Good Interview Questions To Ask A Potential Employee

Bryan Brown | 23 June 2022 | 2 years ago

good interview questions to ask employee

It is time to fill the vacancy on the team, and the pressure is on to find a qualified applicant who possesses all of the necessary skills and professional experience. But is it possible to communicate all this information in just one interview? It is doable, provided of course, that the correct questions are asked, but what are good interview questions to ask employee?

Interviewers are required to thoroughly prepare, regardless of whether the meeting will take place in-person or virtually. You should ask questions to evaluate an applicant’s level of interest in the position and the company, learn about their employment history and plans for the future, learn about their work ethics and values, and disclose their strengths, limitations, knowledge, and skills.

Tips for General Interviews

Pose Specific Role-Related Questions

For example, if you need someone with great people skills since they are applying for a high-level HR position, you may want to ask them questions on communication, collaboration, conflict resolution, and so on.

Every Candidate Should be Asked the Same Questions.

You will not have the same knowledge about all of your candidates if you ask different questions to different candidates. Furthermore, certain candidates may find it easier to answer certain questions than others, thus you will not receive a fair assessment of all of your interviewees.

Select Open-ended or Strategic Questions

Closed-ended questions with only a yes or no response are less useful than open-ended inquiries. You learn more about your candidates over the quick interview period. They also give you a far better knowledge of the person.

Make sure your strategic interview questions are open-ended. “Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work,” rather than “Have you ever made a mistake at work.” “What happened, and how did you resolve it?”

So, let’s get started with the questions…

  1. What do you know about us, and why do you wish to work with us?
You’d think that with so much information available online these days, most candidates would do their research, but that’s not always the case. Some applicants may not even be aware of the company’s line of operation. Asking this interview question will instantly reveal who is genuinely interested in working with you – and who isn’t.

  1. What qualifications and strengths do you have for this position?
Did the applicant apply to your position blindly or did they evaluate how they matched your requirements? This inquiry can assist you in determining the answer. Applicants should be able to consider how their skills would enhance your particular team.

  1. Could you tell me about your current position?
This is a terrific open-ended question to ask a potential employee that can help you evaluate communication abilities while also learning about a person’s experience that goes beyond the résumé.

  1. What could your present company do to improve its chances of success?
This question might help you determine whether interviewees perceive the larger picture in their organisations. It may also show why they wish to leave their existing professions in the first place.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you disagreed with a manager or a co-worker and how you handled it?
This is one of the best questions to ask an applicant since it will give you an idea of their ability to resolve conflicts. When discussing the other people involved, what tone does the person use? Were they able to manage the given circumstance appropriately? Did they come to an agreement? Almost every job requires emotional intelligence.

  1. Tell me about a moment when you messed up at work. How did you deal with the situation?
Because everyone makes mistakes, this is an excellent question to ask candidates. However, how people manage those mistakes varies from person to person.

Pay close attention to the candidate’s response. Do they blame someone else for the error, or do they accept responsibility? Did they learn anything from their blunder? How did they make sure that didn’t happen again?

You’ll want to hire someone who sees their error as a learning experience and who applies what they’ve learned.

  1. Do you prefer working alone or in a group?
What type of work will the candidate be doing if they are chosen for the position? This question determines if they are a good fit for the types of assignments they will be given. Someone who prefers solitary work and lengthy spans of undisturbed time may not thrive in a role that involves teamwork or multitasking, whether they work remotely or in the office.

  1. Why are you quitting your current position?
Is your employment opportunity an alternative to the elements that made them unhappy in their current role (lack of professional development, management issues, etc.)? If so, highlight those advantages. However, be wary of candidates that have unrealistic expectations.

  1. What would you do if you were nearly finished with a project you had worked hard on and the goals or priorities were abruptly changed?
The answer you want depends on the function for which the candidate is being interviewed.

For example, if this is a lower-level role, you’ll want the candidate to demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to work hard to get the job done.

If the candidate is being interviewed for a higher-level role, you may want someone who can use problem-solving abilities to come up with a means to satisfy those priorities without having to redo the entire project.

You want someone who can match the company’s requirements while also being resourceful.

  1. What would you do if you were asked to collaborate on a project with a colleague but couldn’t seem to agree on anything?
This question allows you to observe your candidate’s dispute resolution abilities in action.

You’ll want to recruit someone who looks at the situation from their colleague’s perspective and tries to work things out with them first.

Because open communication is essential, you want the candidate to exhibit their ability to freely discuss the difficulties in a solution-oriented manner, rather than becoming defensive or emotional.

  1. How would you deal with receiving criticism from a superior?
While criticism can be tough to accept, it is an essential part of learning and helps us become more effective persons.

You’ll want your applicant to see criticism as a chance to learn from their blunders.

A competent candidate will admit their error, learn from the criticism, and effectively use the suggestions.

Be aware of candidates who react defensively to criticism or who see it as an attack on their character.

  1. What would your co-workers say about you?
This top interview question can shed light on the candidate’s soft abilities and how they will cooperate with the other members of your team. Understand your present staff members’ abilities and look for a candidate who will complement them.

  1. What would your boss say about you?
This may provide insight into the candidate’s relationship with past managers. Reliable? Prompt? Efficient? But keep in mind who you’re asking. The answer will simply be their interpretation of what the boss stated. That is why it is still necessary to check references. Request a list of contacts and contact former employers to learn how their impressions compare to what the candidate has said.

  1. Where can you see yourself in five years?
A job prospect with professional drive and high career goals is valuable. Look for someone who is invested in their work and has defined goals, and evaluate how your company may assist them in achieving those goals. Finding a prospect that is interested in advancing their career and sees opportunities with your firm enhances the likelihood that they will be satisfied in the long run.

  1. How do you deal with tight deadlines?
Technology projects frequently have extremely tight schedules. As a result, it may be worthwhile to question your prospective hire as to how well they work under pressure. Encourage the candidate to provide an example of what they have done in the past to guarantee a project stayed on schedule when it appeared it could miss the mark. Or, if the candidate, despite their best efforts, was unable to achieve a vital deadline, how did they handle the situation?

  1. Describe a challenging event that you’ve encountered at work. How did you manage to do it?
We are all subjected to stress. Most occupations are stressful in some way, while others are exceedingly stressful (surgeons, nurses, police officers, solicitors, you get the idea).

Constructively dealing with stress is vital regardless of the job your candidate is seeking for. You want a candidate who can handle a pushed-up deadline or an understaffed office without crumbling under strain.

When interviewing people for a high-stress job, how they respond to this question is critical. You want to hire someone who will be able to persevere when things get tough. Pay close attention to see whether they have any actual tactics for dealing with difficult situations.

  1. What was the most fascinating project you worked on in your previous position?
Use this interview question to discover whether the applicant is likely to love the available employment at your organisation. Do the types of work they enjoy doing correspond to the job description for your position? One of the most significant criteria in employee retention is ensuring that their work is professionally gratifying.

  1. Tell me about a time when you challenged yourself. How did you manage to do it?
This inquiry probes the candidate’s ability to push themselves and accomplish their goals.

The response you receive to this question can indicate how committed and ambitious the candidate is. It will also give you an idea of their organisational skills, which are important because most goals require a well-defined plan.

A good applicant is one who can create and fulfil goals for themselves with little supervision, especially if they are interviewing for a managerial position.

  1. What is one fact about you that isn’t on your LinkedIn profile?
Here’s another open-ended topic to ask an interviewee to get some fascinating ideas. Similar to asking, “What do you believe I need to know that we haven’t discussed?” it may begin a discussion about a passion outside of their 9-to-5 existence or maybe a great anecdote that shows more of their skills and motivations.

  1. Have you got any questions for me?
This question usually concludes the interview.

The majority of candidates stumble when asked this question, despite the fact that some candidates may have done their own research on how to react to such a topic.

Most candidates who are interested in the position will have a few pertinent questions for the recruiting manager. “Do you see the company expanding in the future?” for example. or “Does the organisation offer prospects for advancement?” Questions like these suggest that the candidate is interested in a) working for your organisation, b) staying there, and c) being promoted if the opportunity arises.

However, this does not imply that if an applicant does not have any questions, they are not interested or qualified for the position. If the interview was lengthy and in-depth, the candidate might have already asked their queries. In this scenario, it’s fine if a candidate doesn’t have a list of questions prepared at the end of the interview.


When selecting good interview questions to ask employee, combining role-specific and strategic questions will provide you with a deeper insight into the person you are interviewing, and you should be able to gain a well-rounded view of what they may have done previously in their recent problem-solving skills, and their future aspirations.



Related Topics

Performance Appraisals Reimagined, How to Modernise Your HR Reviews
4 September 2023

Performance Appraisals Reimagined, How to Modernise Your HR Reviews

Read More →
Which Employee Benefits Are Tax Free?
10 August 2023

Which Employee Benefits Are Tax Free?

Read More →
What is the Peter Principle and How Can You Avoid It?
7 August 2023

What is the Peter Principle and How Can You Avoid It?

Read More →
Getting the Most Out of Employee Engagement Surveys
24 July 2023

Getting the Most Out of Employee Engagement Surveys

Read More →
What is Payroll Flow? How Companies Such as PayFit are Streamlining Payroll Processes for SMEs
21 July 2023

What is Payroll Flow? How Companies Such as PayFit are Streamlining Payroll Processes for SMEs

Read More →
5 payroll mistakes that HR teams in the UK need to avoid
19 June 2023

5 payroll mistakes that HR teams in the UK need to avoid

Read More →

If you enjoy reading our articles,
why not sign up for our newsletter?

We commit to just delivering high-quality material that is specially crafted for our audience.

Join Our Newsletter