The Top 6 Questions to Ask an Interviewee

Job interviews put a lot of pressure on the candidate, but interviewees aren’t the only ones who need to come prepared. As an employer or hiring manager, it’s crucial to ask the right questions during a job interview. Not only must you find out if the interviewee is qualified, but you also need to know and understand just how well they will fit into the company culture. Employee turnover is something that you just can’t afford, so your questions should break down the interviewee’s walls, get straight to the point, and find out exactly what you need to know. Can you trust this person as an employee? Will they work as hard as they say they will? Are they a quick learner or will they need hand-holding? All of these questions are critical when it comes to staffing for your business. 

So below, we’ve put together the top six questions to ask an interviewee, ensuring that you receive the knowledge and transparency required to make an informed hiring decision. 

Why are you looking for a new job?

This is an absolutely essential question to ask an interviewee. By asking why the applicant is looking for a new job, you’ll get a sense of what kind of worker they are, what kind of a background they’re coming from, and what it is they might be looking for. This question can also help you find out if they’ve been let go of their previous position without directly asking the candidate. Here, you can find out just how honest they are, and if they’re upfront about their gripes with their prior role. At the same time, you will find out if they are able to discuss problems with class, or if they’re simply whining and complaining. 

What is one attribute that makes you stand out from everyone else?

Asking the applicant to describe a special attribute or “superpower” they have is a good way to learn about the candidate’s self-awareness and self-esteem. If they struggle to identify positive attributes about themselves, you know that they may get down on themselves too readily to hold a challenging position. If they come across as conceited or arrogant, you learn that they may not be the best fit for a team-oriented role. But a good, insightful answer shows the ability to look inward and objectively identify strengths.

If you got the position, what would you be most excited to take on first?

By asking hypothetical questions about obtaining the role, you can perhaps illuminate the candidate’s excitement. If they are eager to discuss this topic and have some ideas already in mind of what they’d like to accomplish, then you know they’ve already done their research, and that they’re enthusiastic and optimistic about your business in particular. If they shy away from this question, they most likely didn’t put much thought into the application process, and they are less likely to fully commit, or give 100% effort. 

What’s your biggest professional weakness?

Asking about an applicant’s biggest weakness is an age-old practice for hiring managers for a reason. When you ask someone about their weakness, make sure that they actually give you one. Too many job seekers beat around the bush when answering this question, or try to spin a weakness into a strength—and it’s simply them hiding behind the truth. Everybody has weaknesses, but you want to know if they’re capable of honesty, self-reflection, and self-diagnosis. A good candidate should be able to tell you about something they’re not so great at, but they should also be working to improve that trait. You want to find out if they care, and what sort of emphasis they place on self-improvement, because otherwise, they may need a ton of micromanaging. 

How did you get into this line of work?

Ask the interviewee about their background. See how deep-rooted their actual interest is in this position. Many people fall backwards into their careers, which isn’t to say that they won’t be successful, but it’s important to know—as their employer—just how motivated they are to succeed. Do they just want the paycheck or are they there to help build your brand because they care? This question will show you different qualities depending on the industry you’re in, but it at least gives you a chance to get to know the applicant a bit better. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Asking a job candidate about the best advice they’ve ever heard will help you learn about some of their struggles. If the best piece of advice they’ve received is about relationships or love, then you know that they are in touch with their emotions and care about how people treat each other. This lets you know they will work well as a manager or a team player, and that they’re at least aware of how empathy factors into decision making and experiences. If they respond with advice about growing their career or chasing their dreams, then you know that they’re more likely to be money-motivated or professionally ambitious. These types of responses mean the applicant may be a great fit for a sales role, or a role where their success rests mainly in their own hands. This is also a slightly unorthodox question, and as a hiring manager or employer, it’s always advisable to keep your interviews interesting—remember, you want to be memorable and likeable as well. 

Simplified Talent Sourcing With Canduit Connection

Canduit Connection specializes in connecting targeted job seekers with employment opportunities in growing businesses with high labor turnover. We are dedicated to simplifying and streamlining the talent sourcing process to make hiring easy, affordable, and effective. Canduit Connection has transformed the modern recruiting experience to develop a people-focused approach that promotes lasting partnerships and long-term business growth. Contact us today to build a connection and take the next steps.