hiring new employees
- Create a more efficient and effective interview process
- Build a stronger and more talented team for your organization
How to Create a Professional Interview Environment?
Many candidates enter the interview process feeling like they’re walking into a stressful situation. It’s your job as the hiring manager to create a professional environment when conducting interviews.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for an environment that will make candidates feel comfortable:
- Make sure the interview space is clean and organized
- Be on time for the interview and greet the interviewee promptly
- Have a copy of the candidate’s resume in front of you
- Plan questions and remain prepared to discuss them
- Avoid discussing salary or benefits during the interview process
- Thank the interviewee for their time after completing the interview
Other things to keep in mind include dressing professionally for the interview, making eye contact with interviewees, using your communication skills, and paying attention to non-verbal cues.
If you’re interviewing candidates from your own office, it’s best to schedule a meeting room or interview space away from employees who are not involved in the hiring process. More importantly, use interview intelligence software so that you can share the intelligence captured from the interview to other panel members.
15 Effective Questions to Ask in an Interview and Why
Now that we’ve discussed why interview questions matter and how to create a professional environment during an interview, let’s look at a list of questions you can ask during the interview process.
1. Why are you interested in this position?
Asking this can help you assess a candidate’s personal and career goals. You need to hire someone possessing the drive to succeed in this position for your organization. Find out if the candidate is a good cultural fit and if their goals for career growth align with the company’s mission.
2. What is your greatest strength?
This question allows candidates to talk about their strengths openly and honestly. There are many different ways people will answer this question, which helps gauge how they communicate with others. It also enables you to uncover how a candidate views themself.
You should also ask the opposite question, as it will help you uncover a candidate’s potential weak spots.
Asking about weaknesses helps determine if the candidate can handle stressful situations and environments. If possible, follow up with questions probing further into the interviewee’s answers about weaknesses.
3. How would you describe your ideal job?
A question like this can help you understand whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the position they’re interviewing for. You want someone with qualities that match what your company is looking for in a new employee. Look for someone with plenty of ambition and drive.
4. How would your co-workers describe you?
Here’s a question that can help assess how a person interacts with others. You want to make sure the employee you’re hiring is someone who works well with their colleagues and works as a team player.
Finding out about a person’s soft skills is part of your job as a recruiter or hiring manager. Getting your candidate to open up about how they think others view them will uncover a variety of their soft skills, such as:
- Leadership skills
- Ability to adapt
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Work ethic
- Stress management skills
- Time management skills
- Teamwork skills
- Attention to detail
- Interpersonal skills
During this process, ask them something about themselves that might surprise others. Asking this question helps you learn more about a person’s personality and what they’re like outside of work.
If you discover an intriguing answer that interests you, encourage your interviewee to expand by continuing to ask them, “tell me more.”
5. How would you describe your work style?
Asking a person this question can help you understand how your candidate works. Do they like to take their time and plan each step before starting a project? Or, do they work best under pressure and make quick decisions?
You can also get a feel for how a candidate handles getting managed if you continue probing around their work style. It’s imperative to do so when you’re about to hire a manager underneath you or someone who will report to another manager in your organization.
You want to ensure their leadership style matches yours so that everyone can work together as a cohesive unit.
6. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your current job?
Using this question gives you an idea of what the candidate doesn’t like about their current job. If they mention things that match a few of the negative aspects of your company, it might not be the right fit for them.
On the other hand, you’ll know you’re talking to the right person if their favorite current job aspects fit your company’s role.
7. Why did you leave your last job?
It’s important to know why someone left their previous employer, so you don’t have any surprises down the road. If there is a valid reason for leaving the previous role, such as getting laid off or quitting for personal reasons, then there shouldn’t be too much concern.
8. What do you think are the most critical issues facing this industry right now?
Asking a question like this can help determine if a candidate has researched your company and its products or services beforehand. It also allows them to show off their knowledge in the field. Watch out for ineffective answers in this area.
You don’t want to hire someone without domain knowledge in your field.
9. What challenges have you overcome in past jobs?
Asking this question shows that you’re looking for someone who has dealt with difficult situations before and come out ahead. It also allows them to show off their problem-solving skills.
You don’t want to hire people that will continuously ask you questions because they can’t figure out their own answers to problems.
10. What attracted you to this company?
Here’s a great way of learning more about the candidate’s interests and what they like about your business.
It will also indicate whether the candidate genuinely wants to be part of your business or whether they are interviewing at several companies simultaneously.
If they mention things such as work environment or benefits, those will likely be important factors in choosing whether or not they want to take the job offer.
11. How do you personally define success?
Everyone has their own definition of success. Using this question will help you understand the candidate’s goals and values so you can see if they align with your company. Look for someone who wants to succeed in their job, not just make money without any other motivation.
It’s also important that they don’t define success as only material things like cars or houses. Those aren’t always attainable right away when starting with a new career path.
12. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever needed to do?
Asking this question can help you see how well they handle stressful situations. If they mention something like getting fired from a previous job, then it’s likely they’ll work hard to avoid it from happening again.
They’ve probably learned their lesson about what not to do when working under pressure.
The answer to this question should show you if the person made mistakes before but isn’t afraid of them.
14. How do you go about setting goals?
With this question, you’ll understand how the candidate plans and prepares for their career. Do they take their time setting realistic goals, or do they set goals that seem unattainable?
Continue probing around the issues of goals and ask about a candidate’s long-term outlook. It’s helpful to see if the candidate is looking to stay with your company for a while or just for a short stint in their career path.
15. Do you have any questions for me?
It’s always important to ask this question at the end of an interview. It allows the candidate to learn more about the company and to better understand if it’s a good fit for them. If they don’t have any questions, that might be a red flag.
You want to see engagement, some level of excitement, and the ability for job candidates to ask engaging questions in return.
The Future of Hiring Practices
The future of hiring and recruiting practices is constantly changing. With new technology and social media platforms, companies need to find new and innovative ways to attract top talent into the civilian workforce. Traditional methods such as newspaper ads or job boards no longer work as effectively as in the past.
Here are three trends happening inside the recruiting industry.
- Companies now use social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram to find potential candidates.
- Hiring managers use video interviews, as they allow employers to get a better sense of the candidate’s personality and communication skills.
- More companies use assessment tests to determine if a candidate is a good fit for the position.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is another trend to keep your eye on. Using AI, companies can search for candidates who match specific requirements without having to sift through resumes manually.
Artificial intelligence is particularly helpful when looking for someone with distinctive qualifications or someone who meets specific criteria.
Overall, the future of hiring looks promising. With new platforms and methods available, companies have a wide range of options to find the best talent.
The questions listed above will help assess the skills, qualifications, motivation, and interests of potential candidates. It’s crucial that you tailor your questions to the specific position you’re hiring for.
You may also want to create a list of questions that are specific to your company culture.
The goal is to find the best candidate for the job by using quality interview questions during the hiring process. With the right questions, you can make better decisions when filling available positions and building a solid team for your organization.
If you need additional resources to help with your quest to find the perfect candidate, consider reading about the advantages and disadvantages of using new artificial intelligence technology. You’ll discover that you still need to infuse human intuition into the mix.
Don’t forget to educate yourself about hiring a more diverse workforce. Read this cautionary tale about using algorithmic shortcuts during the hiring process.