Being an interviewer for a job can be just as difficult as being an interviewee. Without asking the right questions, it is difficult to get the information needed to make a solid decision about a candidate. The better an interviewer is at asking questions of a potential employee, the more likely it is that they will find the best fit for the role that needs to be filled.
Five Interview Question Examples
“What is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?”
This is an old standard, but a very important question to ask of a potential employee. Regardless of his or her answer, noting their level of self-awareness is important. Someone who can genuinely compliment themselves and admit their own faults is someone who has done some self examination; he or she is likely confident enough to believe in their own hard work, but also open to finding ways to improve where they might be lacking. Of course, it would also be good to note if someone thinks that they have nothing to improve upon or nothing to offer!
“If you could redo your college degree, what would you major in?”
Everyone has interests, but not everyone’s transcript or work history demonstrate these interests. This question may draw out interests or skills that the candidate has not otherwise revealed in their resume or cover letter. If the candidate answers with a subject unrelated to the job that they are applying for, there may be room for creative interpretation as to how that interest might apply to the potential gig. Conversely, if the candidate answers with a subject in line with the role they are seeking, it may serve as reaffirmation of the passion they have for their chosen career path.
“What is the key element that makes you want to work here?”
This is likely an easy question for the candidate to answer in their head. However, it can be tricky to get someone to answer this candidly. Most likely, they think that there is a “right” answer to this question, or they don’t want to seem desperate by blurting out “because it’s my dream job!” or “because I need a paycheck!” Gauge their enthusiasm on this one, more than the content of their answer. It will be easy to identify the difference between a candidate who is just looking for any job and a candidate who truly wants this job.
“What is the one thing you do better than anyone else?”
Similar to the college degree question, this question is about skills. The difference here is that it can be anything at all; “I’m than excellent shower singer,” or “I’m really good at woodworking,” or “I’m the best sister-in-law I know.” Forcing candidates to think outside the box is important; getting an answer like “I can do vlookups better than anyone,” may be an impressive answer if the person is up for role that deals with a lot of data, but it doesn’t show any personal depth or skill beyond what they have already proven in their resume.
“If you could have one superpower, what would it be?”
X-Ray Vision, Invisibility, Flight, Superstrength… the list goes on. These answers can be crazy, but it it shows creativity and gives a simply “good on paper” candidate a bit of character. It gets conversation flowing in an otherwise tense situation and helps an employer feel out whether the person sitting before them would be a good fit for the team with which they would be working.