“So, tell us about yourself…”
Is this how you’re starting your interviews? While an open-ended question like this can give you a broad overview of a candidate, it’s not so effective at drilling down to the nitty gritty of what will make them a good hire.
It’s important for you to ask the right questions that will gain you valuable insights into the skills, experience, and cultural fit of a candidate.
In this blog, we’ll explore the significance of asking the right questions and provide a comprehensive list of 25 questions to ask interviewees, helping you make informed hiring decisions.
Why Asking the Right Questions is Important:
Assessing qualifications: By asking targeted questions about a candidate’s qualifications, you can determine their suitability for the role, their level of expertise, and their ability to contribute effectively.
Evaluating problem-solving skills: Well-crafted questions that require candidates to think critically and provide real-world examples can help you gauge their problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and creativity.
Understanding work ethic and attitude: Through carefully designed questions, you can uncover a candidate’s work ethic, attitude, and approach to challenges, which are essential indicators of their potential success within your organisation.
Cultural fit assessment: Asking questions that delve into a candidate’s values, teamwork skills, and preferred work environment can help determine if they align with your company’s culture and values.
Predicting future performance: By posing situational or behavioural questions, you can gain insight into how a candidate might perform in specific scenarios, helping you assess their potential to succeed in the role.
Now, let's dive into the list.
25 Questions to Ask Your Interviewees
Can you walk me through your relevant experience and accomplishments?
This question allows the candidate to showcase their past experience and achievements, providing insight into their skillset, expertise, and the level of responsibility they have handled in previous roles.
How would you describe your approach to problem-solving?
Understanding a candidate’s problem-solving approach gives you insight into their critical thinking abilities, their methods of analysing and resolving challenges, and their ability to think creatively and adapt to different situations.
Tell me about a time when you faced a significant challenge at work and how you overcame it.
This question helps you assess a candidate’s ability to handle difficult situations and overcome obstacles. Their response can demonstrate their resilience, problem-solving skills, and resourcefulness when faced with adversity.
What motivates you to excel in your work?
By asking about a candidate’s motivations, you can gain insight into their drive, passion, and commitment to their work. Their response can provide valuable information about their work ethic and dedication to achieving success.
By collaborating with a recruiter, you can tap into their expertise to not only ask the right questions during interviews but also have them screen candidates beforehand.
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How do you stay updated with industry trends and advancements?
This question allows you to evaluate a candidate’s level of curiosity, commitment to professional development, and their ability to adapt to evolving industry trends. It shows if they actively seek knowledge and stay informed.
Can you provide an example of a project where you had to collaborate with a diverse team? How did you ensure effective communication?
Understanding a candidate’s experience in working with diverse teams provides insights into their interpersonal skills, ability to collaborate, and their aptitude for effective communication and fostering inclusivity.
Describe a situation where you had to deal with a difficult coworker or client. How did you handle it?
This question provides insight into a candidate’s ability to manage conflicts, maintain professionalism, and handle challenging relationships. Their response reveals their interpersonal skills, adaptability, and problem-solving abilities.
How do you prioritise tasks and manage your time effectively?
Asking this question helps assess a candidate’s organisational skills, ability to handle multiple responsibilities, and capacity to meet deadlines. Their response can provide an understanding of their efficiency and productivity.
What role do you typically assume in a team setting, and how do you contribute to the team's success?
Understanding a candidate’s team dynamics and role within a team helps evaluate their collaboration skills, leadership abilities, and their potential to contribute to a positive team environment.
How do you handle feedback and criticism?
This question allows you to assess a candidate’s openness to feedback, their ability to accept constructive criticism, and their willingness to learn and grow. Their response provides insight into their adaptability and humility.
Can you share an experience where you had to adapt to a sudden change or unexpected circumstances? How did you handle it?
This question helps evaluate a candidate’s adaptability, resilience, and ability to handle change. Their response demonstrates their flexibility, problem-solving skills, and their attitude towards unexpected situations.
How would you define your leadership style?
Understanding a candidate’s leadership style provides insights into how they would potentially lead and manage teams. Their response allows you to evaluate their communication, decision-making, and motivational skills.
Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision with limited information.
This question assesses a candidate’s ability to make informed decisions, think critically under pressure, and their confidence in handling ambiguous situations. Their response reveals their analytical thinking and problem-solving skills.
What do you know about our company, and why do you want to work here?
This question tests a candidate’s preparedness and interest in the position and the organisation. It shows their research skills, enthusiasm, and alignment with the company’s values and goals.
How do you ensure accuracy and attention to detail in your work?
This question helps evaluate a candidate’s meticulousness, thoroughness, and commitment to delivering high-quality work. Their response reveals their organisational skills and ability to focus on details.
Can you describe a situation where you had to resolve a conflict between team members? How did you approach it?
This question assesses a candidate’s conflict resolution skills, ability to foster collaboration, and diplomacy in handling interpersonal conflicts. Their response provides insights into their communication skills and emotional intelligence.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement so far?
By asking about their greatest professional achievement, you can gain insight into a candidate’s accomplishments, their level of ambition, and their ability to set and reach goals. Their response reflects their drive and determination.
How do you handle tight deadlines and high-pressure situations?
Understanding a candidate’s approach to handling time-sensitive tasks and stressful situations helps assess their ability to work under pressure, manage stress, and maintain productivity. Their response reveals their resilience and organisational skills.
Can you provide an example of a time when you identified an opportunity for process improvement or efficiency enhancement?
This question allows you to evaluate a candidate’s critical thinking abilities, problem-solving skills, and their proactive mindset. Their response demonstrates their ability to identify areas for improvement and their initiative to drive positive change.
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
Asking about work-life balance helps you gauge a candidate’s self-awareness, their ability to manage priorities, and their approach to maintaining a healthy work-life integration. Their response reveals their dedication to personal well-being.
Tell me about a time when you had to persuade others to adopt your point of view. How did you do it?
This question assesses a candidate’s persuasive skills, ability to influence others, and their communication abilities. Their response reveals their negotiation skills, confidence, and ability to articulate their ideas effectively.
Describe a situation where you had to deal with a dissatisfied customer. How did you address their concerns and ensure their satisfaction?
Understanding how a candidate handles customer interactions and resolves customer issues helps assess their customer service skills, empathy, and ability to handle difficult situations professionally. Their response reflects their problem-solving and communication skills.
How do you handle ambiguity and uncertainty in your work?
This question allows you to assess a candidate’s comfort level with ambiguity, their ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and their decision-making skills in uncertain situations. Their response demonstrates their flexibility and problem-solving abilities.
Can you give an example of a time when you had to manage conflicting priorities or multiple projects simultaneously?
This question helps evaluate a candidate’s multitasking abilities, organisational skills, and capacity to manage competing demands. Their response reveals their prioritisation skills and ability to meet deadlines.
What are your long-term career goals, and how does this position align with them?
By asking about a candidate’s long-term career goals, you can assess their aspirations, motivation, and alignment with the position and your organisation’s growth opportunities. Their response provides insights into their commitment and potential long-term fit.
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The questions you ask during a job interview can make a significant impact on your hiring decisions. By asking the right questions, you can gain valuable insights into a candidate’s qualifications, problem-solving abilities, work ethic, cultural fit, and future potential.
Use this list of 25 questions as a starting point to ensure that you gather the necessary information to make the right hiring choices and build a talented team.