7 Interview Questions You Need to Use to Find the Best New Hire 16 Oct 2018


We all know how nervous and sweaty interviews make us feel, but did you know that the interviewer could be feeling the same way? If the interviewer hasn’t conducted a lot of interviews before or they don’t understand the job they’re trying to fill, then the person may feel they’re not qualified to conduct interviews. This problem could become even worse if the person doesn’t have the right interview questions.

For example, imagine that someone was asked to conduct an interview, but they said things like, “Tell me about yourself” and “What would your worst enemy say about you?” The answers to these questions wouldn’t provide the information needed to decide if the applicant has the skills to do their job, how they work with others, and if they can resolve inevitable issues that will arise.

So, what kinds of questions should you use when interviewing? In this article, we’ll look at 7 questions you can use to find the best fit for the job.

1. How do you feel your skills will help you meet the requirements of the job description?

Why is it important? It doesn’t matter if the candidate has the best personality in the world; if they don’t have the skills for the job, then they won’t be a good candidate.

What does a good answer look like? Look for specifics. If the candidate can talk about how their skills apply to specific tasks or issues that come up in your line of work, it’s a good sign that their work experience is relevant to the position you’re hiring for.

2. How do you improve your skills and learn new information for the job?

Why is it important? This is a good indicator of their initiative and if they’re passionate about the job. While you don’t want people with an unhealthy work-life balance, it’s important to make sure they’re interested in improving.

What does a good answer look like? Listen for mentions of new technology, books they’ve read recently, or classes they’ve attended to expand their knowledge. If the candidate is actively improving their skills, it will likely carry over into their job performance.

3. Tell me how you would solve [insert a complex problem related to the position].

Why is it important? This question demonstrates the applicant’s ability to solve problems they will face on the job. Even if they don’t come to the right conclusion, it will give you a glimpse into how they solve complex job-related problems.

What does a good answer look like? Listen for specific processes or tools they would use for solving a problem as this is a good indicator that they’ve faced a similar issue in the past. Don’t be quick to dismiss solutions just because they are different. Having alternative methods can make your team more robust.

4. Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with your team.

Why is it important? This shows how the applicant handles disagreements among coworkers. Asking follow-up questions like, “What was the perspective of the rest of your team?” will help you learn if the job applicant has strong emotional intelligence. This is crucial if they’ll be working with or managing a team.

What does a good answer look like? A good answer to this question should reveal two key elements. First, were they able to work through the disagreement in an acceptable way? Second, did they understand how other people were affected by the problem?

5. Tell me about a time when you faced a tough situation at work, how did you handle it? Why was it difficult?

Employee frustrated by work problem

Why is it important? This question shows how the interviewee handles tough situations and the lengths they’ll go to for a successful resolution. It also shows if they learn from these experiences and take steps to prevent future mishaps. This is especially important for management and leadership positions.

What does a good answer look like? A good answer to this question is usually multifaceted, with the job applicant explaining the situation they faced, what they did to overcome the problem, and what measures they took to prevent future occurrences.

6. Why are you interested in our company?

Why is it important? How the job candidate answers this question can reveal their motive for wanting to work for you. Some applicants may be genuinely interested in the company, while others may just want a paycheck. If company culture is important to you, this question should definitely be in your toolbox.

What does a good answer look like? A good answer to this question includes specific reasons for wanting to work at the company, details about the company the applicant learned through their own research, and why they’d be a good fit for your team.

7. What does your ideal job look like? What kind of work environment would you thrive in?

Why is it important? The candidate has probably been telling you a lot of what you want to hear, but this question can give you some insights into what they actually want. This is another great question for determining if they’re a good culture fit.

What does a good answer look like? It’s hard to specify what a good answer looks like here since that’s a matter of opinion. But, ideally, their answers should fit with your culture goals.

Deciding Which Questions Are Most Important for Your Interview

Since every job is unique and will require your industry expertise to figure out which questions you need, this article isn’t designed to be copied and pasted. Instead, it’s designed to help you determine the types of questions that are important for your hiring goals.

For example, if your company considers a culture fit crucial, then questions 6 and 7 would be more important. Or if you’re hiring for a management position that requires good problem-solving abilities, then you might pay more attention to the answers for 4 and 5.

Identify your company’s goals, match those with the right questions, and you should have the tools you need to find the right candidate.

Now That You’ve Interviewed, It’s Time to Decide

After you have the right candidate, it’s time to make the hire. But, how can you navigate the hiring process successfully? To help you with this, Trusted Employees created the ebook Supercharge Your Hiring Process. This 11-step checklist is designed to help you take the pain out of hiring. Get your free copy today!