Employer Recruiting Tips: How to Determine Which Questions to Ask in an Interview

Continuing our “How To” series this month, we look at how to determine which questions you should be asking candidates during an interview. 

 Every manager or HR manager has their “Go-To” list of questions to ask candidates during an interview, but when should you ask said question?  Are there questions that you should ask every candidate?  How do you determine which questions will be the best ones to help you make a decision on selecting the right candidate?

 How to Determine Which Questions to Ask During an Interview







As you prepare to interview candidates it helps to compile a short list of questions that you will want to ask the candidate.  Here are some tips to help you determine which questions you should ask candidates in an interview.  Of course this will vary depending on if this is the first interview vs. the third interview for example. 

  1. Ask questions on topics that you need clarity on – perhaps you have already met with the candidate but were a little unsure about some of their answers to previous questions. Ask or even repeat the questions that you need clarity on.
  • If they come back with the same answer this might be a signal that they may not have the communication skills or knowledge required for the job
  • If they don’t answer the question fully this time you may want to rate them (in part) on their ability to not be able to articulate the desired response.
  1. Ask at least one challenging question – You want to see how they respond when put on the spot. One of the most difficult questions (and feared questions) is “What are your weaknesses?”. See how thecandidate responds to questions such as this.  Do they place less focus on weaknesses and focus on improving their strengths? Other challenging questions may include:
  • What are your goals?
  • Why did you leave (or are leaving) your last job?
  1. Ask questions that illustrate that the candidate is secure in their application – part of the role of the interview is to shortlist and identify the strongest candidate. Asking questions like “Why do you want to work here?” can weed out candidates who just fired out a bunch of resumes vs. candidates who have given their application some thought and are sincerely looking to join your organization.
  1. Ask questions that can help differentiate candidates – you want to ask question that gives the candidate an opportunity to differentiate from other candidates. For example:
  • What is something that you can do for us that other candidates cannot?
  • What are three positive things that coworkers would say about you?
  • What are three positive things that your last boss would say about you?
  • What is one thing that your last boss would say that you need to improve upon?
  • What is the most unexpected lesson that you’ve learned while working at your previous/current employer?
  1. Ask about salary expectations – this is one question that candidates expect to hear and is one question that can help determine if you will be moving forward with the candidate. Does a lower salary expectation indicate that the candidate lacks experience, confidence or both?  On the flips side, does a high salary demand mean that the candidate is simply too expensive to afford or will require substantially higher than anticipated compensation demands in the future?
  1. Ask one psychological question – ask at least one question that illustrates that the candidate can think quick, think deeply or illustrate the type of impression that the candidate would like to make. Types of psychological questions might include:
  • If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
  • What’s your favorite color and why?
  • What do you like to do outside of work?
  1. Ask one “fun question” – this can provide deeper insight into the candidate. Questions like:
  • What do you like to read?
  • What kind of music do you listen to?
  • Who is your favorite artist? Team?

 Make the most out of your interviews. You are trying to learn about potential candidates who may become a future part of your organization.  Asking the right questions can help you make the right decision in your hiring practices.

Need assistance with your staffing efforts? Contact Aspire Recruitment Solutions at 778 484 0161 to set up a consultation.  Speak with one of our experienced HR consultants and begin preparing for your 2018 staffing needs today!