10 Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates

Deciding on the right person for the job is tough. Make the most of your interviews with questions that can bring about insightful responses. We’ve crafted a list of questions guaranteed to generate responses that can make your decision easier.

1. What do you know about our company?

This question gives applicants an opportunity to share what they know about your business and how they envision fitting in. Motivated candidates who are serious about the role up for grabs will do their research. They want to ensure a good fit just as much as you do.

2. Why are you leaving your current company?

The answer to this question can be particularly helpful when it comes to deciding on who makes the final cut. Not only can you get a better understanding of the candidate’s professional history, but you can also catch potential red flags. Endless complaining or blame games might compel you to pass and consider other candidates.

3. Do you work best alone or on a team?

Some people are more productive when they can work alone and uninterrupted, while others enjoy a more collaborative, flexible environment. Consider the response to this question in relation to the day-to-day functions of the open role.

4. How would your co-workers describe you?

This question can shed light on a candidate’s personality traits. Home in on the adjectives you hear:

  • Friendly
  • Professional
  • Funny

Consider the attributes of the candidate and whether those traits will complement, or clash, with the attributes of surrounding team members.

5. Can you describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it?

We’ve all experienced challenges at work; it’s inevitable. What’s significant about the answer to this question is the approach to a solution. What did the candidate do to actively address the situation?

6. What are your long-term career goals?

Listen closely:

  • Do the goals of the candidate reflect your company’s goals and core values? An alignment here could be helpful in identifying a culture fit.
  • Does the candidate have aspirations that can’t be achieved within your company? That could signal the candidate doesn’t plan on staying around long.

7. Can you describe your ideal role?

Is the candidate ultimately seeking money, opportunities for advancement, a better work-life balance? Think big picture, and ask yourself if the expectations and requirements of the open role align with the candidate’s description of a dream job.

8. What’s one of the most interesting projects you’ve working on?

The answer to this question can help you determine whether the candidate may find the open role professionally satisfying. Look for alignment between the tasks involved in the candidate’s favorite project and the tasks required to be successful in the open role.

9. What are your hobbies?

In an attempt to get to know someone, it can be helpful to know how he or she chooses to spend time outside of the office.

10. Do you have any questions for me?

While it is possible you covered all potential questions if your meeting was lengthy, most motivated candidates will have a few final questions.

Walk into your next interview prepared to make your hiring decision easier. Ask well-crafted questions that can garner valuable responses, and in turn, useful insight into whether a given candidate is the right fit.