Killer interview questions for drawing out authentic responses from candidates
You have wrapped up your first round of interview questions with the interviewees and several seem like a fit. Now its time to ask questions that dig a bit deeper in the second round of interviews.
Try out this list of second-round interview questions with the next job candidate you interview.
Do you wish to revisit anything from the first interview?
Many times after interviews candidates regret an answer they made to a question during the first interview. Give them a chance to explain their line of thinking or completely revise a previous answer they gave.
Getting this question out of the way early will put the candidate at ease especially if they’d been dwelling on an answer from the previous interview.
This will allow them to focus on your second round of interview questions.
What have you done to help someone succeed at work?
Can they recall a situation quickly or do they stumble and seem like their making something up?
This question will help you discover if they are a team player with a vested interest in helping others to achieve overall company goals.
What should our company be doing better?
It’s true they don’t know the inner workings of your company but pointing out something that could be improved is shows initiative and time spent researching your company.
Have you ever not gotten along with coworkers?
A behavioral interview-type question that can reveal their methods for dealing with conflict resolution and if they make mountains out of molehills.
What skills make you a fit for this position?
The answer they provide will reveal if they can raise the effectiveness of the team they would be working with as well as if they understand the skills necessary for the role.
What is your management style preference?
This line of questioning will give insight into the type of managerial style they prefer working for and if it matches your current manager’s personality type and workflow.
Remember just because they may prefer a laid back management style doesn’t mean they wouldn’t succeed under a more demanding type of manager.
What interests you about our industry and why?
This answer should be easy to give if the candidate has done their homework. Great candidates will have researched the industry heavily at this point if they have not already worked in your specific niche.
Do they show genuine interest? Or does it seem they are just telling you what you want to hear?
Hopefully, depending on their answer you will be able to read between the lines and weed out any candidate that is just looking for a paycheck and will move on the first chance they get.
Describe yourself in one sentence
Pay close attention to the characteristics they use to describe themselves. Do what they describe seem like a fit for your culture, team, and overall company goals?
Elaborate on your ideal next role
This will question helps extract what type of role the candidate is really after and if it aligns with the opening they are interviewing for and if they have the right enthusiasm for the job.
What type of impact did you make at your last job?
You can gain insight into the candidate’s way of thinking, by learning if they are more process-oriented, people-oriented, or results-oriented.
Perhaps they describe a system they created and put in place to order to achieve company goals in a process-oriented fashion.
Do they use numbers and data to describe their impact in a results-oriented fashion? Or are they more people-oriented describing how the company and team have grown as a whole?
What was the last movie that made you a little emotional?
Some people will tell you about a tear-jerker such as Forest Gump or A Walk to Remember, others will say they don’t watch movies, a few will just rattle off the last movie they saw whether it was emotional or not.
Then there are those who will share something truly insightful about a movie that touched them and speak passionately about it making themselves vulnerable by sharing in this way.
Candidates that can show vulnerability in this way can become some of the most engaging and communicative employees you have.
If you had been the manager at your last position what would you change?
A great 2nd interview question to get a sense for the type of leadership qualities the potential employee possesses, do they praise their former manager, or do they focus on the negative.
Our business is experiencing [Insert Problem] How would you solve it?
This gives the interviewee a chance to put their problem-solving skills on display and who knows they might just solve the problem you’re having right then.
Tell me about a time where you failed repeatedly and what it taught you?
This a great question to see the type of character the candidate possesses. Does the potential employee have the confidence to share something personal about themselves?
If they give a short vanilla answer, ask them about a second failure they had, if they can’t admit to failing, they may lack self-confidence or it may reveal they have never taken risks.
Did they purposely stay away from challenging themselves? Do they have the resilience to try new approaches to succeed or do they give up too quickly when challenges arise?
What is a question I should have asked you but haven’t?
This gives the candidate an opportunity to showcase anything you may have missed during the interview process so far and gives them one final opportunity to set themselves apart from the competition.
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