10 Interview Questions to ask Prospective Candidates

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By: Samantha Zeoli

The average job interview lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour. For the candidate, this can feel like an eternity, but for the employer, an hour is not a lot of time to decide whether or not someone is right for the role. It is possible to make this determination; you just have to pose the right questions. Here are 10 interview questions employers can ask to find the best candidate for them:

  1. What attracted you to apply for this position?
    This question allows the employer to determine whether or not the candidate has a true interest in the company or has just applied blindly for the position. Look for passion and excitement in the candidates answer. This can also be a good segue into the employer providing the candidate with a more detailed background on the company and the position itself.
  2. Tell me about your role at your previous job.
    Technically this is not a question, but it is important to find out the candidate’s previous work experience and the role they played in their previous position. Sure you can look at their resume, but you will most likely get a more detailed report from the candidate this way.
  3. What type of work environment makes you happy?
    This question can help the employer understand how the candidate may adapt and fit in to their company culture and also be telling of their work ethic. This offers the opportunity for the employer to then touch on more information about the company’s work environment, team and management style so the candidate can also determine if they will be a right fit.
  4. Tell me about a time when you were faced with a challenge at work. How did you overcome it?
    Finding out how the candidate copes with, handles and learns from challenging situations can provide the employer with a sense of what it may be like to work with them when times get tough. Be sure to hire someone who can work well under pressure and has the problem solving capability to address challenges efficiently.
  5. If you have multiple projects and limited time, how do you go about prioritizing them?
    Posing this question permits the employer to get some insight into how the candidate will navigate through the challenging tasks of the role and how effectively they manage their time.
  6. What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
    Asking this question allows the candidate to elaborate on their strengths rather than asking the standard “what are your strengths?”. It can also boost their interview confidence by talking about something they are proud of in their work history.
  7. What one skill would you like to improve and what’s your plan for doing so?
    This is an alternative to another common interview question, “what’s your biggest weakness?”. Rather than asking the candidate to point out their flaws, it offers them an opportunity to discuss an area of improvement and see how much they are willing to put into continuously improving their skills.
  8. What motivates you?
    This question allows the employer to

    1. make sure the factors that motivate the candidate align with your company’s goals as well as the position and job responsibilities in which they would be working and
    2. get a sense of the candidate’s self-awareness to know what drives them.
  9. Do you have any questions for me?
    This is an important question to ask as some candidate’s nerves get the best of them and they forget to ask their own questions about the role/company. It could also provide insight on how the candidate values the position. Those that ask informative and thoughtful questions are likely to have the most interest.
  10. If money wasn’t an object, what would your dream job be and why?
    Ending with this one last question can close the interview on a fun and relaxed note and also allow you to know your candidate on a more personal level.

Interviewing doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you are prepared. These 10 questions are compatible with almost any position, but feel free to include more precise questions that truly reflect your company’s culture and have a specific purpose. Keep it relevant and remember to be friendly. Your demeanor will set the tone for the interview, so be welcoming and put forth positive energy to help your candidates feel comfortable.

popdevteam10 Interview Questions to ask Prospective Candidates