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Hire Right By Learning the Best Questions to Ask in an Interview

Hiring the right talent is much more than matching skill sets and educational qualifications to the job. Will the candidates fit into the organization’s culture, be team players, and have the right attitude towards change – these are some of the factors that need to be considered. This is why the hiring manager or HR professional needs to know the best questions to ask in an interview since this is the primary gateway to successful recruitment. They need to figure out the candidate’s knowledge base, what their interests and aptitudes are, and how the interviewee’s skills played a role in their career trajectory. With a clear plan of action and the right bunch of questions, you can make the process of finding the right candidate faster, easier, and much more efficient. 

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Best Questions to Ask in an Interview

Personal Questions

This bucket of questions will give interviewers an insight into the candidate’s personality and thought process. It is also important to understand what drives a candidate to make decisions. 

Interview guide1. Which aspect of the job profile attracted you the most? 

Ensure the candidate didn’t blindly apply for the position.

2. What is your go-to decision-making process?

Gauge critical thinking and organizational skills here.

3. Tell us three qualities your friends would use to describe you.

Get insight into how they appear to others and their own self-image. 

4. What do you like to do for fun?

Get an overall impression of the candidate’s personality.

5. How do you motivate yourself to work?

Evaluate the candidate’s motivators here.

Culture Fit Questions

Culture fit questions work best to gauge an interviewee’s personality and seek compatibility with the company’s values, beliefs, and behavioral norms. With the rise of remote work, culture fit and value compatibility are as important as academic or experiential qualifications. 

1. How do you describe your ideal work environment?

Get an idea of what the candidate expects from their workplace. 

2. What kinds of personalities gel the best with you?

Determine compatibility between the company and the candidate.

3. What will you miss about your current job?

Attitude towards previous jobs gives a sense of their commitment to employers and what they consider important about an organization.

4. Why do you think you are a good fit for the company?

A direct answer often proves beneficial if the question is asked in this manner.

5. If you were a CEO of a company, what five unique characteristics would your company have?

Learn the values held strongly by the candidate and how they match with the company.

Questions around Knowledge and Background

This line of questioning will showcase the candidate’s preparedness for the role and their domain expertise.

1. Is there any special training you took that increases your expertise for this job role?

Insight into any special skill sets the candidate may have acquired. 

2. Tell us about a 90-day strategy you’d implement if you were hired.

Force the candidate to think creatively and show their ability to think on their feet.

3. This job requires you to do ________. Have you ever been able to take such decisions?

This will ask the candidate to think specifically about the demands of the job.

ALSO READ: 5 Most Common Leadership Interview Questions with Unique Answers

Work Habit Questions

Work habit questions have become increasingly relevant, especially given the rise of hybrid work models. The best questions to ask in an interview in this regard are:

1. How would you describe your working style?

Unlock their working styles to understand their overall personality.

2. How do you organize your work on a mundane day and on a nerve-racking deadline-submission day?

Gauge their communication style while answering the two parts of this question.

3. How do you respond to heavy criticism about your work?

Note how the interviewee handles this question at an emotional level. Assess the words they tend to use.

4. How well do you handle hierarchy? Tell us about an experience of friction in a previous job role between you and the authority.

Learn the kind of relationship the interviewee shares with the idea of authority. Look out for the interviewee’s narration and the words they use while describing the situation.

5. You have five hours and ten tasks and each would take at least an hour. How would you manage this scenario?

Nudge the interviewee to articulate their thoughts about an imaginary day, focusing not only on their prioritization skills but also their ability to state realistic expectations.

Interview Guide Featured ImageCareer Goal Questions

The final stage of questions involves some open-ended conversations about the kind of future the candidate foresees for themselves. Subjective questions like these will help you judge candidates on their communication skills and determine their compatibility quotient with the company’s long-term vision.  

1. What goals do you have in mind if you bag this job? 

Get a direct look at how the candidate perceives the job. Is it an end game for them or do they have a career trajectory in mind? That will help you gauge the potential turnover a specific employee can bring to the table.

2. What do you look for in a job role in terms of career growth?

Get insight into how a candidate perceives the idea of growth in their lives, and how well it aligns with the vision of the company.

3. Given your salary requirements, what designation do you see yourself in the next two years?

This question has no specific correct answer. But candidates aren’t aware of this. Look out for those who provide unique answers to this question or embrace uncertainty.

Human resources and talent acquisition have become very dynamic. Moreover, in the last two years, with high employee turnover, the importance of the hiring process has become clearer. As a result, human resources, one of the key domains in recent times, is only destined to grow and become more relevant. To upskill yourself as a human resource professional, explore Emeritus’ online human resources courses and learn to bring the best talent to your company. 

By Bishwadeep Mitra

Write to us at content@emeritus.org

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