What Questions to Ask in an Interview to Find the Best Hire

Making the most out of an interview can be a difficult and overwhelming task. In such a short period you must ensure you are gathering as much intel and insight about the individual as possible, and how that potential candidate can positively contribute to the company and its vision. At Career Group Companies we understand the monumental task of interviewing candidates and the importance of developing the right questions that can provide you with some much-needed information to help guide you and your team successfully through the hiring process. Below we have outlined ten of the best questions you can ask to help you find the best possible candidates to fill crucial roles within your company.

Looking Beyond the Resume

Think of the resume as a jumping-off point for your interview, rather than the subject of the interview. Much of the information provided on a candidate’s resume is straightforward and it is not necessary to spend a significant amount of time rehashing information that has already been provided to you. Rather, the interview is your opportunity to look deeper into a candidate's perspective, background, and qualities, and how those aspects will fit into your company's culture and vision. It’s also a good idea to have someone walk you through their resume so you can better understand someone’s reasons for leaving or starting positions, and get a sense of their communication style.

1. What personal qualities or skills do you think give you an edge or advantage for this position?

When interviewing a candidate, you’ll want to gather as much as you can about their specific skills and experience. While a work and education history on a resume will provide some background, it is still important to learn from the candidate themselves what they consider their personal strengths and advantages when it comes to their professional endeavors.  

2. How do you deal with adversities or challenges that arise in a professional capacity?

One of the most sought-after qualities in a potential candidate is their ability to adapt. Asking this question provides you an opportunity to listen for their adaptation skills and their ability to deal with difficult circumstances that will inevitably arise in their position. We suggest asking for a few examples.

3. What strategies do you use when working under pressure?

From deadlines to workload, there are many situations that can occur as part of a position creating pressure or stress. This question provides an opportunity for you to analyze the coping mechanisms or strategies that the candidate you are interviewing possesses. It will also allow you to better understand what they consider to be a stressful situation, and how they keep themselves organized.

4. In your prior professional experience, what roles have you felt most comfortable in?

This question provides insight into where the candidate feels most comfortable and where they perceive their strengths lie in their approach to work. If the position you are interviewing for requires leadership skills or the ability to work well with others, you will be looking for answers that align with these qualities and that will ultimately benefit your company.

5. Can you describe a specific example of a time when you achieved a task or goal that you are proud of?

This is a common interview question, and for good reason. An individual's perception and pride in their accomplishments allow the interviewer a window into their growth mindset and ability to set and achieve goals. Whether it is a professional or personal example of an accomplishment does not matter as much as the manner in which they achieved this accomplishment. Their journey to their end result is an important indication of their work ethic and commitment.

6. How do your career goals align with our company's vision and culture?

This is not a simple question to answer and it may even catch some of your prospects off guard. However, this inquiry provides you with the ability to ascertain a candidate's level of interest in working for your company. Has the individual taken the time to research the company, the mission, and the position, or are you just the next interview on the schedule for the day? Analyzing how a candidate has researched for their interview can give you important insight into how they will prepare and approach their position if selected.

7. What are you most looking forward to accomplishing in the position with this company?

Asking this interview question allows the candidate to express their understanding of the position available and what it entails. It also provides you the opportunity to offer clarifications or guidance if there is a possible misunderstanding regarding the responsibilities or expectations of the position. After all, your goal is to find a talented candidate that will remain with the company for as long as possible.

8. What are you looking for professionally during your time with our company?

In most instances, companies are looking to hire the best talent that will not only succeed in their position but grow alongside the company in the future. This question provides you with the opportunity to understand the motivation and expectations of the candidate. Is this a stepping stone in their career or are they looking to grow and learn within the company? It is important to make sure that the applicant’s expectations around growth are aligned with your company’s timeline, and that they understand certain milestones and goals must be met to be rewarded with growth.

9. How would you categorize your relationship with your previous employer?

The reality is that not all separations between employees and employers end amicably or positively. Asking this difficult question allows the candidate the opportunity to explain any issues that may have arisen during calls to references or to simply explain the reason for leaving their previous position.

10. Is there anything new you are eager to learn or skills you’re eager to develop, either professionally or personally?

This is a “get to know you” question that allows the candidate to express any interests or hobbies that they participate in or are working towards. It is also a strong indicator of candidates that enjoy learning and growing both professionally and personally.

Consider Working with a Recruiter to Find the Best Candidates

It can be challenging figuring out what questions to ask in an interview to find the best candidates to fill your available positions. Career Group Companies can help you formulate in-depth questions pertaining to your specific needs and industry to ensure you find the best possible talent for your company. Working with our team of recruiters will allow us to recruit the best possible talent pool to interview for your positions. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will help you create relevant and insightful questions to assist you in making the right choice for your company.

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Founded in 1981 by Susan Levine, Career Group Companies was created to set a higher standard for recruiting. For over four decades, we’ve partnered with our valued candidates and clients to cultivate perfect career matches for administrative, creative, fashion, events, and executive professionals at top companies nationwide.

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