6 Interview Questions to Ask: Understanding a Candidate’s Value

You’ve posted the job, looked through resumes and are now ready to interview a group of candidates. This is one of the last chances you’ll get to understand a candidate before having to decide whether to extend a job offer. Here are six questions you can ask that will provide greater detail into an applicant’s interest in the company and the value they can provide.

1. What Do You Know About Our Company? This answer will say a lot about a candidate’s readiness for the interview and passion for the position. If they answer in detail, you know they’re interested. If they didn’t even take the time to glance at the company website, it is probably best to move on to the next applicant.

2. Why Do You Want This Job? Another question to determine a candidate’s interest is to ask why they want the job and what they would do if they were to get it. Many applicants will have more than one company they’re interviewing for but they should be able to specify why they want to work for you. If they can demonstrate that and convey their skills and past experiences into value for the company, you’ll be on your way to filling the position.

3. Describe Your Career Progression. This focuses on the experiences that a candidate has had. It gives them the chance to recall their work and spotlight important and relevant information for the interview. From this, you’ll get an idea of their previous goals and how they related to their current or future ones.

4. Give an Example of an Unsuccessful Project. Personal growth and self-awareness are important qualities to have on the job. This will identify whether the applicant is able to learn when things don’t go as planned and if they possess the resilience to better themselves and try again. It is similar to the classic “what is your weakness?” question, and while the candidate may be hesitant to answer an answer that shows growth is better than no answer at all.

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5. What Do You Need to Have in Your Next Job? This question provides an opportunity for the candidate to explain what they want from their next employer. Their answer will likely give an idea of what type of work environment they thrive in and what will keep them engaged. While there is no right or wrong answer, if you’re really interested in a candidate, you’ll want to make sure your company can provide the necessary things and has the right culture.

6. How Would You Address This Real-World Business Problem? Asking interview questions that deal with actual business problems that you may be facing does an excellent job at seeing the impact a candidate could have. This is especially valuable for management roles. You’ll be able to see their thought process in real time and may even get a couple good ideas in the process.

These questions are far from an exclusive or comprehensive list, but they should help you uncover some valuable insights. You’ll also want to include questions that are specific to the role you are interviewing for, so read through your job description again and write down a few questions you think will get to the heart of what the role requires.

Robert Hoeft

Robert Hoeft
Robert Hoeft is a marketing assistant at QPS Employment Group.

Robert Hoeft

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