When asking interview questions, one of the most challenging parts can be getting past the exterior of your candidate to discover the nitty-gritty — will this person be able to fit the role, understand how to get things done, and have the personality to lead and motivate others? In order to discover his or her traits, you have to know the right questions to ask. Here are five interview questions that will help you discover the best in your candidate.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in your most recent position? What results that you produced are you most proud of?
You want to hire someone with the ability to build something, make big moves, or make successful strides in projects. If your candidate tells you about what they would like to achieve rather than what he or she has really accomplished, this may be a red flag.
Tell me about a goal you or your team had that was not successfully met.
This question will allow you to gauge whether he or she is able to take responsibility when something goes wrong. Does the candidate understand why projects don’t always succeed and learn from failure, or does he or she blame others?
Tell me about a time when…
Instead of asking a candidate how he or she would handle hypothetical situations, beginning a question this way will help you find out how the candidate has acted in the past. Does he or she set goals, problem solve, had to manage an employee who was struggling? This will help you better understand how your candidate will act in the future.
That’s interesting. Tell me more about that.
It’s standard for interviewers to ask a question, listen to the answer, and then ask a different, unrelated question. If you focus on expanding on the questions you ask, you’ll learn much more about your candidate. If you ask him or her to tell you about an important project from beginning to end, follow up with more questions about the answer you’re given. What was your biggest challenge? Why did you choose that route? What lessons did you take away? Is there anything you would have done differently and why? You’ll be able to really understand your candidate’s thought process.
Tell me about a difficult personnel decision you’ve had to make.
Having people skills is important for any role, especially one that requires leading a team. Have the candidate tell you about a time he or she had to handle a people-problem. You want to discover his or her thought process and how the situation was ultimately handled. Did the candidate set the bar high for his or her team while being fair and having compassion when it came to making a tough decision? You want this person to be able to build personal relationships with staff members while still earning their respect.