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.
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?
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
- What compelled you to apply for this position?
- Why do you want to work for us?
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
- How do you deal with stress and frustration on the job?
- What types of pressures have you encountered in your
present or previous jobs?
Behavior-Based Questions: These questions
will provide insight on how the candidate will handle difficult
- 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?
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
- 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?
Goal-Related Questions: These questions will
help you assess if the position aligns with the candidate’s
- 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
- What would you like to accomplish if you had this job?
- What characteristics and abilities do you feel are most
important to be successful?
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
- What aspects of your work experience have most prepared
you for this job?
- How much supervision do you receive in your present or
- Why are you leaving your present job? (Why did you leave
your previous job?)
- What is important to you in a company?