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25 Top Questions To Ask An Interviewee

When conducting interviews to fill critical job vacancies it’s important to ask the right questions of the interviewee and reveal the best answers ensuring a more informed hiring decision.

These 25 interview questions for interviewees will help the interviewer get to know a candidate better before making a decision to bring them aboard their company.

1. What attracted you to apply for this position?

By asking this question you, as the interviewer, should be able to gauge if job seeker has an enthusiasm for the job opening or if they just applied blindly to the position.

You could also review the experience in their resume with the job opening and ask them how they would react to specific situations.

2. What steps do you take when making decisions?

This ice breaker question will give you insight into the interviewee’s critical thinking skills and organizational processes they apply to decision-making situations.

Is their process well thought out and organized or is it merely done on the fly?

3. What has your typical role on a team been?

This question will give you insight into how previous employers viewed the interviewee as well as how the candidate may interact with fellow employees.

Were they ever given charge of projects, or were they all ways in more of a supportive role?

4. How would your colleagues describe you?

Asking this will give you a better idea of how they view themselves in the eyes of others and should reveal clues on their ability to work within a team environment.

Are they known as the quiet one, the goofball, the communicator, the workaholic, or something else?

Make sure to develop and refer to your ideal candidate personas to see if the answer aligns with the favorable personality traits you are looking for.

5. What motivates you to work?

It is a simple question but requires the interviewee to exhibit a great amount of thought and often unlocks valuable discussions from a candidate looking internally for what truly motivates them.

If they only answer at the surface level with something like “I relish a challenge”, this can convey that they are a less-than exceptional candidate.

You may need to probe further do extract a deeper understanding of their motivations.

6. Name a work accomplishment that makes you proud?

With this line of interview questioning, you will learn about the job seeker in more depth and get a better idea of the types of work they have achieved from their previous and current company.

This also gives the interviewee an opportunity to showcase some of their strongest qualities and any leadership skills they may have.

7. Why are you a fit for this opportunity?

This interview question will help you get a feel on if the applicants have done serious preparation in getting to know your company.

You don’t want your organization to be a random job they applied for to get a paycheck, only to leave your company for a different opportunity in a few months.

8. Speak about some of your coworker relationships

Personalities on teams are different. This line of interview questioning sheds light on how they interact with others and will help you determine if the interviewee has the potential to be a happy productive member of your business. 

9. How do you define hard work in the workplace?

Organizations move at different speeds from one another.

If an interviewee is comfortable working in a laidback environment where hard deadlines are rare then they may not be a good fit for a position in which they have to constantly produce work in a fast-paced deadline-driven environment.

10. Do you like working with a team or working alone?

This really depends on what opening the job seekers are applying for. Is it a desk job that only requires them to be by themselves self or is it work that demands coordination and communication with others? 

If you analyze that the applicants are people who are flexible, willing to do multi-tasking, and wouldn’t be bothered if at times they work alone or with a team, these could be the best professionals to hire. 

This question has more importance at this time due to the current remote working environment.

11. What are some weak points you can work on?

All job applicants have weaknesses in their character or qualifications, and immediately admitting them during the interview can actually be a sign of strength. 

12. What are your greatest strengths to a company?

The ability of a candidate to talk about their strengths and still maintain their humility is a strong indicator of a winning personality. 

This also gives the interviewee a chance to explain and align their strengths with the position they are interviewing for demonstrating attributes that will contribute to the company’s goals.

13. Talk about a critical work situation you solved

It is often in the pressure-filled and stressful situations where professionals and real leaders emerge victoriously and experience their greatest growth gains.

14. When conflict arises at work how do you handle it?

By asking questions related to conflict you will get a better understanding of the interviewee’s interpersonal skills and personality.

The interviewee’s response may also give you a sense of their ability to resolve and deal with conflict at work.

15. Why do you plan on leaving your current employer?

Listen closely to how the candidates show their respect for their current boss and company.

Having this type of scrutiny will give you a better idea of how these candidates will treat their supervisors and colleagues if they are hired into your organization. 

16. Reveal something about yourself not on your resume

Sometimes there are quirks about prospective employees that you simply can’t see on a resume.

They may be a good fit on paper, but when you interview them, you may get a sense from their answers that hint at possible trouble for the organization down the road.

17. How do you deal with tight deadlines?

For interviewees, their most ideal answer should be a version of this: “I review a list of tasks and analyze what are the most urgent and critical matters. I put the most urgent ones on top of the list.

Next, I focus on each task with complete concentration until I finish it before moving on to the next urgent task. 

18. Describe your ideal workspace

Since this is an open-ended question and not answerable with yes or no, let the applicants take their time to describe to you how their ideal work environment would be and see if it matches your current office environment.

19. How would your current boss describe you?

This question will hopefully give you a better idea of how the interviewee interacts with their current and past managers.

20. Outline the process on how you set goals

Your best employees are generally driven and goal-oriented. This question will help ensure they have the ability to not only reach goals you would set for them but set their own goals to achieve as well.

The top candidates will be able to explain their goal-setting process in detail, how they set up their goals, break goals into smaller tasks, and measure their success once completing them.

21. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

An ambitious professional with a clear set of goals for the short, medium, and long term, is an invaluable asset to the company. This is true especially if they parallel their career growth with the company they are interviewing at. 

As they grow professionally and financially, the company grows and expands too.

During the interview, confident job seekers will discuss that they seek a company with upward mobility as they help the company prosper.

22. What do you want to do differently at a new job?

The type of answer here will let you know their line of thinking.

Do they launch into a negative conversation about their current or former boss? Or do they look towards the future excited about the potential in your company?

23. Have you applied for any other positions?

If the interviewee has been applying for other positions, is a good idea to see what types of positions they have applied for. Are the positions similar to your opening or totally different?

If you speak to a candidate who is applying for many different types of positions in many different fields it may give you an indication that the candidate does not really know what kind of job they want and are just seeing what’s out there.

24. Have you had any other interviews recently?

A great question if the interview has been going great and you want to know the type of competition your up against.

By probing for where the candidate has interviewed recently. You can establish better timeline on if you should act quickly and extend a job offer.

25. Do you have any questions for me?

If you pose this question to interviewees, the more interesting and more passionate ones will most likely have a wide variety of questions they wish to ask. 

The ones who are more thoughtful and are interested in the job will be the most likely ones to ask intelligent, informative questions which will enrich the interview process.

Interested in additional interview questions? Check our post link for a list of behavioral interview questions.

If you are about to have a second interview with a candidate, we list some significant questions you can ask during a second interview here

Strategic interview questions are also important when speaking with potential candidates.

As one of the leading engineering staffing agencies, we help employers recruit engineering, design, and IT Talent. Contact us about our Engineering recruiting services or IT staffing services

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