The Best Interview Questions to Ask a Potential Job Candidate

Job interviews can be the worst: You are stressed, over-worked, and under-staffed.  The candidate is worried about making a good first impression.  You are trying to find the right person that will fit in with your team and benefit your organization.  Once you have made your decision to hire a candidate, how do you truly know that you have chosen the right person?  The best interview questions tell you about the person behind the resume, revealing their personality, knowledge, skills, strengths, and weaknesses.  Here are some examples you might want to test in your next interview.

1.      Tell me how you feel you would make a contribution, based on what you have learned about me and our organization?

Interviewees who have truly prepared love an opportunity to shine; this question really lets them do just that.  This allows them to show that they have done their homework.  Those who have not prepared to their best ability will most likely stumble or give more of a generic response.

2.      Why should we hire you?

This is among the best questions to ask because it will force the interviewee to detail what sets them apart from their competition.  Today’s job market is very competitive; when faced with a stack of resumes that tell a similar story, this question will help you determine the best candidate.  Someone who is great at explaining why they will be an asset can show qualities that will help your business grow, once hired.

3.      If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Of course, no one wants to dwell on the past, but this can be a very revealing question to ask.  By asking a person to explain their major decisions, both positive and negative, highlights their ability to make calculated decisions based on past experiences.  In addition, you will also find out if the candidate was able to learn and recover from a failure or a poor decision.  Plus, it will also let candidates share their vision for their future.

4.      Describe the best boss you have ever reported to.

Just as there are different learning styles, there are different management styles.  This is perfect question to find out how the candidate likes to be managed.  Do they need a cheerleader?  Do they prefer some sort of autonomy?  Are they performance driven or reward driven?  This question will highlight the personality and work style of the candidate to make sure they will be fit your organizational goals.

5.      What frustrates you?

We tend to assume, and most candidates will paint the picture, that they enjoyed all aspects of their previous role.  This is, however, seldom the case.  Getting an honest answer to this question may be difficult, but the answer will be worth the effort.  If the candidate answers with minor irritations or petty issues, that might throw up some red flags as far as their emotional maturity.  However, if the interviewee answers with long term conflicts and how they were resolved over time, they might have the positive intelligence you need to take your small business to the next level.

The best interview questions tell you about the person behind the resume, revealing their personality, knowledge, skills, strengths, and weaknesses.  While you will always want to tailor the questions to the position, these questions might help you find the perfect new hire to help your small business grow.