What questions do you need to ask to select the right candidate?


Here come some examples of questions to cover all job-relevant items:

Breaking the Ice

-          Did you find he place/location/company okay?

-          How was your commute?

-          How was your trip here?

-          How is your summer going so far?

-          Cold enough for you?

Getting to know the candidate

-          Tell me about yourself

-          Are you familiar with our company?

-          How would you describe yourself?

-          What are three words that describe you?

-          What (industry) experiences do you have that qualifies you for this job?

-          Why do you think you are a good match for this job?

-          What makes you think that you can do this job?

-          What are your short-term and long-term goals?

-          What goals have you set for yourself in your career?

-          How do you see our company helping you to achieve your goals?

-          What can you bring to this job from your previous experience?

-          How does this job compare and contrast with what you have done in the past?

Strength and Uniqueness

-          What experience do you have that matches the requirements of this job?

-          What would your boss say about your performance in your last position?

-          Tell me about a time when your knowledge of your position made a difference in the outcome of a situation?

-          What do you consider your strengths?

-          What skills has been praised or rewarded in your past jobs?

-          What skills can you bring from your previous jobs?

-          Give me an example of a time when you used your strength to achieve results.

-          What makes you unique?

Can you tell me about a time when you solved a problem in a unique manner?

Do you have an example of how your uniqueness has helped you in your work?


Well prepared candidates will use their knowledge-based skills, like computer programs or languages, and transferrable skills, like communication, listening, decision-making, judgement, initiative, planning, organizing, to describe their strengths and uniqueness. Please check as well their personal traits what makes them who they are, like flexibility, integrity, friendliness, dependability, good attitude.

Don’t forget to ask check following skills:

Creativity, Communications, Strategic Thinking, Assertiveness, Negotiations, Problem Solving, Analysis, Adaptability, Ability to work with others, Meeting deadlines, Decisiveness, Initiative, Flexibility, Organizational Skills, Ability to learn on the job, Prioritizing, Time management.

Behavioral questions

As all answers to your questions can be well prepared and you will find some candidates equal to choose, you need to select and to go deeper in questioning. You need to find out what is wrong with this candidate, by asking following behavioral questions (examples):

-          Dealing with conflicts

-          Handling crisis

-          Past career baggage

-          Getting fired

-          Working for a problem company

-          Problems with a previous boss

-          Lacking experience

-          Taking risks

-          Physical disabilities

-          References

-          Salary

Hiring supervisors

-          Let candidates to demonstrate leadership qualities. For example:

-          Supervising others

-          Handling personnel problems

-          Follow-through

-          Initiating

-          Problem solving

Hiring executive management

More responsibility means, you need to check more details in ability and accomplishment. Please ask for being specific and deliver examples of each statement, to get credibility. Normally, you need to check why the candidate did it, what he/she did and what was the outcome. For example in:

-          Leadership

-          Management style

-          Keeping abreast of current business

-          Financial savvy

-          The big picture

-          Decision making

-          Delegation

-          Motivating others

-          Communication style

-          Ability to influence others


Summary, if you want to do an interview very quick:

-          What are your goals?

-          Do you have any questions?

-          You don’t seem to have any experience in this field?

-          How would your current boss describe you?

-          What do you like best about working with your current company?

-          What are your strengths?

-          What are your weaknesses?

-          What is your salary expectation?

-          Why are you leaving your current job?

-          Why do you want to work for this company?