Ask The Best Interview Questions


Many hiring managers tend to over-think basic interview questions. A lot of these questions stem from corporate training sessions, broad human resource training and lists of fun / quirky interview questions from all over the internet. What we’re going to focus on today is the basics. While it is 100% okay to ask the off-the-wall question in search of your perfect answer, it’s also extremely valuable to ask the basic questions any employer should be asking candidates. Here are a few examples of questions to ask potential employees regardless of the position in which they’re applying.

  • Why are you interested in this position?
    • An alarming number of candidates are not prepared to questions as basic as this. The reason is that this question is as open-ended as any question you could possible ask. The best-prepared candidates will respond with a strong knowledge base about the position for which they’re applying as well as your organization and what they can bring to the table. Unfortunately, many candidates will respond with a series of unfortunate events that led them to your office.
  • Tell me about a time when you failed. How did you respond?
    • Again, an overwhelming number of candidates are simply un-prepared for questions as basic as this. The best case scenario is hearing from your candidate about a time when they were able to overcome a short-coming. The typical answer tends to be more of an admittance of not following directions or passing the blame. This is by no means a trick question but is certainly a valuable test of any candidate.
  • What’s your definition of Hard Work?
    • This is a great question to gauge not only the work-ethic of a particular candidate but the expectations of that candidate as well. Giving an individual the opportunity to define what they consider a successful project / day at work / etc. is a great opportunity to learn a little more about what makes this individual tick.

The most important item to remember when interviewing a candidate is that not only is this a great opportunity for you to get to know the person, it’s a great opportunity for them to get to know you as well. While it’s important to ask questions to make them think it’s also important to ask questions that set the individual at ease and make them feel comfortable asking YOU questions. A job is a lot like a relationship, meaning the interview is much akin to a first date or series of dates. It’s not only important that you be impressed with the candidate, but that they WANT to work for your company. Solid relationships are built from the start and this is your opportunity NOT to grill and possibly intimidate your job-seeker but to make sure it’s a good fit for both parties.