4 Interview Questions You Should Be Asking Every Job Candidate

top interview questions for a job candidate

The interview questions you ask job candidates can provide an inside look into a candidate’s personality and true motivations for wanting a job at your company. As a result, you should carefully consider the interview questions you ask, and ensure those questions are asked of every candidate you speak with.

Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson

“Consistency in the interview process is a best practice we’ve seen among high-performing clubs,” said Adam Robinson, the CEO and co-founder of Hireology. “We strongly urge managers to follow a structured interview guide. Consistency is key when you’re interviewing candidates because, as a hiring manager, you want to make sure that you follow the same script for every candidate so that you eliminate variability from your interview process. This approach also helps ensure that your team is asking job candidates effective questions, rather than having each interviewer make up questions as they go along.”

Here, Robinson shares four interview questions you should be asking every job candidate, and what each can reveal.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

“This question is useful for evaluating the candidate’s long-term plan, but it also measures their speech and initial attitude in the interview. It’s a safe starting question that gives the interviewer a good idea of what the candidate is looking for in the job. A good response should include a well-thought-out plan that displays their motivation.”

What is the biggest misperception people have of you?

“This is my favorite interview question. It generally catches candidates off guard and they have to spend some time thinking about their answer. Good answers should include a complete explanation about the misperception and how the candidate works to correct people’s thinking.”

What three words would your last supervisor use to describe you?

“This question gets the candidate to think honestly about how their previous boss would discuss their past behavior, and is especially useful when the candidate knows their references will be checked at a later date. A good answer would not include the usual adjectives found in any ‘How to Get the Job’ book, like optimistic, motivated or hard working. Instead, look for answers that match the job description’s duties.”

What were your best and worst moments during high school? What would you have done differently if you could go back?

“Asking a candidate about high school during a job interview is one of the best ways to get the candidate to open up and reveal defining characteristics of their personality. Some of the most valuable information can be gained during this portion of the interview because it gets the candidate into a ‘storytelling’ mindset and allows them to talk about early experiences that may have shaped their career interests. You should focus on whether candidates thought of the experience as a positive one, took ownership of their performance during this time, and if they were involved in extracurricular and outside work during the summer.”

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