Interview tips for the employer

Interview Questions

There are many questions that you may ask the candidate during the interview. Following are some suggestions that will help you get to the heart of the candidate’s skills, ability to work well within your organization’s culture, and interest in the position.

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Icebreakers: Begin with a few questions to put the candidate at ease before delving into more pointed questions.

  • Did you have any trouble finding our office?
  • Before we start, would you like a cup of coffee or glass of ice water?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • How did you learn about the position?

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Traditional Questions: As these are relatively standard questions, a candidate will likely have prepared responses to them. These questions are best asked in the early phase of the interview.

  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are two areas that you would say you need improvement in?
  • What compelled you to apply for this position?
  • Why do you want to work for us?

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Situational Questions: Discover how the candidate would handle a variety of job-related situations and the process behind the action.

  • How would you deal with an irate customer?
  • If we were to hire you, what is the first thing you would do?
  • How do you deal with stress and frustration on the job?
  • What types of pressures have you encountered in your present or previous jobs?

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Behavior-Based Questions: These questions will provide insight on how the candidate will handle difficult situations.

  • Tell me about a crisis you could have prevented. Did you do anything differently after the crisis had passed?
  • How did you handle a recent crisis? How would you have handled it differently, had you been given more time to think before acting?

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Leadership-Related Questions: Although geared primarily for those in management or team-leader positions, these questions may also be reworded to fit all levels of candidates.

  • How would you describe your leadership style?
  • What steps do you take in order to have everyone come to an agreement?
  • How do you set an example for your employees?
  • What type of leader would your employees say you are?
  • Can you describe a time when you were able to motivate others to get the desired results?

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Goal-Related Questions: These questions will help you assess if the position aligns with the candidate’s future goals.

  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • How does this job fit in with your career goals?
  • What was your most important accomplishment thus far in your career?
  • What would you like to accomplish if you had this job?
  • What characteristics and abilities do you feel are most important to be successful?

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Culture-Fit Questions: The work environment and culture of each organization is unique. These questions will help you determine if the candidate will perform well within your company’s structure and department/team.

  • Describe a typical day in your current or previous job. What gave you the greatest feeling of achievement in your last job? Why was this so satisfying?
  • Why did you choose this type of work?
  • What motivates you to work hard? Ask the candidate to provide examples.
  • What aspects of your work experience have most prepared you for this job?
  • How much supervision do you receive in your present or previous job?
  • Why are you leaving your present job? (Why did you leave your previous job?)
  • What is important to you in a company?


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