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
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
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
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
Sources: Hubspot and The Huffington Post