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Hiring Made Simple: 80 Questions to Ask Potential Employees

Sep 14, 2021

There is plenty of interviewing advice available for recruiting managers. When you’re growing fast, moving at a breakneck pace, and sitting on many recruiting panels, interviewing might seem like a chore. However, it is essential to realize that hiring someone is a pricey and time-consuming commitment.

As a recruiting manager, you spend a lot of time and attention on the process. You know that hiring an inappropriate individual for an essential job can be a considerable nuisance. The recruiting process is often essential in creating the pace for the organization’s growth in the future. To help you, we’ve created a list of 80 questions to ask candidates during an interview.

Strictly Business Questions

It is critical to ensure that any potential recruits are a good match for your organization. So, in this first section, we’ll talk about topics that are relevant to the organization. These include corporate culture and the qualities you look for in your employees.

  1. What do you understand about this sector?
  2. Who do you think our competitors are?
  3. Do you know the name of our CEO?
  4. What makes our company appealing to you?
  5. Could you please walk us through your profile?
  6. Can you please explain these gaps in your cv?
  7. Why are you the best candidate for this position?
  8. Have you ever been a part of a group where one of the members isn’t completing their task? What was your initial response?
  9. In five years, where do you want yourself to be?
  10. Do you think you are over-qualified for this role?
  11. What characteristics define an excellent leader?
  12. Would you be ready to work nights, weekends, and holidays?
  13. Why are you quitting your current job?
  14. Describe an instance when your employer made a mistake. How did you deal with the situation?
  15. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned through a mistake?
  16. What methods do you use to keep yourself organized?
  17. Can you tell me about a moment when you went above and beyond at work?
  18. Can you tell me about your most recent blunder?
  19. Describe a moment when you and your employer disagreed.
  20. Tell me about a time when you faced a challenging task at work.
  21. What are your true feelings towards your previous manager?
  22. What has been the most satisfying experience so far in your career?
  23. Would you be open to traveling or relocating?
  24. What do you consider to be your ideal working environment?
  25. What nice things would your previous supervisor say about you?
  26. What would a dear friend say about you?
  27. How many hours do you typically work every week?
  28. Could you please tell me about your favorite website?
  29. Tell me about a time when you had to manage workplace conflicts.
  30. Do you like to be a leader or a follower?
  31. What is your biggest discomfort?
  32. What would you do if you discover that your employer was engaging in unlawful activity, such as tax evasion?
  33. What are your three best technical skills?
  34. What was the most recent project you handled, and how did it turn out?
  35. How would you manage a situation in which you were expected to accomplish numerous assignments before the end of the day, yet it was unlikely to complete them all?
  36. Do you prefer working alone or in a group?
  37. What is your approach to interacting with individuals that annoy you?
  38. When were you the happiest in your previous career?
  39. Have you ever been assigned a task that was too complex for you? What was your approach, and why did you make that choice?
  40. What would you do if your boss asked you to do stuff you opposed with?

It is critical to ask the questions listed above. They may appear basic and overused, yet they are always chosen for a good purpose. They demonstrate the candidate’s fundamental knowledge and abilities. Once you’ve grasped those principles, you may go on to more in-depth questions.

More importantly, you must be aware that the ideal candidate will not be excellent at everything. Asking a candidate what they think they aren’t strong at will help you know their professional expectation for themselves.

Questions about Goals and Aspirations

While it may appear to be a cliche, recognizing where a candidate wants to go may give valuable information. Even if an applicant cannot explain their professional objectives clearly, you can still gain some insights about them.

When an applicant has a clear objective in mind, you can see if the job post is right for them. Furthermore, if they have a long-term objective that does not appear to be aligned with the role, it would indeed be fair for you, as a hiring manager, to become concerned.

  1. What types of goals would you set for yourself if you were hired?
  2. What do you hope to achieve in your first 60 days on the job?
  3. How do you intend to develop yourself in the next year?
  4. How much do you want to earn in the next five years?
  5. In terms of career growth, how do you intend to advance?
  6. What would the title of your autobiography be, and why?
  7. Can you please tell me one thing you’re pursuing right now, and why is it essential?
  8. When you were just a child, what did you really want to be when you grew up?
  9. What are the five most essential aspects of your career to you?
  10. Who has had the most significant influence on your career?

Such inquiries will reveal whether or not they have a specific aim in mind. Applicants that can effectively articulate their objectives have considered where they are and how they plan to move forward. Indicating that they have a strategy, even if it is just a simple one, which sheds light on their objectives.

If you cannot assist a candidate at this time, evaluate your company’s ability to give chances. This can not only offer perspective into how to engage workers. It can also give feedback on what today’s prospects genuinely desire.

Questions about Productivity and Priorities

Because we all handle our duties differently, this is a beautiful learning moment to observe how your future staff manage their workloads. Whereas it may seem natural to you, it is critical to question how your applicants feel about their performance. You also need to understand how they evaluate and prioritize their responsibilities.

  1. What personal qualities help you perform your work well?
  2. What talents do you have that you feel we might put to better use?
  3. What kind of job feels easy to you?
  4. What do you consider to be your significant flaws so far?
  5. What amazed you the most about working at your former company?
  6. What two or three areas will you concentrate on in the upcoming month to help you continue to develop?
  7. How would you rank your past work performance?
  8. Which aspects of your profession do you like the most? Which do you find the least enjoyable?
  9. What do you want your future role to be at this organization? What changes would your responsibility involve?
  10. What objectives did you achieve? What objectives were not met?
  11. What are your preferred working circumstances for maximum productivity?
  12. Do you believe your talents are being utilized to their full potential here?
  13. Do you have any significant obstacles? What might I do to assist you if I were your boss?
  14. Can you tell me what you’d want to spend more time on? What are you hoping to spend less time on?
  15. How do you organize your week?
  16. How can you tell whether you’ve had a productive week? And what would you do if you didn’t have a productive week?
  17. Are there any applications, tools, or services you believe you might use to increase your productivity?
  18. In your previous job, how much time did you spend in meetings vs performing real work?
  19. What is the worst-case situation that you are concerned about?
  20. In your prior position, what did a good day at work look like, and why?

When asking questions regarding productivity and priorities, you should demonstrate great enthusiasm. You have to gauge the candidate’s capacity to accomplish what is expected and classify their tasks in the most suitable way. This is to see if there is anything you can draw from their method.

Many managers have difficulty convincing their candidates to comprehend and match their objectives. This is why you must communicate your thoughts on the organization’s primary goals. This will help ensure that your and their perspectives on what is truly important are aligned.

Explain your primary objectives. Invite the applicant to offer their thoughts on what they can do effectively. You may also choose a significant problem that your company is experiencing related to their potential job. Ask to collaborate with them to solve it. It will assist you in determining their work ethic and personal objectives.

Just for Fun Questions

A job interview does not necessarily have to be nerve-racking and challenging. Developing a connection and a level of trust between the candidate and the company is critical to interview success. Thus, by using icebreaker interview questions, you will aid in relieving the candidate. This also allows you to highlight your organization’s easygoing side.

  1. What is your all-time favorite movie? And with which of the characters do you associate the most?
  2. What kinds of vacations do you enjoy?
  3. What is the one thing you never leave your house without?
  4. Do you even have a hidden skillset? What exactly is it?
  5. What superpower would you pick if you could?
  6. What is one completely illogical fear you have?
  7. Which state in the United States would you eliminate if you could, and why?
  8. Which three applications would you install on your device if you could only have three?
  9. What type of trend do you want to see return?
  10. Which imaginary location would you like to visit the most?

Using one of the questions mentioned earlier to begin an interview may be fun. These questions have no right or wrong answers; they are simply a way to get better to know your applicants.

Furthermore, the most widely recognized challenge with interviews is that candidates train their thoughts to reply with a set of planned responses. For hiring managers, that might appear monotonous. On the other hand, the above questions will make applicants giggle and allow them to express their unique viewpoints.

Final Thoughts

It is hiring the right candidate entails understanding what qualities and attributes to seek for. It may be tempting to forgo the process, but doing so might lead to issues later on.

You may be anxious to fill a particular job in your company, but don’t jump right into it. Trying to recruit somebody as soon as possible can create problems. It raises the probability that you’ll end up with a person who is unfit for the role.

If you’re still in the early stages of a company, it’s critical to be open and honest with prospective employees about the path ahead. Being transparent will allow prospects to determine whether or not they are a suitable fit, and those that are unlikely to thrive generally drop out of the phase.

Remember that the questions you need to ask may vary depending on your sector and the open position. The list above is a great starting point. It will assist you in your role as a hiring manager.

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