Are you asking potential hires the right things to test their compatibility with your team?


You have probably done many interviews at this point in your career. You post a job ad, find a handful of good candidates and schedule interviews. Then comes the difficult part. If you don’t ask good questions, you’ll keep repeating this process over and over because you won’t be hiring people who are truly a good fit for your company. But what do you ask potential candidates?

Look no further. These are some of the best interview questions you can ask. They quickly tell what you need to know about a candidate’s skill level and his or her fit within your organization.

  1. Tell me about your greatest achievement at work.
  2. Describe the work environment in which you will be able to contribute the most.
  3. What kind of oversight and interaction would your ideal boss provide?
  4. What prompted you to apply for this job?
  5. What interested you most about this position?
  6. Why should we hire you?
  7. What are the first three things you would do on the job if you were hired for this position?
  8. How would your current employer describe your work and contributions to the organization?
  9. What motivates you?
  10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

This handful of well-rounded questions covers all aspects of the job. In addition, they are common questions that your candidate most likely has been asked before. He or she should have prepared some answers ahead of time. If they stumble or don’t have a lot to say, that shows a lack of preparedness that may transition to their daily work.  

Related: How To Hire Exceptional Employees

To see how a prospective candidate can think on their feet, I also like to throw out a few quirky questions. Google has a reputation for asking difficult, brainteaser questions during interviews. I like to borrow some of those questions every now and then.

A few examples of those questions are:

  1. What would you do if you didn’t have to work?
  2. What scares you?
  3. Estimate the number of tennis balls that can fit into a plane.
  4. How many haircuts do you think happen in America every year?
  5. Tell me a joke.

I don’t believe that the answer to these questions is really that important. Asking this type of question is more about the opportunity to see how a candidate thinks, problem-solves, and sells you on a product or idea. It can also keep things light and relieve some of the nervousness that candidates commonly feel.

Related: Back at the Office: Make Your New Employees Comfortable On Their First Day Of Work

You want to get a true idea of their personality. Job interviews are selling your best self. The goal is for you to see someone’s true self and decided if that person is a good fit for your organization.

About the author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.


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