The Best Job Interview Questions To Ask Potential Employees

Are you currently searching for your next great employee? After sifting and sorting through countless resumes and cover letters, the best job candidates have made it the job interview round. Once you confirm that the job applicant has the skills to do the jobs, you need to ask the right interview questions to ensure that you pick the best person for the job, right?

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There are so many potential interview questions to ask potential employees. As a seasoned HR professional, you probably have a few favorites tucked up your sleeve, but it’s always wise to grow your list of interview questions. The right questions will help to reveal so much about a candidate.

Below are some of the best interview questions to ask potential employees.  We recommend you ask these questions to any  candidate that wants to join your team:

  • Tell me about yourself. – This is the classic break-the-ice question. It helps to paint a picture of the candidate and reveals what they find valuable about themselves.
  • What is your greatest achievement? – When you find out what a person is most proud of, it helps you determine what else they want to accomplish.
  • Why did you apply for this job? – This question helps you to understand why this person is a good candidate for the job.
  • Tell me about this company. – Did the potential employee do their research? Do they understand what the company is all about or did they just randomly apply for the job?
  • Where do you see yourself in a year? – Will this candidate be with the company in a year? Or are they out the door as soon as a new opportunity comes along.
  • Tell me about a time where you screwed up. – Everyone messes up. It’s how we deal with the aftermath that truly shows our character.
  • Who is your role model and why? – The person that a candidate wants to emulate will help to show where their values lie.
  • What do you like to do? What do you not like to do? – This questions can be job focused or life focused. Let the candidate answer as they see fit.
  • What’s your superpower? – This is a classic job interview question that is both interesting and insightful.
  • If you won the lottery tomorrow, would you still want this job? – This question helps you determine if the candidate is just after the job for the money or if they are passionate about the job.
  • What is the best job you ever had? Why? – When you find out what a candidate values in a job, it’s easy to see if they are a good match for your company.
  • What are your pay expectations? – Most pay depends on experience. It also requires a bit of research to determine how much a person should make. This helps you figure out if you can afford to have this person on staff.
  • If you could start your own business, what would you do? – This question reveals what the job candidate would do in a perfect world. Does it relate to the job at hand or are their interests some place else?
  • Why should we hire you? – This one is the classic, sell yourself question. What makes this candidate better than the others?
  • What are your goals if you get you job? – Find out if the candidate is driven and goal oriented.
  • What questions do you have for me? – Every job candidate should come prepared with questions for the recruiter.

No job interview is complete without throwing in an oddball question or brainteaser. These questions aren’t meant to trick a job candidate, they are designed to see how that candidate thinks and responds under pressure. Every year Glassdoor highlights the top oddball questions. Here are a few ridiculous interview questions that have stood out over the years:

  • Do you believe in Bigfoot? – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why? — Urban Outfitters Sales
  • How many square feet of pizza are eaten in the U.S. each year? — Goldman Sachs
  • If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do? – Bose
  • What’s your favorite Disney Princess? – Cold Stone Creamery

There is a near endless supply of interview questions to ask potential employees. Pick and choose the questions that work best for you. Asking “why?” is a great way to explore a question further and get a job candidate to open up and support their answers.

Some interview questions may be job specific, so adjust your questions accordingly. Also remember that certain topics are off limits. Keep the interview questions focused on the job and the candidates ability to do the job. You don’t want to slip up and ask any illegal interview questions!

Job interviews are great time to get creative. Take the time before the interview to brainstorm all sorts of questions. It’s smart to have more questions than necessary because you never know where the conversation might take you. Be sure to let the conversation flow. You’ll be amazed at what a job candidate will reveal about themselves once you get them talking.

Dial in your job interview questions for potential employees and you’ll have a much better chance of hiring the best candidate for the job. Enjoy the process.

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