As a former Human Resource professional, I interviewed applicants many times and would create a list of interview questions for each open position. It’s important to focus interview questions on specific duties related to the job, skills, culture fit, motivation, and experience.
In our current down economy and high unemployment, it’s not unusual to receive 40-100 resum é s for one open position that your company has. It’s the hiring manager’s responsibility to ask the right interview questions in order to hire the right applicant.
By asking the right interview questions, the hiring manager should be looking for three things from job applicants: Is the applicant qualified for the position? How motivated is the applicant to do the job? Is the applicant a culture fit–in other words, your company’s kind of person?
The hiring manager should create a separate page listing the interview questions and these same interview questions should be asked of each candidate in order to fairly evaluate each applicant. Remember not to write anything on the resum é itself as it becomes a legal document.
1. Tell me about yourself…
This typical interview question seems to always catch the applicant off guard when it’s usually asked to give the applicant some time to talk about themselves and calm their nerves. Interviews are stressful for both sides and this typical interview question can be a stress reliever.
A good reply to this interview question is for the applicant to begin telling you about their present job, or their last job if unemployed, and how it ties in with the position you have available. An applicant can give you a lot of detailed information from this one common interview question. What you don’t want to hear is their life history and how much money they owe on their bills.
2. What is it about the position description of our job opportunity that sounded appealing to you?
The applicant’s answer to this common interview question should tell you what motivated him or her to apply to your company. If the answer is regarding money or the pay scale, this applicant is probably motivated by money and may leave your company when a higher paying position comes along.
If the applicant is motivated by the position you have available or your company, they will tell you that and possibly cite several of their qualifications.
3. What would your current boss or last boss describe as your three greatest assets and why?
Obviously, you’re looking for the applicant’s strengths in this interview question. Desirable traits for most companies would be a proven track record as an achiever, honesty, good communication skills, ability to meet deadlines, dedication, and enthusiasm. Applicant’s will usually answer this question honestly as they assume that you’ll be talking to their boss about them.
4. In which of your past positions did you feel most motivated and productive?
You’re seeking information on how the applicant might fit in with your company’s corporate culture with this interview question. If you’re looking for an applicant that is good with customer service, then you want the applicant to tell you about those types of positions in his or her background. If, however, the applicant states that they prefer detailed work and working alone, then this may not be a good candidate for that particular position.
5. As you review your overall qualifications for this position, what do you see as some areas that you may need some development in?
The answer to this tough interview question will let you know what weaknesses the applicant has for the position. It will also give you an idea of how much training the applicant may need and whether or not the applicant is really qualified for the position. The cost of training is expensive and your company may not have the funds to train someone extensively.
As you complete each interview, make a note on your interview question sheet as to whether or not this is a good applicant. Also keep in mind any positions that you feel may become available in the near future, and you can make a note on the applicant’s interview question sheet if he or she might fill that position.