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10 Questions to Ask Your Next Interview Candidate
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Talent Development

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


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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