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Interview Questions to Ask to Get the Answers You Need

Recruiting, vetting, and ultimately hiring the best person for a position can pose a real challenge for hiring managers. The need to fill a role within the company must be identified, and then business owners must determine what type of person will best fill that role. Asking the right interview questions is the key to determining what candidate best fits your business and will mesh well with the company culture.

When conducting an interview, it is more beneficial to hiring managers to ask questions that bring out an applicant’s true character. Rather than asking common questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses,” interviewers should try to ask questions that applicants do not have a rehearsed answer for.

Interviewers can categorize questions in three different categories: (1) Get to Know You Questions, (2) Experience Questions, and (3) Culture Fit Questions.

1. Get to Know You Questions:

By asking Get To Know You Questions, interviewers are able to learn more about candidates and how they would fit and bring value to the company. Get To Know You Questions are crafted to demonstrate whether the candidate’s goals, motivations and character align with the company’s long-term vision. These questions are designed to allow the applicant to feel confident but allow interviewers to get a sense of whether the applicant will be willing to learn new things to succeed on the job.

Examples of Get To Know You Questions are:

  • Explain something to me in five minutes that you know a lot about.

  • How do you define success?

  • What’s one thing you’d like to get better at?

  • If you were me, what’s the one question you’d want me to ask you?

2. Experience Questions:

Experience Questions are important to ask because they assess a candidate’s skills and qualifications. Experience Questions inquire as to the candidate’s decision-making process, adaptability, and problem-solving skills. These questions can help shed light on whether a candidate can admit their missteps or will try to hide their failures.

In addition, 85% of job applicants lie on their resumes. The right Experience Questions can determine the applicant’s authenticity.

Examples of some Experience Questions are:

  • Tell me about a time you completely messed up something on the job.

  • Can you tell me about a specific time you…

  • Describe the outcome of a time you took a risk in a crisis.

  • Tell me about a time you had to be unconventional in solving a problem.

3. Culture Fit Questions:

Culture Fit Questions are the key to employee retention. These questions are used to determine whether the applicant would be a good fit for the company. For an applicant to be a good fit, the applicant’s and company’s values must align. Interviewers use Culture Fit Questions to gauge how invested the candidate is in the values of the company and how the candidate interacts with colleagues in a meaningful and productive manner.

Examples of Culture Fit Questions include:

  • How would you describe our company values?

  • How do you positively motivate others?

  • What would past coworkers say about you if you weren’t in the room?

  • If you felt we were doing something inefficiently, how would you bring it up?

For further information on this subject, do not hesitate to contact one of our PMP HR consultants.


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