Interviews are a crucial step in the hiring process, but are you really using them to your advantage? Asking the right questions will ensure you have the information you need to make the best hiring decision, but your interview questions must go beyond the standard questions most job candidates have learned to expect.
Typical interview questions like, “What are your career goals?” and “What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?” are still important ones to ask, but we can bet most job seekers already have a set of memorized answers for these standard questions. To get more insight on your candidate, you need to include some carefully prepared questions that align with your interview type and interview goals.
Here we’ve identified a few key areas you could focus your questions for your next interview:
You probably plan to ask questions about specific role-related tasks to confirm the candidate’s skill sets. But to avoid simple “yes” or “no” answers, ask questions that lend themselves to more detailed, storytelling responses.
Industry Knowledge & Expertise
In addition to job-specific questions, give the candidate a chance to show off what they know about your industry. Answers to these types of questions can help you gauge genuine interest in the work they could be doing as well as forward-thinking abilities.
Job Structure & Work Style
Some jobs are more structured than others. These questions can help you determine if the job structure and company pace align with the candidate’s preferred work style.
Assessing culture fit will allow you to look beyond the candidates’ experience and qualifications to determine if attitudes, work ethic and workplace values align with your company.
Everyday you’re faced with demanding projects and time constraints. And with stacks of resumes to sift through, it can be difficult to thoughtfully evaluate all the incoming applicants. Asking assessment questions and collecting written responses from job seekers during the application process, also known as a “Virtual Interview,” can streamline your initial evaluation.
Oftentimes a phone screen is one of the first steps in the interview process. You can use the screening to determine if the candidate's experience aligns with the position, but you can also ask questions to see if the applicant would be a good fit for the company in the long term.
The on-site interview is your opportunity to see your candidates in action and observe how they respond to your questions. Do they take their time to develop a response before answering? Do they seem excited and visually engaged during an in-person interview? Asking thought-provoking questions during this step in the hiring process can open your candidate up to share more intriguing insights.
In many cases, the person you hire will be working in groups or with other people at some points during the job. For these types of roles, a panel or group interview is a great way for multiple stakeholders to learn more about a potential co-worker.
High-Level Position Interview
If you're interviewing top candidates for a high-level position, you need to be sure you're hiring the very best. You need to know how they're going to perform, how they work and how they’ll be able to tackle strategic problems within the organization.
Once you’ve figured out the type of interview you’re going to conduct and the types of insight you’re trying to get, it’s time to figure out the right questions to ask. That’s where our latest eBook comes in—we’ve identified 100 questions encompassing each of these interview focus areas to help you get more valuable information about your candidate. With the help of these questions and any others you may ask, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect new hire for your company.
Click here to download the eBook, “100 Interview Questions You Didn’t Think to Ask,” to start picking the right questions to ask in your next interview.