Bad hires can generally be traced back to an ineffective interview. Obviously, as a hiring manager, it’s certainly not your intention. Still, it can be challenging to figure out the right questions to ask that will actually uncover information that is predictive of a candidate’s likely success in the role. Switch up your strategy with these seven interview questions to ask job candidates:
1. Describe a time in which you had a conflict with a colleague and how you handled it.
Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for successful hires. Even if a candidate is highly talented, if they are unable to get along well with others, it will be an unnecessary distraction, so ensure they can handle interpersonal requirements of the job, along with the technical.
2. Tell me about a time you failed or made a mistake.
Perfection is impossible, so it’s better to find out how candidates deal with adversity. By having them discuss an example of a failure, you can get a sense of how they handle setbacks and whether or not they grow or learn from it.
3. What is a challenging area that you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Candidates are savvy regarding the standard “Describe your weakness” interview question and may try to pivot away from discussing their true shortcomings. However, everyone has natural challenges that may interfere with their performances if left unchecked. Get candidates to go a little deeper and demonstrate their level of self-awareness and their dedication to self-improvement.
4. Describe your greatest professional achievement.
Filter out the mediocre performers from the ambitious high achievers by giving them a platform to discuss something for which they are proud. If they are passionate about their line of work, it will naturally shine through in their response and be indicative of future engagement if hired.
5. What type of working style do you have?
Learning about a candidate’s working style will help you determine if they will align with your management style and the culture of your team and the company as a whole. For example, if they are an independent worker who prefers strict autonomy, they may not thrive if your work environment is more collaborative or your organization’s structure is more bureaucratic.
6. What attracted you to this position?
Candidates who are enthusiastic during the interview are more likely to be top performers. Look for signs of authentic excitement for working with your organization in particular, as opposed to them wanting to simply land any job.
7. How would your previous coworkers and boss describe you?
As a hiring manager, you need to have a well-rounded view of the candidates you interview. Beyond just understanding their work history and skills, ensure you are getting a sense of their personalities as well. This question can provide you some insight into how well the candidate will fit with your current team.
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