Asking the right questions during an interview is critical to getting the most out of the conversation and hiring the best candidate for the job. However, it can be challenging to know what questions to ask.
You want to ask questions that will give insight into the candidate’s skills, experiences, and qualifications – but you also don’t want to grill them or make them uncomfortable.
Whether in person or behind a screen, it’s important to balance between getting the information you need and making the candidate feel at ease. Asking the right questions can also lead to many other company benefits like reduced time-to-hire, lower turnover rates, and the ability to make better hiring decisions in the future.
With that in mind, here are our top questions to ask your candidates that will ensure you hire with confidence.
Why are you interested in this role?
The typical starter question for any employer. It may be basic, but this question is gold for easing your candidate into the interview and getting to know what sparked their interest to apply for a new role.
What do you know about our company?
A question to see whether your candidate has done their homework. Ideally, you want to hire candidates that actively research who you are and know about what your company does before they go for an interview. This doesn't have to be hours of extensive research, but it's always a means for good if your interviewee has the motivation to look up your company before they meet you.
Give me an example of a time when you had to overcome a difficult situation.
Most candidates will say they handle stressful situations well - but asking for an example shows how they deal with challenging situations. Asking this question can help grasp a sense of their character while also gaining insight into their problem-solving abilities.
What are your career aspirations?
This question can help determine whether your candidate will be compatible with the company’s vision for the future and core values. It can also help you see if you're likely to get employee turnover and whether it will be possible for the candidate to achieve their goals within your company.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Asking this question in an interview can help you to identify candidates who can think on their feet and can articulate their accomplishments in a way that is both impressive and relevant to the job at hand. It is also a good way to get a sense of what the person values and how they define success.
What do you like about your current job?
Asking interviewees what they like about their current job can help you gain valuable insights into what they are looking for in a new role. This question can help you identify whether the candidate would be a good fit for your company and whether they would likely stay with the company for a long time. Asking this question also shows that you are interested in the candidate's opinions and value their input. This can help build rapport with the candidate and make them more likely to open up during the interview.
What do you think makes a successful company?
This question allows the candidate to demonstrate their understanding of the key ingredients of a successful business, as well as see if your candidate will align with your company's core values. Yes hitting targets and making profits makes a company successful, but will they touch on any values that allow a company to work together to make a goal a reality?
Give an example of a time that you improved or optimised an outdated process.
This answer doesn't have to be technical. Maybe they updated a piece of software that no longer served its purpose. Maybe they optimised a marketing campaign to match the latest needs of their target audience. Or maybe they set a new way of internal learning within their office. Whatever the answer is to this question, it will show that the candidate has the initiative and willingness to grow and learn with your company as it evolves, spotting new trends along the way.