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14 Interview Questions You Should Be Asking Candidates

Every interview is different, but having a set list of interview questions can help you focus on top talent who can benefit everyone.

14 Interview Questions You Should Be Asking Candidates

Your team has a vacancy, and the pressure is on to fill it with a candidate who possesses all the skills and professional experience you are looking for. But can you make those decisions from just interviewing a candidate? It’s possible, that’s for sure. But only if you’re asking the right questions! We’ve gathered 14 of the best questions to ask during an interview.

1. Can you tell me about your current job?

This is a great open-ended question to ask a potential employee that can help you evaluate communication skills as well as gain insight into that individual’s background well beyond their resume.

2. Why are you leaving your current job?

Does your open position provide an alternative to the factors that made the interviewee unhappy in their current position? If so, showcase those benefits! But beware of candidates with unrealistic expectations. 

3. What skills and strengths can you bring to this position?

Did the individual blindly apply for your opening and luck into an interview, or did they closely consider how they match your needs? This question can help you make that distinction. Applicants should be able to think critically about how their skill set will benefit their entire team.

4. Do you work best alone or as part of a team?

This question helps determine if the applicant is suited for different types of potential assignments. Someone who enjoys solitary work and long stretches of uninterrupted time may not thrive in a position that requires collaboration or multitasking. 

5. How do you handle tight deadlines?

Does your team frequently face challenging time constraints? Do you need someone who can work quickly and efficiently while under pressure? This interview question can get the candidate’s opinion as to how they handle stress and whether they can keep up with the pace of work at your organization. You could also follow up by asking if they’ve ever missed a deadline and, if so, how they handled the situation.

6. In your most recent position, was there a time when you had to overcome a significant challenge?

This question can help you gain a sense of the interviewee’s critical thinking and analytical skills. You should also pay attention to how the candidate describes their behavior when faced with a challenge. Did they struggle or did they come up with an action plan and see it through?

7. What’s one fact about you I can’t find on LinkedIn?

This is another open-ended question that can help you discover some interesting insights about the applicant. By simply asking this question, it could spark some conversation about a hobby or a competing story that reveals more of their strengths and motivations. This question can help you understand not just what the candidate has done in life, but why.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

A candidate who has professional drive and lofty career goals is valuable. Be on the hunt for someone who is engaged in their career, and consider mentioning how your organization can help them achieve those objectives. Finding a candidate who is interested in career advancement and sees opportunities with your company increases the chances that they’ll be happy in the long run.

9. How would you describe your boss?

This question may give you a sense of the candidate’s relationship with previous managers, however, keep in mind who you’re asking. The answer will be simply their opinion of what the boss might have said, not that person’s actual thoughts. That’s why it’s still critical to check references.

10. How would you describe your coworkers?

This valuable question can help shed light on the candidate’s soft skills and how they might work with the other members of your current team. Understand the strengths of your current staff members and be on the lookout for a candidate who will complement those.

11. Can you share a time when you had a disagreement with a boss or colleague and how you handled that situation?

This is one of the best questions to ask during an interview because you’ll get a sense of how they can resolve conflicts. What tone does the person use when describing the situation? How do they talk about those involved? Were they able to handle the situation appropriately? Did they find common ground, or was this ultimately the reason they are leaving the organization? Emotional intelligence is valuable in almost every job.

12. What could your current company do to be more successful?

This question is all about the big picture, and it’s important to know if the interviewee is able to see this. It may also reveal why they really want to leave their current role.

13. What do you think about our company, and why do you want to work here?

With the digital world we live in, you’d think most applications would do their homework before an interview, but that’s not always the case. Some applicants may not even know what type of business your company engages in. Ask this question, and quickly see who is sincere about working for you and who just needs a job.

14. Do you have any questions for me?

This question not only wraps up the interview, it also allows you to see how prepared the interviewee may be. However, if the interview was long and detailed, the candidate may not have any additional questions left to ask.

Every interview is different, but having a set list of questions can help you optimize your time and focus on top talent who can benefit your organization. For help getting the right candidate into the interview seat, contact us.

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