Hiring the wrong person can cost your business a lot of time and money. That’s why it’s imperative that you do your due diligence during the interview and hiring process. The quickest way to find the most qualified candidate is to be prepared with the right interview questions and be on the lookout for the right answers.
Keep your introduction brief – give the candidate an overview of the company, the position, and the team structure, but don’t take longer than five minutes to do so. Then, jump right into your questioning.
Describe a challenging situation you’ve encountered and how you dealt with it. What was the outcome?
What you're looking for: By having the candidate describe an actual scenario, you will be able to gauge how well this person communicates, problem solves, and handles stress.
Tell me about one of your biggest accomplishments so far in your career. Why was this important to you? How did you achieve this goal?
What you're looking for: This type of questioning gives insight into how motivated and enthusiastic this person is about his or her career. It also lets you know what this candidate finds to be an important aspect of his or her job.
What is your ideal work environment? In what type of atmosphere do you thrive?
What you're looking for: You want to find out if this person will fit in with your company culture. For example, you won’t want to hire someone who prefers a quiet isolated space if your office is more collaborative and communicative. You also want to be sure you can accommodate this person’s preferred workspace.
What type of management style do you feel allows you to perform at your best?
What you're looking for: You want to learn that your future employee is a self-starter who doesn’t need a ton of handholding, but who also can take direction and constructive criticism from higher ups. You could also take this question further and ask how he or she works with his or her current manager, and to identify some pros and cons of that management style.
Why are you leaving your current employer?
What you're looking for: This is kind of a tricky question, but could also be revealing. You want the person to be honest, but also professional. Looking for professional growth, new challenges, or increased responsibility are all answers that indicate tact, professionalism, and drive to succeed. It can also let you know if his or her wants and needs align with yours.
Tell me the top three skills you possess that make you the most qualified for this position.
What you're looking for: This is a pretty straightforward one – you want to know if this person capable of performing the job for which he or she is applying. Before asking this, you should take some time to think about the top three skills you are looking for, as well, to make sure they match up.
Why are you interested in this position?
What you're looking for: Learn more about the candidate’s goals, motivation, and his or her level of interest in the position. You’ll also be able to get a sense of how much this person knows about the position and the company as a whole.
What is your process for getting work done? How do you approach a new assignment or task?
What you're looking for: This answer can let you know how logical and methodical a candidate is when working toward his or her goals. You’ll find out if he or she is organized and a good planner. You might also learn how this person handles jobs that run off course or don’t necessarily go as planned.
How would your current colleagues and managers describe you?
What you're looking for: No matter how skilled a person may be, it is always important to know that he or she can work well with colleagues. Conflicts arise all the time in any business – how well does this person communicate and handle his or her demeanor and tone when working with others? Is this person generally pleasant to be around 40+ hours a week?
What do you like to do outside of work?
What you're looking for: It’s always nice to learn a bit about your potential colleague on a personal level. You might find out something interesting about this person that sheds them in a positive light. It’s also good to know if his or her personal interests pertain to the position in any way. This is always a good way to end your line of questioning on a positive note, making the candidate feel more at ease.
Allow time for the candidate to ask questions as well, and be sure to answer them thoroughly. You don’t have to ask all of these questions during an interview – you might ask a few and feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. Preparation is key to finding the best person for the job.
Want to love Mondays? It’s possible when you love what you do. Paradigm is a San Diego staffing agency dedicated to finding the perfect job for candidates like you. We’re connected with some of the most innovative tech companies around, giving our employees that competitive edge needed in today’s job market. We hope to hear from you today, and let's make your career goals happen.