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Businesses need employees, and with the historically low unemployment rate, finding good talent can be a real challenge.
Job candidates are drawn to businesses where others like to work. Employers need to create employment environments where employees thrive and engage.
Employee engagement and loyalty is an effective gauge for determining the health of the employment environment. Monitor engagement, and you will know how happy employees are to work for you.
Interviews Can Be Daunting
Anyone who has ever interviewed a job candidate understands that it can be a daunting task.
Knowing the right questions to ask is critical to identifying a person who fits your organization.
Developing interviewing skills takes practice, and preparation is crucial for success. Being ready for the interview is the initial and essential first step.
How To Prepare for An Interview
Review resume. Take the time to review the candidate’s resume so you can become familiar with their background and work history. Highlight areas that may spark follow-up questions.
Introduce yourself. Begin the conversation by introducing yourself and providing a bit of your background. Explain the interview process and what to expect after the interview is complete.
Try to help the candidate feel at ease. Your aim is to help the candidate feel at ease so they put their guard down and speak freely.
The interview questions aim to get candidates to talk, share, and express themselves.
Getting to know the candidate is essential, so ask probing questions to help them expand on details.
Ask about the candidate’s background and experience. Pairing appropriate questions with potential job candidates can facilitate a dialogue that illuminates whether the candidate is a suitable match for the position you are trying to fill.
For instance, you will ask a manager very different questions than you would an administrative assistant. Focus questions on the specifics of the job you are interviewing for.
The interviewer should speak minimally until all questions are answered, and the probing is complete.
Ask for examples and use follow-up questions to drill down on answers to ensure you receive the best possible information about the candidate.
Encourage questions. Encourage the candidate to ask questions during the interview and after all the questions are asked. Make sure they walk out the door with no unanswered questions.
Bring closure to the interview. Close the interview by summarizing what was discussed and explaining the next steps. This will prepare the candidate for the timeline of completing the hiring process.
Focus the questions around a few key topics. Job interest, background, problem-solving skills, team focus, customer service, and personal development to get a well-rounded picture of the job candidate.
25 Sample Interview Questions
1. Please tell me what interests you in working for XYZ Business.
2. What makes you interested in this specific job?
3. What is your understanding of the mission and vision of XYZ Business?
4. Tell me what you do in your current position?
5. Tell me about a time you identified an improvement opportunity for your employer and how you solved the problem.
6. Describe the best boss you’ve ever had.
7. Describe the most challenging boss you’ve ever had.
8. If I called your boss today, tell me how he would describe you as an employee.
9. What would your former boss say your strengths are?
10. What would your former boss say your weaknesses are?
11. What did your former boss say at your last performance appraisal?
12. Tell me how you scored on prior performance appraisals.
13. Tell me about when your supervisor coached you on performance.
14. Describe the performance management process with your former employer?
15. What are your strengths?
16. What are your personal growth opportunities?
17. Tell me about some employee goals you’ve had to accomplish?
18. Have you worked in a team environment in any prior job? If yes, please describe how that team functioned.
19. What is your approach to conflict resolution?
20. Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a co-worker and how you resolved it.
21. Have you had customer service training in the past?
22. Tell me about when you dealt with a difficult customer and how you resolved the issue.
23. Do you have any personal goals?
24. Where would you like to be professionally in five years?
25. What are your professional goals?
This is a standard list of interview questions. Some may be more applicable for some candidates than others, and some may be industry specific.
Avoid questions about sex, race, religion, national origin, or age.
Preparation is Crucial to A Successful Interview
Prepare for the interview by determining which questions are the most appropriate for the job you are interviewing for.
Get prepared by reviewing the candidate’s application, resume, and the above interview questions, and you will be well on your way to facilitating a productive interview conversation.
What other questions do you like to ask job candidates?