The kind of words one chooses can reveal a great deal about them. But how a person conveys his/her message is something that can help you judge their character, intelligence, skills, strengths, weaknesses, etc., most accurately. A CV can only give you an outline of all that a candidate is and not what he/she is capable of. That’s what interviews are for. As a hiring manager, you will agree that there’s only so much that a CV can tell you about a candidate.
To be able to decipher the person behind a CV is only possible over an interview. Every hiring manager has a set of his/her personal favorite questions but the best interview questions are those that help you picture a candidate doing the job very well in the future. For that, you need to rack your brains and first understand the exact requirements of the role you are hiring for and then ask yourself whether your standard set of interview questions are revealing the truth about your candidates. While it is important that you come up with your own set of question, to help you save time we have also put together a list of 11 interview questions you must ask your candidates, in addition to the usual questions, that will help you in judging which one of them fit the bill.
Also read – Secrets to Hire Great Employees
11 Interview Questions asked by Hiring Managers
1. Tell me about yourself.
Asking this type of an open-ended question is the perfect way to start your interview. It helps you break the ice and put the candidate at ease. Though it is easy to talk about yourself and most candidates tell only what is written in their CV still it gives you the opportunity to judge basic things about them like communication skills, language fluency, and confidence.
2. Tell me about the greatest accomplishment in your career so far.
Everyone has their own definition of success and their definition keeps changing as they grow in their career. Put the level of position held by and a number of years of experience possessed as a base to judge an applicant’s answer to this question. It will tell you a lot about his/her values, what he/she considers important and their reason behind the same.
3. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
This question will help you discover your candidate’s motivations. It is important to ask this question as the answers you receive will help you determine whether the opportunity presented by you are a good fit for the candidate or not. Will the currently vacant position keeps the candidate engaged and interested at least for the next five years or will they move out or outgrow your company quickly?
4. What is it that prompted you to apply for this job? What’s so interesting about this position for you?
Everybody has a motive behind changing a job and it is important that you are aware of your candidate’s motive and see whether it is the right motive for your job or not. Their answers can reveal if it is the kind of work, position or just money that the candidate is interested in.
5. Tell me about a situation where you did something professionally and succeeded at, but as an experience wouldn’t want to go through ever again?
This is a great question to ask if you are looking to hire somebody for a managerial or higher position. Off course, somebody with little experience wouldn’t have anything to say. But a person with a lot of experience may have at the certain point of time faced such as situation. Their answers will help you understand what it is that gets on their nerves or makes them unhappy in their professional life. You can put their answers into three categories – menial jobs, difficult tasks or team related. Whichever category the answer falls under and the reasons behind them can reveal a great deal about your candidate.
6. What are the 3 most important attributes/skills that you believe you would add to our team?
This will help you gain a clear insight into the candidate’s character/skill set and their definition of the same. This will also give an idea how well the candidate has been able to understand the role you are hiring for.
7. Tell me about a time in your career when you failed to deliver what was expected out of you.
This question can be asked regardless of somebody’s level of experience. As humans we are bound to make mistakes and asking this question can help you understand how self-aware your candidate is. Their answers will tell you whether they are capable of taking ownership of their mess, share the ownership of other’s mess or hold others accountable completely for something that didn’t go right.
8. If a poll was to be conducted amongst everyone you’ve worked with, what percent you think would not be a fan of yours? What would be their reasons for not liking you?
At work, it is not possible to please everyone all the time. The answer to this question will help you find out whether your candidate believes in doing the right thing or alters his/her decision to please everyone simply to avoid unpleasantness. It will also reveal to you whether the candidate has the ability to put himself in other people’s shoes to gain some perspective on how he is being perceived and how well he can take criticism.
9. Why do you think that you would be a perfect fit for this position?
This question will help you understand how well your candidate can handle objections. Objections are the most common when you have to work in a team or deal with customers. Your candidate’s answer will tell you how confident and self-assured he/she really is when it comes to his skills and capabilities. Their answers will also reveal how well did they prepare for the interview. Did they put in any effort in understanding the role they have applied for or did any research on the company they have applied for the job at?
10. What is it that scares you the most in life?
The myriad answers you will get to this question will fascinate you. People can have weird fears in life. But that’s not important. What’s important is how they perceive their fears and whether they succumb to their fears or not. How projects and businesses turn out over a period of time can’t be judged all the time. You need a go-getter who will not run away from difficulties instead rise above them to work towards finding solutions.
11. Do you have any questions for us?
This is the perfect way to end the interview as it allows you to turn the tables and prompt the candidate to interview you. Not only does it exhibit your company’s culture of promoting open dialogue, but also lets you know whether the candidate is actually interested in the job or not.
A Concluding Tip:
You can prepare your own database of interview questions with answers given by your shortlisted candidates as a reference to go back and judge how well you could understand the candidate by comparing his performance after getting hired against the answers given by him/her.
This will help you understand the effectiveness of the questions being asked by you. Based on this you can decide which questions to include in an interview and which you can get rid of.
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