Best Questions to Ask an Interviewee during a job interview

When looking to fill critical vacancies it’s important to ask the right questions of the interviewee to get the best answers that will help you make more informed hiring decisions propelling your company in the right direction.

The job market right now is an ideal situation for a human resources department because of the influx of quality job seekers available due to recent massive layoffs in 2020.

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 in your conversations with the job seeker the enthusiasm that they have for the position and if they have a true desire for the role.

You could also review the experience they shared in their resume with the job position and ask them how they would react to specific situations. From this, you should be able to gauge if they are the right fit.

2. What steps do you take when making decisions?

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

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.

4. How would your colleagues describe you?

This question 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.

The ones who are really positive about their likeability will even go to the extent of explaining and highlighting the positive attributes which best describes them. 

The difficult job applicants will most likely crumble during this line of questioning and their negative demeanor will shut them out of the job selection process naturally.

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 through the candidate looking internally for what truly motivates them.

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

6. Name a work accomplishment that makes you proud?

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

Managers will save time on training interviewees if the needed skill sets are already in place.

This also gives the interviewee an opportunity to showcase some of their strongest qualities.

7. Why are you a fit for this opportunity?

You want to get a feel if the applicants have done serious preparation in getting to know the company they are seeking a job at.

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

Ideally in the interview, you will get to know if the interviewees and recognize their intent on being with the company for the long haul. This will speak about their loyalty to an organization.

8. Speak about some of your coworker relationships

Personalities on teams are different. This line of 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 company. 

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

Organizations move at different speeds from one another.

If an interviewee is used to 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.

This question will also reveal how they view work and their commitment to complete tasks as needed.

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 would be the best professionals to hire. 

During the time of Covid-19 employees that can work from home with little supervision if needed are the ones you should highly consider adding to your workforce.

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 is actually a sign of strength. 

A strong rebuttal of their shortcomings, a zest and willingness to prove themselves when they get hired is actually a good indication of a winning personality and of being an asset to a company.

12. What are your greatest strengths to a company?

The ability to be able 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 their 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.

Job interviewees who have undergone these trying times and have the ability to narrate the specific details effectively and clearly during the interview are more likely to gain your approval and recommendation for the job opening available.

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 job candidates show their respect for their current boss and company.

Having this type of scrutiny will give you a better idea of how these workers will also treat their supervisors and colleagues once they are hired in your organization. 

You don’t want to add employees to your team who are constantly complaining behind the management’s teams back and causing unrest with their fellow coworkers.

It is however a good idea to listen to these applicants’ side on matters that really deserve attention.

Often times interviewees have valid reasons for wanting to leave their current company because things like really low pay; the inability of their current employer to commit to promised fringe benefits and rewards when they reach a quota or goal; or discrimination for promotion based on favoritism. 

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.

On the other hand, there are applicants, based on their resume, who lack the skills and experience needed for a particular position. 

However, based on the interview, you have the feeling that they have the charisma that far outweighs their credentials and is perfect for that IT application engineering position.

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. 

However, if other deadlines start to creep up, I will try my best and make sure that any overlap will not affect the quality of my work for each assignment.

18. Describe your ideal workspace

Since this is a question that is open-ended and not answerable with yes or no, let the applicants take their time to describe to you how their work environment should be. 

If the vacancy at hand requires them to be in the field most of the time, and the applicant describes an office desk environment as their ideal workspace, then you may want to interview additional candidates.

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.

This question should be widened to how the current boss analyzes them when they are outside the office – how they talk about their family, about their goals in life, their hobbies, their retirement plans, etc. 

In this way, you will get a better idea of the whole persona of the candidate in and outside the office because hiring them would bring in their positive or negative attitude to the new company. 

20. Outline the process on how you set goals

Your best employees are generally driven and highly goal-oriented. This Question will help ensure the 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.

The type of person that can see the big picture and execute the companies vision, is a highly sought after individual indeed.

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 seeing what’s out there.

24. Have you had any other interviews recently?

If the interview has been going great you want to know the type of competition your up against.

By probing for where the have interview recently it will give you a 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. 

This is actually a good time and platform for worthy candidates to ask their most relevant questions relating to company objectives, work environment, daily work tasks, short term, and long term company goals as well as career growth.

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

Have positions you need help recruiting for in engineering, design, or IT? Reach out to Apollo Technical

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