Posted on August 26, 2015

10 Questions to Ask Your Next Interview Candidate

Hiring the right people is essential to creating and sustaining a successful business. Having confidence in the ability of your employees will allow you to delegate with peace of mind and place greater focus on strategy and positioning your company for future success.

One strategy for hiring the right type of employee is to differentiate their ability to contribute based on their experience, personality, and past performance. There is no better time to achieve this than during the interview process.

Here is a list of ten questions you could use to differentiate candidates when hiring for your next open position.

1. Describe the most significant project or accomplishment you have achieved during your career.

This question has two purposes. First, it allows you to see the passion the candidate displays. Is the candidate proud of what they have done and eager to share their accomplishments with you? Second, this question gives the candidate an opportunity to be descriptive and specific. This allows you to learn a bit more about their previous experience than what is available on their résumé.

2. Who is your role model?

This question allows you to see what attributes your candidate respects and hopes to emulate. Could you see the candidate’s role model in a leadership role at your company? That’s a great sign the candidate would be a good culture fit for your organization.

3. Describe a specific accomplishment from a previous position that indicates you’ll be successful in this role.

This question allows the candidate to reflect on their previous experience and provide a direct tie to the position for which they are applying. The candidate’s ability to demonstrate a track record of previous success is a good indicator that they will be successful at your organization.

4. Describe the relationships you’ve had with former colleagues.

Want to see how well the candidate will fit within your team or organization? The candidate’s prior relationships with colleagues are a great measuring stick. Is the candidate open and collaborative or closed-minded and stubborn? Ask this question to ensure you’re finding the best fit for your team.

5. Are there tasks or responsibilities that you are not interested in?

Want to make sure the candidate is the right fit for the job? This question provokes honesty in your discussion and can help identify areas of weakness or dislike. For example, if the candidate is interviewing for a sales position but says they are shy and finds it difficult to approach others, then a sales opportunity is likely not a good fit.

6. Why have you had X number of jobs in Y years?

Does the candidate always have one foot out the door, or are they motivated by your company’s growth opportunity? Remember, it is costly and time consuming to replace an employee. Loyal employees can sometimes be hard to find, but the impact they can have on your organization should not be taken for granted.

7. Describe an instance when you have failed in a previous position. What did you learn from that experience?

No employee is perfect, but those employees who learn and grow from adverse situations should be distinguished. Is the candidate prepared not to make the same mistake twice or will the same problem rear its ugly head? Look for a problem-solver who can take failure and turn it into a new opportunity.

8. If you join the company with me as your manager, what can I do ensure your success?

This question allows you to see what personality type and work environment is most comfortable for the candidate. Understanding the candidate’s expectations can help determine whether the individual is a good fit for the position. You can also follow up on this question by asking the candidate to describe previous relationships with managers to gauge past interactions.

9. What kind of work environment is most suitable for you?

If your team is collaborative and constantly meeting to discuss projects, you will want to make sure the candidate is able to contribute to this environment. Understanding that employees thrive in different environments and setting the expectations you have for the position will help you determine the best fit.

10. If you are hired and our company has a successful year, what would you see as your impact in that?

How well does the candidate understand your company, role, and the part they will play? If a candidate is just looking to leave their current position for any opportunity, they may have difficulty answering this question because they have not done their homework. Identify a candidate who demonstrates forward thinking on personal impact and provides concrete examples on how they will succeed based on their knowledge of the role.

Don’t miss out on the next best employee. Using these questions to your advantage during the interview process can help determine the right fit for you.

Sources: Hubspot and The Huffington Post

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