Interviewing is an art, both for the person asking the questions, trying to find the right candidate… and for the person being interviewed, trying to make the best impression. You as the interviewer, however, probably have the tougher job. The candidate is trying to convince you that they are the right choice, while you have to determine the best candidate and then convince everyone else that they’re the right fit. Especially if there are a number of stakeholders at your company who will also be meeting with this person and weighing in, it’s important to get a very good feel for this person in a short amount of time.
Moreover, while candidates typically have good intentions, they are primed to broadcast the best possible impression during the interview – which may or may not be reflective of their real approach to the job. Therefore, you need a list of excellent interview questions to help guide you.
How Excellent Interview Questions Benefit Both Employer and Candidate
Anyone can look at and view a resume. The best interview questions tell you about the person behind the resume, revealing the job candidate’s personality, strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, skills, and abilities. They also give your candidate an opportunity to expand on details that don’t fit into a traditional one-page resume.
Not only do the following questions help ensure a candidate is qualified for a position, they help you understand the candidate’s character – inside and outside the workplace – to determine the best fit for company culture and overall goals.
The Top 10 Best Interview Questions to Ask
- What kind of environment would allow you to perform your best?
- Why are you leaving your current employer?
- What is your preferred management style for a boss overseeing your work?
- What do you dislike most about the job search process?
- If I contact your previous employer and ask about areas of your performance that need improvement, what will they tell me?
- Tell me about a professional success that you wouldn’t care to repeat.
- Which is better: to be perfect and late, or good and on time?
- What interested you most about this position, and what made you decide to apply for it?
- Tell us a time when you made a mistake at work, and tell us how you resolved that mistake and learned from it.
- What would your current employer need to offer in order to keep you on board?
The last one especially is telling, as candidates reveal what they’re really in this for: salary? benefits? Doing a good job? All are excellent questions to ask, because they give you insight into the candidate in a short amount of time, even if that insight stems only from discomfort or hesitation on the interviewee’s part.
During your next round of interviews, be sure to print out and keep this list by your side. You might be surprised by how much more intuitive it makes the process.
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