Despite the recent debate over the effectiveness of job interviews, it doesn’t seem that the standard interview process is going away anytime soon. So how do you ask the right questions that reveal a candidate’s true potential?
We took that question straight to the experts. Here are the top interview questions eleven HR professionals always make sure to ask.
1. Why should I hire you?
Mary Lanier-Evans, People & Culture Officer
This question goes beyond textbook strengths and weaknesses, and asks the candidate to explain how his or her unique skillset would contribute to the role and the company.
2. How do you see yourself contributing to our company's culture?
Jackson Stodgel, Human Resources Coordinator
Cultural fit has become increasingly important to employee engagement. This question gauges the candidate’s understanding of your company’s existing culture and also helps you envision how he or she might fit in.
3. What gets you out of bed every morning? What motivates you?
Ashley Crill, Director of Human Resources
You want to find out what inspires a candidate and motivates them to work hard. Knowing what drives the candidate is a predictor of future success.
4. Describe the manager and management style that gets the best work from you.
Amanda Qualls, Director of Human Resources
It’s important to evaluate if the team and hiring manager will be able to elicit the best work from the candidate if hired.
5. What is the culture like at your current company? What is your leadership style?
Brittney Braganza, Senior HR Assistant
Taking the temperature on a candidate’s current role can give insight into what kind of a work environment the candidate thrives in and how he or she works with others in an organization.
6. What does working at a startup mean to you?
Alexa Lippman, Human Resources Director
It’s critical to ask candidates about your particular company industry, size, etc. to ensure the candidate understands the unique demands of your business. If you’re company isn’t a startup, you could insert any other descriptor here!
7. How long would it take for you to respond to our offer? Would you be able to accept an offer this week?
Asha Mungara, HR and Compliance Director
This question gives an idea of the factors involved in a candidate’s decision. For example, perhaps the candidate needs to consult his or her family, already has offers on the table, or isn’t able to leave a current role just yet.
8. What is your 'hot button'? What makes you mad?
Yvonne Reinke, VP of HR
Interviews show candidates at their most polished, but asking this question can help you get a sense of how candidates might handle situations that don’t go their way.
9. What interested you about your prior company? What interests you about our company?
Christina Harris, HR Manager
Each employee has a unique career path. This question digs into what attracted them to prior roles—as well as what makes your current role a good fit right now.
10. Why do you consider yourself a suitable candidate for this position?
Jelena Basaric, HR Manager
You want to hear exactly why candidates think they are the right fit for this role and what they want to contribute. Using their response, refer back to the job description to see how well they mesh with the goals of the hiring manager.
11. Tell me what inspired you to apply to this company.
Linda Paul, VP, Team Development
Passion for the company’s mission is important in selecting a candidate. If he or she is looking for any job, it most likely won’t be the right fit. Hiring someone who specifically wants to work for your company increases the likelihood that he or she will stay long-term.
Employee culture, engagement, and retention all benefit from better hiring practices. Asking the right questions is fundamental to recruiting top talent that will thrive in your company’s unique work environment. Here’s to your interviewing successes!