Let’s face it, job interviews are an awkward experience for the people on both sides of the table. But it’s still a critical stage in the hiring process. As an interviewer, you have to use the time to find out if the candidate has what it takes to effectively do the job.
Instead of asking the same old job interview questions, try asking questions deserving of interesting answers. Candidates have been asked the standard questions before and have formed standard responses. Questions that make them think bring out natural answers. That makes the conversation more insightful and less awkward.
In this guide, we’ve put together 25 great questions you can bring into the interview room.
Motivational interview questions
Motivational questions give the candidate the opportunity to talk about their career goals and explain what they want in a job. Typical motivational interview questions include “Why do you want to work for our company” or “Where do you see yourself in five years.” Those questions are fine to ask but here are few more that can help you understand what drives a candidate:
- How do you chose what companies and roles to apply to?
- Describe your ideal job and company to work for?
- If you’re offered more than one job, how will you decide which one to accept?
- Do you want to become a manager, leader or executive in our company?
- What kind of work would make you excited to get out of bed on Monday morning?
Emotional intelligence interview questions
Emotional intelligence questions give you an idea of how a candidate will deal with the challenges of the role and insight into their personality. But if you ask someone about their strengths and weaknesses, they’ll naturally focus on what they’re good at. Asking the questions below can give you a solid understanding of how someone will navigate the challenges the role presents.
- Do you believe it’s more important to work fast or get the job done right?
- If you had multiple projects and limited time, how would you go about managing your priorities?
- How do you think your previous managers/coworkers would describe working with you?
- How do you think your family and friends would describe you?
- How do you deal with different personalities in the workplace?
- How do you feel when someone criticizes your work?
- Who are your role models and mentors?
- Tell me about something you struggled with early in your career and how you overcame it.
- Your friend’s birthday is coming up. Tell me how you go about picking out a gift for them.
- What personal or professional mistakes have you’ve learned the most from?
Situational and behavioral interview questions
Situational questions and behavioral help you understand how a candidate works through specific examples. They can be hypothetical or set the candidate up to share actually situations they’ve experienced. Asking a candidate about a challenge they’ve experienced in the past isn’t a bad question but these can be a bit more interesting.
- Tell me about a time you were the hero in your workplace.
- Describe a time when you weren’t pleased with your work and why?
- What personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
- If you were our CEO, what’s the first thing you would do?
- How would you pitch our product/service to a person you meet on the street? (This is a standard question for a sales role but can be particularly interesting to ask a non-sales candidate).
Skill assessment interview questions
Skill assessment questions help you learn if the candidate has the ability to do the job. You might need a candidate to complete an exercise or test for some roles but these types of questions can give you an idea of how they think and view their skill set.
- How do you think our product, website, customer service, etc. can be improved?
- Where do you believe our industry/profession will be in 5 or 10 years?
- If you get the job, what do you hope to accomplish in your first week, month and year?
- What has been your biggest challenge with X technology and how did you resolve it?
- What are your favorite industry websites, books or other resources?
Job interviews are your best opportunity to get to know a candidate and determine if they’re the person you’re looking for. So don’t squander it. Ask good questions that set the candidate up to express who they are.
Interviews are only one step in the hiring process. Download our free eBook “prePARE: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hiring” to learn the modern roadmap for hiring.