Having a general outline of the types of questions to ask a potential employee is a MUST for an effective and organized interview process.
Questions that require only a “yes” or “no” answer will do you little to no good, and won’t reveal much information – but how do you know which questions will offer the most insight? All interview questions are not created equal, so know what types of questions will benefit you most before meeting your candidates.
Don’t dismiss the importance of a few introductory questions that get the ball rolling. Simple questions such as: “Tell me about yourself?” “What are your hobbies?” “How did you hear about our company?” will tell you a great deal about a potential employee (if you know what to look for!). A good answer to these questions will reveal many personality traits that can directly (and indirectly) effect potential performance. As you listen to the candidate’s carefully crafted answers, ask yourself: “Is he or she active and engaged?” “Does he or she seem confidant and at ease” or “Is he or she unfocused and negative?”
As you slowly turn the conversation onto more substantial topics, try shifting the focus to teamwork questions. On a day-to-day basis, most positions require teamwork. Questions such as, "Tell me about a time when you worked with others to accomplish a task?" are essential for finding future managerial talent. The answer to this question will reveal if the candidate is a leader, how he or she delegated and/or followed instructions and if he or she has a proven track record of meeting deadlines.
Handling Conflict Questions
If you have more than one competing personality in any given situation, there will be conflict. It’s a natural part of day-to-day life – but the real test is: how you handle conflict in these situations? As an employer, you want to ask questions such as: “Does the candidate become aggressive when challenged, or does he or she remain avoidant?” “Is the applicant open to compromising, or does he or she follow orders?” “Does he or she insist things be done his or her own way?” Keep in mind – there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. It all depends on the type of person you are looking to fill a particular role. The main goal is to consider which qualities you need in a new hire that will compliment your existing team.
“Do you have any questions for me?” is the most powerful question to ask in any interview. This question will reveal a lot about a candidate’s particular interest level and whether or not he or she actually prepared for the interview. Candidates should always take a healthy interest in their future place of work. If the candidate has no questions or the questions seem to have come straight from Google, he or she may just be looking for the paycheck.
Use these questions as a general guide and you will be on your way to finding the best fit for your organization. For more help with finding the best interview questions, download our eBook: 100 Interview Questions You Didn’t Think to Ask.