I started Recruiting in 1998 so this year marks 25 years of matching people to roles. For my 25th anniversary, I’m sharing 25 of my favorite interview questions. An average interview will have 8-12 questions. Please don’t try to ask someone all of these. Pick and choose the applicable ones based on the needs for the role. Don’t be afraid to just use similar questions for various skills either. For example, you can simply insert any skill into a question like: Tell me about your experience using _____.
My best advice: Choose the questions before your 1st interview for a specific role and then ask all the candidates the same questions.
25 of Amy’s Favorite Questions:
- Why are you interested in this role?
- Which of your past experiences do you feel is most applicable to this role?
- What are your salary expectations for this position?
- Tell me about a goal you’ve set for yourself and how you achieved it?
- What feedback have you received previously that helped you improve?
- How do you like to be managed?
- Tell me about a successful team you’ve been part of. What worked/didn’t?
- What would your teammates tell me about the role you took within the team?
- What would your last manager say stood out about your performance?
- Can you share an example of how you’ve altered your communication style for multiple audiences?
- On a scale of 1-10, rate your skills on X tool? (Follow-up – what keeps you from saying 10?)
- What things do you do to keep up to date within your field? (Follow-up to books, podcasts, websites, email lists – what’s your favorite one?)
- If you were given a new software license to do your role, how would you approach learning it?
- In X role, how was your performance evaluated?
- What type of manager or management style do you work best with?
- How would you describe your leadership style?
- For new grads, What were your favorite courses within your major?
- How do you stay motivated when you have repetitive tasks to complete?
- For remote workers, how do you manage your day in a remote role?
- This role requires that you do xxx regularly, tell me about your experience leading/doing that function?
- How would you manage a situation in which you learned a teammate was sharing confidential information?
- What is your favorite/least favorite part of your current/last role?
- What factors, other than compensation, are important to you in your next position?
- When do you anticipate making an employment decision?
- If your next meeting goes well and the team offered you a position at $xx, would you accept?
The last question is generally one that a Recruiter would use but a hiring manager could use a similar one to assess someone’s overall interest in the role and ensure alignment on compensation. As a bonus, when you make a verbal offer (which you should always do before sending it over in writing), ask the candidate, “Is there anything that might keep you from accepting our offer?”. In my experience, you’ll know with 95% accuracy whether they’ll sign based on how long of a pause comes next.
What questions would you add to the list?
If you enjoyed this blog, here is another about interviewing from the job-seeker’s perspective: STAR interviews (recruitingexperiences.com)