Intro. What are the best questions to ask job candidates? An interview is your ultimate chance to hire the best talent. You need to ask questions that will determine not only if your candidates have that perfect combination of the right personality,.
When it comes to job interviews, preparation is key. But, that doesn’t just apply to the candidate—it’s equally important for you as the interviewer. This conversation is your chance to determine whether that applicant is a solid fit the position, your team, and your company in general.
However, that information is really only revealed if you know the right questions to ask an interviewee. So, what should you be sure to ask? Here are 10 good interviewing questions to put to work in your next sit-down with a potential employee. 1. What One Skill Makes You the Most Qualified for This Position? While things like culture fit are important, your focus first and foremost is to find someone who possesses those necessary cut-and-dried qualifications to fill that open position.
That’s why a question like this one is so important. Not only do you get to hear more detail about what that candidate considers to be his core competencies, but it’s also a chance to confirm that he has the appropriate understanding of everything the role entails.
For example, if he touts a skill that’s impressive—but totally irrelevant—that’s a red flag that you’re not on the same page about the major duties of that job. 2. To Date, What Professional Achievement Are You Most Proud of? Candidates show up to interviews with a goal of impressing you. So, chances are, that applicant is armed and ready with a few major accomplishments up her sleeve. Whether it’s an award, a certification, or a big project that went exceptionally well, asking the interviewee what in her professional history she’s proudest of will give you a better sense of where her strengths really lie.
Plus, this question offers the chance for her to expand on something she feels good about—which can ease her nerves and help to boost her confidence going into the rest of the interview.
3. Can You Tell Me About a Time When You Overcame a Challenge? You know that most job seekers absolutely dread these . But, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re an effective way for you to gain a better understanding of how that person’s experience translates from paper to the real-world.
This specific question is a popular one, and for good reason. Starting a new job isn’t a walk in the park. And, even after that new employee is established, he’s bound to deal with some roadblocks every now and then—whether it’s a conflict within his team or a project he doesn’t quite know how to get started on.
Getting a grasp on how that person copes with—and, more importantly, tackles—difficult circumstances will help you zero in on the very best fit for that open role. 4. How Would You Describe Your Own Working Style? While you don’t want to build a completely homogenous team, you do need to make sure that new additions are able to work in a way that doesn’t throw a major wrench into the way things already operate. For that reason, it’s important that you ask each candidate about her working style.
Does she take a really collaborative approach or would she rather work independently? Does she perform well with a lot of direction or is she more of a self starter? This insight into how each applicant prefers to handle his or her work will be invaluable in determining not only the right match for that job—but for the entire team. 5. What Three Words Would You Use to Describe Your Ideal Work Environment?
In a similar vein, it’s smart to ask what that candidate prefers in terms of atmosphere to ensure you find someone who can not only survive—but thrive—in your existing culture. Perhaps he states he likes a quieter environment with lots of heads-down work.
If your office is extremely fast-paced and high-energy, that could cause some friction. Or, maybe he explains that he prefers a lot of structure and predictability—which there isn’t a lot of in your laid-back startup where everybody wears a lot of hats.
For better or for worse, this question will at least help you determine whether or not that applicant would feel comfortable in the work environment you’ve already fostered. 6. If Hired, What Is the First Thing You Would Tackle in This Position?
This is a great question to ask in a later interview round, when you’re choosing between the final candidates that you’ve narrowed down. This one is effective for a couple of reasons. First, it’s yet another opportunity to confirm that the interviewee has the right understanding of all that position will be responsible for.
Secondly, it gives you the chance to understand her priorities. What does she believe should be at the top of that position’s to-do list? Last but not least, a question like this one means you can extend beyond the generalities that often come along with interviewing and get some insight into how that candidate would actually perform in that role. 7. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Employer?
Here it is—yet another question that is sure to make every job seeker cringe. Nobody wants to seem like they’re bad-mouthing a previous boss or employer, which makes this one tricky for applicants to answer.
However, posing this question will give you some greater insight into that person’s professional history—as well as help you to identify any red flags (ahem, complaining endlessly about his boss, for example) that might indicate that candidate isn’t the best one for the job.
8. What One Skill Would You Like to Improve and What’s Your Plan for Doing So? If you’ve previously been relying on that cliché , give this one a try instead. Rather than asking an interviewee to point out her flaws and poke holes in her own candidacy, you can turn the tables by focusing on areas of improvement. Additionally, the second half of this question gives that applicant a chance to redeem herself, so to speak, by explaining what action plan she has for continuing to grow and develop within her own field.
9. What Excites You Most About This Position? Skills can be taught, but there’s one thing that can’t be: enthusiasm. When an interviewee is truly excited about an opportunity, that typically translates into excellent work and greater longevity with your company. Ask that potential employee about what initially attracted him to the position.
What makes him most excited about the prospect of working there? Doing so will not only once again confirm his grasp of the duties of the role, but also give you a chance to figure out what aspects of the job interest him most. 10. What Do You Like to Do Outside of Work? This isn’t one of the most common . But, it’s important to remember that you’re hiring an entire person. You want someone who will be able to connect with you and your team—not a robot who is incapable of forging bonds, sharing interests, and building relationships.
If you feel uncomfortable asking a question like this one in the formal setting of the actual interview, work it into small talk before or after your sit-down.
You’ll have the opportunity to connect with that candidate on a more personal level, while also getting a more holistic view of what makes her tick. While the job seeker is on the far more nerve-wracking end of the table, job interviews are enough to inspire some anxiety in you as well.
You want to make sure you ask the right questions to really zone in on the best candidate for that open job.
While there are plenty of out there, you want to have some handy prompts in your back pocket that you can use to get the most valuable information out of that short conversation. So, remember these 10 interview questions to ask, and you’re that much more likely to find the perfect fit. Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, self-development, and the freelance life.
In addition to writing for The Muse, she's also the Career Editor for , a columnist for Inc., and a contributor all over the web. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her rescued terrier mutt or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter or check out
best dating interview questions to ask employer - Best Questions to Ask in a Job Interview
These questions are the backbone of an effective job interview. If you track your data carefully over time, you will learn which questions worked to help you decide to hire the candidates . You will also learn what kinds of answers were given by the applicants who became your most successful employees. • Goal : The applicant’s answer tells a lot about and what he or she considers important.
It also demonstrates what the applicant considers to be an achievement. Occasionally, consider asking what the prospective employee thinks of when he is asked to name the three key and most significant values that they would bring to your workplace. • Goal: The candidate’s response tells the interviewer whether their work environment is congruent with the candidate’s needs.
The answer helps the interviewer decide whether the prospective employee is a good fit for their . You don't want to hire a loner for a team that thrives on collaboration. You don't want to hire an employee who can't type a coherent paragraph if the majority of your customer support is via email. • Goal: You want to know how self-directed your candidate is.
In a , for example, a candidate who requires constant direction will not fit. If you know that the boss who is the is a micromanager, the self-driven candidate may not succeed. In fact, most of your best candidates will not succeed with a micromanaging boss.
(What are you doing about , by the way? You are doing something—right?) • Goal: The applicant's response tells you about his or her values, outlook, .
You can determine what prompted the job search. Is the candidate running towards a more successful future or is she running away from an unsuccessful employment experience? Candidates who tell you about bad bosses may not reveal their own part in the story.
• Goal : You will gain an understanding of what the applicant deems important, their understanding of the requirements of your job, and how the candidate approaches a new situation. You will learn whether the candidate takes the time to understand the work environment and necessary interactions before diving right into the water. • Goal : You want to understand how the candidate thinks that his or her coworkers view their interaction.
You also want to assess how coworkers like working with the candidate. These questions give you an idea about the candidate's assessment of his effectiveness in his current job and in his relationships with coworkers. Past practice can predict future results. • Goal: You want to understand how the candidate perceives the support and opinion of his current employer. This question tells you about the candidate's interaction with his current boss.
It also informs you about how well he accepts criticism and feedback. If the interaction with the applicant's current employer is positive and uplifting, this can shape the job applicant's expectations of their new work environment.
• Goal: Prospective employees have long been asked to learn about the company to which they are applying. In this virtual era, learning about the company you are applying to has never been easier. This question tells you if the prospective employee did learn about your company. Further, it tells you if the candidate was thoughtful about his or her potential fit in your company and whether she will be able to contribute.
It also helps you to know that there are specific reasons why this applicant applied for your open position. • Goal: You want to hire employees who believe in . Listen carefully to whether the prospective employee pursues his or her own professional development or whether they depend on their employer to provide . Listen also to identify areas in which the job applicant believes they need improvement and/or an expanded skill set. Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality.
The site is read by a world-wide audience and and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. , or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.
An interview is a two-way street. Your potential employer is to learn about you and your skills. In return, you need to prepare questions to ask your potential employer about the position, your boss, and the company in order to be sure that this is the right job for you. In addition, if you don’t prepare smart questions, you run the risk of the interviewer assuming you aren’t interested or Your opportunity to ask questions usually comes at the end of the interview.
You must prepare at least two questions that demonstrate your interest in the position, your drive to excel in the role, and the fact that you’ve done some homework (researched company, industry, department). So how do you come up with these smart questions that show you’re the perfect hire?
As you conduct your pre-interview research, make note of topics that you’d like to ask about. Keep in the mind that the best questions to ask are focused, open-ended question. Avoid yes or no questions and avoid questions that are so broad that they are difficult to answer.
You don’t want to stump the interviewer when you’re trying to make a good impression and develop rapport. Still not sure what to ask? We have some proven examples of good questions to ask during a job interview: 1. Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job? This is your chance to learn as much as possible about the role so you can decide whether this is a job you really want.
By learning more about the day-to-day tasks, you will also gain more insight into what specific skills and strengths are needed and you can address any topics that haven’t already been covered. 2.
What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role? This question can often lead to valuable information that’s not in the job description.
It can help you learn about the company culture and expectations so you can show that you are a good fit. 3. What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 days, 60 days, year?
Find out what your employer’s expectations are for the person in this position. 4. Describe the culture of the company.
Are you a good fit for this particular organization? Make sure you are comfortable with the culture and the dynamic of the company. 5. Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years? If you plan to be in this role for several years, make sure the company is growing so you can grow with the company.
6. Who do you consider your top competitor, and why? You should already have an idea of the company’s major competitors, but it can be useful to ask your interviewer for their thoughts.
Naturally, they will be able to give you insight you can’t find anywhere else. 7. What are the biggest opportunities facing the company/department right now? This question shows your drive to seize opportunity and may help you learn more about where the company will be focusing over the next several months. 8. What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department right now? On the flip side, you may want to ask about challenges. This question can help you uncover trends and issues in the industry and perhaps identify areas where your skills could save the day.
9. What do you like best about working for this company? Ask about your interviewer’s personal experience for additional insight into the company’s culture. 10. What is the typical career path for someone in this role? This question can help you learn whether the company promotes from within, and how career advancement works within the organization.
By asking the question, you show your interest in growing with the organization — just be careful not to phrase it in a way that sounds too self-serving (i.e. When can I expect a raise and a promotion?). 11. How do I compare with the other candidates you’ve interviewed for this role? This is a slightly risky choice. You don’t want to put the interviewer in an awkward position.
However, if things are going well and you’ve built a strong rapport, this question can help you see if there are any concerns or issues that you could address to show why you’re the 12. What are the next steps in the interview process?
This question shows that you are eager to move forward in the process. It will also help you gain important information about the timeline for hiring so that you can . Remember: Don’t ask about salary or benefits just yet.
Wait until you are in the final steps of the interview process to negotiate with the hiring manager or an HR representative. Inside Big Interview, our complete training system for job interviews, we give you video lessons, sample answers, and an interactive practice tool.
We also include many more examples of how to answer: “Do you have any questions for me?” Watch this brief video to learn a little more about Big Interview, and . Pamela Skillings is co-founder of Big Interview. As one of the country's top interview coaches, she has helped her clients land dream jobs at companies including Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase. She also has more than 15 years of experience training and advising managers at organizations from American Express to the City of New York.
She is an adjunct professor at New York University and an instructor at the American Management Association. Continue reading.
Job Interviewing: Questions To Ask Your Future Employer