If you are a hiring manager, you have a wide array of questions to choose from when interviewing job candidates, from the quirky to commonplace. But some questions are better than others at revealing the character and competence of applicants. That is why some of them will usually show up at almost every job interview. Here are a few of those questions that really help to open a window into job applicants and should be asked at every interview.
1. What are your hobbies
This helps you to get a sense of who the person is and learn something about their character and personality. For example, if the person likes sports, it shows someone who has a competitive nature, who is active and enjoys challenges.
2. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment?
This gives you an idea of what the person values and how ambitious they are. If he or she tells you their greatest accomplishment is never taking a sick day, you probably don’t want to hire this person.
3. What was the most significant challenge you have had to overcome?
This questions is designed to elicit information about different aspects of the applicant’s character. First, it tells you how he or she goes about solving problems. You can also find out what the person learned from the experience, what knowledge he can apply to other problems. Finally, you learn something about the person’s resilience and perseverance.
4. What is your most important strength?
Most hiring managers ask candidates about their biggest weakness. But this is a question that has just about outlived its usefulness. Most candidates have canned answers prepared, and the question really doesn’t yield much serviceable information.
Asking a candidate about his strengths, on the other hand, allows him to talk about his skills and knowledge and really gives you a better window into how he thinks and acts.
5. Describe a time when you made a big mistake
The purpose of this question is to gauge the candidate’s honesty. If the person says they cannot recall making any major mistake, this is cause for concern because the person appears unwilling to admit that they ever made an error, which is nearly impossible.
Their response also tells you something about how they face adversity.
6. Where would you like to be in five years?
This inquiry is to evaluate a person’s ambition, what kind of drive and determination they have.
7. Do you have any questions?
A good candidate will have questions about the company and the job. It shows his or her interest and curiosity. On the other hand, if the candidate has no questions, it raises issues about his interest in the job.