Many job applicants think that interviewers have it easy; after all, they only have to sit there, ask questions, and listen to what interviewees have to say. But, if you’re a business owner, manager, or HR officer, you’ll definitely want to disagree with this assumption. Choosing the right person from tens and even hundreds of applicants can be confusing and overwhelming, particularly if you don’t have much experience in this aspect. If you’re not careful, you can even end up hiring someone who doesn’t fit into your corporate culture and won’t contribute good things to your business.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make your task as an interviewer easier, and one of these is to identify the right questions to ask job candidates. By knowing what these questions are, you can easily learn about the character of interviewees, compare them with each other, and determine who the best people are for your company. To help you get started, here are some of the good interview questions that you should have on your list.
1. Why Do You Want To Get This Job?
Asking this question helps you find out a candidate’s motivation for sending in his resume. Some of the answers you may get include “The job position requires someone who has my skills and experience” and “I want to test myself and see if I can rise to the challenge of taking this role”. Others may say, “I’ve heard great things about your company and want to learn from you and the rest of your team”. Be wary of candidates who say that they’ve applied the job because they need work and money; it indicates a lack of commitment and is a sign that he’ll pack up and go when a better opportunity comes along.
2. What Do You Know About Our Company?
If a candidate can correctly answer this question, it shows that he took the time to research about your company, find out exactly what you do, and learn about the products and services you provide to your clients. These, in turn, show not only that he has excellent research skills but also that he’s a self-starter who knows how to prepare for tough situations.
3. What Are Your Strengths?
You’ll most likely come across two major types of interviewees when you ask this question: those who sing praises about themselves and those who downplay their strengths. In both cases, make sure to just listen and observe; you can verify their answers by calling their previous employers to get their feedback. You can also ask them to expound on their answers and explain why they think they’re good at a certain skill or area.
4. What Are Your Weaknesses?
Asking this question is important because it helps you spot the candidates who have the courage to accept that they’re not perfect and the wisdom to identify exactly what they’re bad at. Once they’ve revealed their weaknesses, you can ask them what they’ve been doing to improve these aspects. Listen closely to their answers; you’ll want to hire those who have been taking proactive steps to turn their weaknesses into strengths or at least stop these from being obstacles at work.
5. Where Do You See Yourself In Five, Ten, Or Fifteen Years?
If you want to hire people who are ambitious, goal-oriented, and self-starters, this should be one of the top questions that you should ask. It gives you an insight into the candidates’ personal and career plans and identifies those whose goals coincide with your company’s objectives. It also lets you find out which applicants are more likely to stick with your company and which ones would be gone in a couple of months. A candidate who says he wants to be a professional musician probably won’t last for a long time in your marketing or accounting firm.
6. What Challenges Have You Encountered At Work?
This question can be greatly helpful since it lets you accomplish two things. One, it allows you to see exactly what candidates consider to be a “challenge”. Some, for instance, think of tight deadlines as an obstacle, while others see them as fun goals to be achieved. Two, the question gives you insight on how applicants approach a problem at work. Some deal with issues head-on, while others ignore them and wait for them to resolve themselves (or at least let somebody else fix them).
7. What Are Your Biggest Successes In Your Career?
Usually, the answer to this question can be found in the applicants’ resume, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. In fact, it’s even better to ask this question since it gives candidates the chance to tell you how they were able to achieve their biggest goals. This, in turn, gives you an idea of the methods they’ll use to succeed in their tasks.
8. If You Could Start You Career Over Again, What Are The Things That You’ll Change?
Use this question instead of asking “Do you have any regrets in your career?”, which would most likely generate a safe “No”. Assume that the job candidates have committed mistakes in the past and made decisions that they regret. What are these things, and how will they make them better if given the chance? Asking this question helps you see how the applicants have learned from their past mistakes and how they’ll move forward in the future.
9. Who Was Your Best Boss? How Would You Describe Him Or Her?
These two questions will give you an idea of the candidates’ character as well as the personality type and managerial style that he best responds to. Does he work well with managers who hold his hand as he learns the ropes? Or does he like working with bosses who don’t micromanage him and give him the autonomy to do his tasks? Once you have the answers, you can then see if the candidate will blend well into your company culture or not.
These are just some of the good interview questions that you can use. Keep them in mind and let the help you choose the right job candidates.