1. What’s the most exciting work you have done? What did you enjoy most?
Ask a question designed to relax the applicant. When applicants are comfortable with interviewers, they may be more open and are likely to reveal more. Answers to these two questions may also give you clues to an applicant’s behavior/ performance style.
2. What would your recent supervisors tell us about your job-related weaknesses or problems?
Do not be afraid to ask questions that cause some stress for the applicant – especially if the job requires dealing with stress.
3. What about you, your work and life experiences would help us believe that you will perform well in this position?
Make sure the applicant understands not only the job, but also fits the work style of the role. For example, is the position better suited for an introvert or extravert? Is the work stable and predictable, or does it vary from day to day?
4. Think about your three most recent jobs. Where could you have improved in your performance and skills? In what areas did you excel?
Ask questions designed to give clues to an applicant’s attitude toward work, work ethic and willingness to do the job.
5. Tell me about the strengths and weaknesses of your previous supervisors.
Ask questions designed to give you clues into the applicant’s attitude toward co-workers and supervisors, as well as the applicant’s likelihood of getting along with others on the job. Listen for criticisms of previous supervisors and managers, and for criticisms of previous workplaces. A pattern of past unhappy relationships can be a prediction of continued unhappy relationships in new jobs.
Set your employees and your applicants up for success by making sure interview candidates are a good fit for the company on the front end. As an author and speaker, Simon Sinek says, “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”
Still want more? Read “Potential Interview Questions to Ask a Candidate” for a list of questions to guide you in the right direction.