When conducting a hiring interview, the focus is always on the difficulty that a candidate has to face, and rightfully so. It is certainly nerve-wracking and clueless to sit for interviews. Candidates are going to be interviewed (read: interrogated) by complete strangers who are going to evaluate and scrutinize your skills and all past achievements.
That said, interviewing is not a walk in the park either. Hiring the right candidate has a direct impact on the company’s bottom line, making it a heavy responsibility to shoulder. They need to ask the right question, ensure that the candidate has the right skills and is a culture fit, while providing a great candidate experience. In this read, we try to make the interviewer’s job a little easier by providing 21 questions they need to ask during their job interviews.
There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work before conducting job interviews. Here are the most important ones one shouldn’t miss:
Identifying your job requirements from your job description. Job descriptions are drafted after a lot of research and discussion. This will tell you what skills and expertise you want in your new hire.
Prepare an interview toolkit for interviewers. Create the list of questions you want to ask the candidates. In fact, more than the question, it is necessary to understand what candidate information would each question unveil.
Prepare all the interviewers on the interviewing tactics. This is to ensure a great candidate experience, which will improve employer branding, further enhancing candidate sourcing. Further, tell them to make notes about why a candidate is worthy and why they aren’t, which can be used for post-interviewing panel discussions
Decide a date and time for hiring panel discussion. Or, Use hiring software that can help you with a real time collaboration on candidate interviews.
Job interviews are about understanding the candidate, their skills, and their compatibility with the company. Here are some questions that will help you in that pursuit. You could use them all or include a few of them.
These are questions that will help you estimate the personality of the candidate and if they are a good fit for the team, and for the company.
Tell me about yourself
Almost everything about the candidate is already available on the resume, or available on social media. It is about finding those details that make them stand out from the rest, and how they structure their answer. It should talk about the responsibilities they have handled, the achievements they made, and a brief of why your company.
Tell us an interesting story that others don’t know about you
This is more of an icebreaker that will make the candidate at ease. They will feel comfortable to open up to you and will feel that you want to know more about them.
What is your biggest strength and weakness?
Strengths, they can be plenty. It is about their confidence and humility that will tell you about their personality. While most candidates will show their weakness as a latent strength, you are looking for someone who is honest and who tells you how they are working on their weaknesses
What is your biggest regret in your career?
This tells you how the person works on their mistakes or lost opportunities. Knowing about this helps in understanding how empathetic they are and their willingness to learn from mistakes. This will tell you how good a leader they are.
Did you have to deal with a difficult co-worker? How did you handle it?
When working with a team, it is not always going to be hunky dory. There is going to be some friction, and how they deal with it talks about their people management skills.
What is your dream job like? And how are they working towards achieving it?
This tells you what they are expecting in your company and what kind of aspirations they have. You could follow it with questions to know if they are working towards it.
Why are you quitting your previous job?
What prompted them to leave their previous job? How do they communicate the reason to you, were they putting their previous employer in a bad light? Were they fired from their previous job, if so, why?
Here, you try to understand how fit the candidate is for doing the job - Do they have the experience, technical expertise, skills etc for the job.
What was the last project you worked on? Were you leading the team?
This lets you know how their previous job is related to the current role they have applied for.
What tools did you use to succeed in your previous job? Based on the job description, what tools do you think we would need?
This is important, particularly to know if your company has every tool to help with the success of the job, and subsequently the success of the employee.
What was your biggest achievement in your previous job?
Tells you how good they are at their job and how they evaluate success at the current job.
What was your biggest challenge at your previous job?
This question would tell you how far they have experimented and how they face failures, and how they take corrective action.
How do you handle criticism at work?
How people handle criticism talks a lot about their openness to feedback, which is a crucial part of teamwork.
What are your expectations for this job? How do you think the job would be?
This question helps to ensure that what the candidates expect and what we have to offer are aligned with. This will help to reduce employee turnover.
Ask a scenario-based question: For instance, if the team is looking to improve customer loyalty, how do we design a strategy for the same?
When such scenario based questions, you get an idea about the candidate’s knowledge on the topic. It is a testimony to every achievement they have made, as mentioned in the resume.
Have you done any experiments at your previous job? How was the experience? What were the results like?
This question is particularly important if you have a fast-paced work environment where employees are encouraged to do effective experiments.
How would you handle a disagreement with your boss?
Disagreements are normal, it is about how you handle them that matters.
What was your starting and final salary at your previous company?
This will tell you how quickly the candidate rose or got promoted in the company. Also, this tells you how other employers in the industry are paying their employees.
What are your salary expectations?
A straightforward question that tells you how much the candidate is expecting the company to pay them.
Why should we hire you?
While it seems to be a fairly simple question, it will tell you how the candidate stands out from the rest.
What can we expect from you in the first 30-60 days of work?
The answer to this question will tell you how much experience and knowledge the candidate possesses for becoming successful at the job.
What about this job excites you?
To be precise, it is to know why this job, and why this company.
What challenges are you looking for in this company?
This will tell you what the candidate is looking for in your company for fulfilling their job.
With interview toolkits, scorecards, and calendar sync, manage all your hiring interview processes in one place. With Freshteam, include your questions as a part of the kit for the interviewers, assess them objectively using scorecards, and collaborate with the hiring panel in real-time. Google calendar and Office 365 integration will let you know about the interviewer’s availability and provide timely reminders so that the interviews start on time, thereby providing a great candidate experience.
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