6 Important Questions Interviewers Should Ask Potential Employees

Interview Questions

Did you know that the average job opening attracts 250 resumes? So if you’re trying to find the perfect candidate for a position in your company, know that you’re going to need strategies to improve your process.

One way to do this is by asking the right questions in your interviews with potential employees. But this can be easier said than done. For this reason, we’ve created this post outlining 6 important questions interviewers should ask potential employees.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. What One Skill Makes You the Most Qualified for This Position?

First of all, consider asking your interviewees about which skill makes them the most qualified candidate for the position. Of course, cultural fit is extremely important when hiring.

But your candidates also need to possess the right skills. You can’t teach them everything and it’s much better if they come with knowledge and experience.

By asking them this question, you can achieve two things. First, you can hear about what the candidate considers their core competencies. Second, it’s an opportunity for you to confirm that they have the skills you’re looking for. 

2. What’s Your Most Significant Career Accomplishment to Date?

By asking your candidate to identify their biggest career accomplishment, you can learn a lot about them. It will show you what they value and what they deem as success.

The best answers will do two things. First, they’ll demonstrate confidence and pride in their work. And they’ll also show that the candidate is humble enough to care about creating success for the whole company, not just themselves.

Also pay attention to how they talk about the results. How did their accomplishment affect the overall business? Was it trackable?

This will show you how they approach projects.

3. What Three Words Would You Use to Describe Your Ideal Work Environment?

Every company has its own culture and work environment. And for a new employee to do well, it’s important that their ideal work environment lines up with your business’.

There are lots of possible answers to this question. They could include:

  • Highly structured
  • Quiet private office
  • Open floor plan with cubicles
  • Laid-back and open-minded
  • Clearly established reporting structure
  • High energy
  • Working from home possibility

These are just a few possible answers. Most importantly, it’s crucial that their top 3 answers align well with your company’s established culture.

Whether you’re hiring for a sales agent, a military base tour guide system operator, or executive assistant, this question will give you necessary insight. And it can save you and them valuable time if it’s not the right fit.

4. Tell Me About a Time You Set Difficult Goals

Every manager wants to hire a go-getter who is goal-oriented and well-motivated. By asking this question, you can learn about how your candidate views and approaches goal-setting.

A great answer to this question will demonstrate that they understand what difficult goals are. If all they can come up with is a story about how they did the bare minimum, they’re not right for you.

Instead, they should share about a time they were presented with a big challenge and how they used goal-setting to conquer it.

Also pay attention to how they explain the results. Are they pleased with how things turned out and do they give credit to other team members where credit is due?

5. Describe a Time When You Messed Up

Next, in regards to questions interviewers should ask, think about asking about a time when they made a mistake. It’s no secret that everybody messes up. We’re human.

But it takes certain character traits to be self-aware enough to handle this situation well.

As you’re interviewing potential employees, you want to find someone who takes ownership of their mistakes while learning from them.

First and foremost, they should admit that they messed up without sugar-coating the story. Next, they should be able to learn how they took this as an opportunity to grow. This way, you’ll know how they would handle a similar situation if they work for you.

If they blame the situation on other people, this is a red flag. Be sure to pay attention to this.

6. What’s the First Thing You Would Do in This Position If Hired?

Lastly, before you wrap up the interview, you should turn your focus to the future. Ask all of your candidates what they would do first if hired. 

This is an especially effective question once you get further in the interview process and are deciding between the top candidates.

When you ask this, you can confirm that the candidate understands the role correctly. You can also see if your priorities align in terms of what’s most important.

It’s also a great way to gain insight into how they would function on your team. It can make theoretical situations feel more real.

Questions Interviewers Should Ask: Wrapping Up

Now that we’ve gone through the top 6 questions interviewers should ask when interviewing candidates, what should you do now?

It’s time to look at your upcoming interviews and decide on an outline. How do you want to start your interviews and what questions matter most in this situation and for this specific role?

Once you have this decided, you can choose which question to end with. This will ensure that the interview finishes on the right note.

Want to learn more about the hiring process, creating a business plan, other corporate topics? Check out our blog today.