The 5 Interview Questions You Should Be Asking
As an employer attempting to fill an open position, you have limited time with each candidate before deciding if they are the right person for the job; as a result, it is important that you ask questions that glean the most information in the short time that you have with each candidate. The following five interview questions (or a version of them) should be asked of each candidate to give you insight into how well they would acclimate to your company and the position you are hiring for.
- Tell me about yourself.
While this is more of a request than a question, opening the interview by asking the candidate to tell you about themselves gives them the opportunity to impress you while breaking the ice. Not only should they demonstrate their preparedness for the interview with a well-crafted response (qualified candidates will know to expect this opening interview tactic), but they should also impress you with their ability to incorporate their qualifications and desire to work for your company conversationally in their response.
- What do you know about this company?
By asking what the candidate knows about your company, you are able to gauge their interest level in the position. If they shrug and give a basic response, it is safe to assume that they did not follow due diligence before the interview and research the company, and are not truly dedicated to getting this job. A candidate who is dedicated to getting the job will be able to tell you about the company from its mission statement and culture to what it produces or services it offers. In addition to gauging their interest level, this is a good opportunity for you to find out what they know so that you don’t spend valuable interview time reiterating what they already know about your company.
- What drew you to this company?
Use this question to find out what it was about your company that caught their attention. Did they randomly find your job positing online, or did the candidate actively seek out employment with your company or industry? Although there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question, their response can give you some insight into their dedication to getting a job in your company and if, based on their research, they believe that they would fit in with the culture there. The candidate that you end up hiring should have a genuine interest in your company and this interest can be assessed by why they decided to apply and pursue a position in your company.
- How would working for this company help you to reach your goals?
This question is a good substitute for the typical interview question that we have all heard, “where do you see yourself in five years”. Although it is important to understand where the candidate sees their career heading, by asking how working for your company would help them to reach their goals instead, you will learn what their goals are as well as if they view your company as an important way to reach those goals. Even without a timeline, a good candidate will be able to tell you about their career plan and the approximate length of time it will take for them to accomplish their goals (which will give you an idea of how ambitious they are in their career).
- Do you have any questions for me?
This is a great way to end an interview because it can help you easily weed out candidates who aren’t interested in the position. If the candidate truly wants the position, they will come prepared with questions for you. These questions will reflect their interest level and if they actually researched your company based on how generic the questions are. Simply put, a good candidate will come with questions for you that turn the end of their interview into them interviewing you and your company.
Although there are questions that are specific to your company and the position you are hiring for that you will need to ask during an interview, these five questions should be asked during every interview to quickly determine if the candidate will be moving forward in the selection process.