10 Great Interview Questions to Ask Candidates for Any Job

August 10, 2016

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Posted by: Nicola Malcolm

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It’s not hard to find helpful tips when preparing for a job interview as a candidate, but what about for the employer? While it’s no secret that interviews are stressful, the pressure to hire the best fit can be just as intimidating for the person asking the questions. This step in the hiring process can be a game changer—the person who looked best on paper may turn out to be underwhelming face-to-face.

These 10 interview questions are a great way to find the right person in a sea of qualified candidates.

1. Why Should We Hire You?                                               

This is a great interview question to start with as it gives your candidates the floor to talk about themselves. Giving interviewees the chance to sell themselves can show you how well they articulate their ideas under pressure.

2. What Motivates You to Create Your Best Work?

This is one of the best interview questions to ask because it allows you to see beyond the list of qualifications listed on a resume. While it gives your interviewee the opportunity to give a unique answer, it also gives you an idea as to how they would fit into your company’s culture.  

3. What’s an Experience You've Had outside of the Workplace That Says Something about You?

Most candidates will have performed a Google search before their interview and know what type of questions to expect. While this shows preparedness, it often leads to practiced answers that can get repetitive (and boring) as an interviewer. By asking your interviewee to give examples from outside of work, you’ll get a sense of whether the skills listed on their resume are based in real experience.

4. What Can You Bring to This Role That Others Can't?

While it’s your job as the interviewer to see how your candidates measure up, this question can give a competitive edge to your interviewee. Pushing your potential hire to think of what they can individually offer may be the distinguishing feature that separates them from the pack.

5. Why Did You Choose This Field?

Open-ended questions can inspire your potential hire to answer with more interesting and less-practiced anecdotes. Asking a question that requires a bit of personal history is more likely to facilitate a friendly conversation with a lasting impression.

6. Who Do You Admire in Business?

Interview questions like this can distinguish ambitious candidates from those who are content performing the bare minimum. A potential hire motivated to achieve personal success will value the future of the company, and will work towards a successful future.

7. What Are You Currently Working on to Improve?               

Most people who have been to a job interview before will have heard the dreaded “what is your biggest weakness?” question, which puts the interviewee in an uncomfortable position. Do they answer honestly and risk sounding incompetent? Or do they use a generic answer and sound phony and practiced? Either way, the question rarely yields useful information. By asking this variation, you can see whether they’re open to improvement and constructive feedback.

8. Tell Us about Your Favourite Boss                                                               

This interview question gives you a sense of how your candidates fit into the workplace, and what they expect from you as employers. By asking them to recall a positive experience, you’ll be more equipped to determine if it’s the right fit for both parties.

9. What Do You Find Challenging?                                                                           

Companies value a variety of things in a positive work environment. If your candidate works better alone than part of a team, you’ll want to know before expecting them to shine on a group assignment.

10. Do You Have Any Questions?                                                                    

This question is common in interviews but undeniably crucial to the process. It’s just as important for your candidates to know if you’re the right company for them, and it could save both of you any confusion about expectations.

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Nicola Malcolm

Nicola Malcolm

Nicola has over 20 years of staffing industry experience with global, international, and Canadian firms. She has a broad knowledge base from having worked at a temporary recruitment desk, as an on-site manager in a global warehouse and manufacturing company, and in marketing, IT and operations. In addition, Nicola managed a portfolio of MSP/VMS accounts for a global MSP, and currently manages the staffing supply of 10+ Canadian MSP/VMS programs. In her spare time, Nicola uses her recruiting background to help her family, friends, and personal network find meaningful work opportunities. She also enjoys applying her operational skills to plan family trips abroad as often as possible.

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