When interviewing candidates, not every question is created equal. If you’re referencing an outdated list of interview questions that you found on the internet, you’re doing yourself (and your candidates) a disservice. A focused list of purposeful questions can reveal a lot about a candidate and how they’ll fit into your open position.
These questions typically begin with, “tell me about a time…” Your aim is to have the candidate explain past situations and how they handled them. Try to customize the question to accurately represent situations they would encounter if they were to join your team. Here are some of our favorites:
- Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
- Tell us about a time when you did not meet a customer’s expectations. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
- When you’re working with a large number of customers, it can be difficult to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?
- Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?
- Explain a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities.
- Tell us about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it was a hit.
- Describe your proudest professional accomplishment.
Questions that directly relate to a candidate’s resume and experience will always reveal a lot about them and how they’ll function at your company. Try asking them to expand on statistics listed on their resume. Additionally, choose projects they’ve worked on that are especially pertinent to the role they’re interviewing for and ask them to elaborate.
We encourage you to continue asking personalized interview questions throughout your entire meeting. If something a candidate says sparks your interest, don’t be afraid to follow up and ask for more information.
Every company and every team has unique situations that your employees run into. Be sure to ask your candidates real-world application questions that could be a part of their everyday life if they secure this job. Maybe there’s a project that your team is currently brainstorming. Ask the candidate about their ideas or how they would approach that particular situation.