Hiring the right employees is key to the success of your business. So you should definitely take the hiring process seriously. Unfortunately, when it comes to conducting interviews, there’s often a tendency to simply play it by ear. (We get it, you have a billion other things to do.) However, if you really want to be sure you’re making the best hiring decision, you should always take some time to prepare for the interview process (maybe just as much as the candidate).
To do this, you need to come to the interview with a list of great interview questions in mind. The primary goal of your questions should be to assess whether the candidate has the experience, skills and attitude needed for the job. If the position requires a motivated go-getter (especially if you hope they’ll eventually grow to take on more), you should ask questions that get at overall drive and goals. And if the role requires lots of problem-solving (like managing the always-shifting schedules of other employees), make sure to ask questions that give you a clear picture of how the person handles tricky situations.
While the type of questions will undoubtedly vary from position to position, here’s a list of interview questions that many HR managers cite as particularly helpful in assessing new hires:
- How would you make a meaningful contribution to this business?
- What motivates you?
- In which type of work environment do you thrive?
- What type of work environment hampers you down?
- Who was the best manager you ever had? Why?
- If I were to contact your references, what do you think they’d say about you?
- If you could start from scratch, what would you have done differently in your career?
- What’s the toughest work situation you’ve ever been in? How did you resolve it?
- What’s your work style? How do you collaborate with others?
- What interested you about this position and this company?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What are the three most important skills or traits you’d bring to this job?
- How would your past colleagues describe you and their interactions with you?
- Where do you see yourself a year from now? Three? Five?
Ask these questions, and you’ll come away with a better understanding of what the candidate is all about. Of course, she or he also needs the hard skills to do the job — but asking “softer” questions like these is just as important.