10 Great Interview Questions: Find Your Perfect Hire

Interviewing candidates is a critical skill to bringing on new staff that align with your company’s culture and mission. This critical skill helps business owners find the right people that are a good fit for the job and the team. This week, let’s explore ten questions to consider asking potential hires that address topics such as attitudes, organization, past performance, creativity, and much more.

1. What kind of supervisor do you enjoy working for the least?

This question challenges candidates to be honest about their expectations and about environments in which they wither or thrive. Observe their answers carefully! By asking this question, small business owners can see whether the potential hire is overly negative, or objective and constructive. Additionally, the response helps inform whether the candidate would fair well under your leadership and what sort of attitudes the candidate has toward management.

2. What has been a problem area that you would like to solve in your current/recent job, but haven’t yet?

This question is a gold mine! It allows the interviewer to see whether the potential hire is reflective and self-aware. Does he or she think about his or her work or workplace processes? Does he or she act upon his or her observations? Does he or she have ambitions to become a better worker or make a difference in the workplace?

3. What strategies do you use to communicate information to a wide variety of people with differing levels of expertise?

With this inquiry, small business owners are able to gain insight into whether the candidate can make themselves clear to other staff members, managers, potential clients, or current customers regardless of their positions or skills. It is so critical that all staff communicate effectively with one another and with your customers.

4. Describe a time when you believed it was necessary to modify or change your actions in order to respond to the needs of another co-worker.

So many important qualities are uncovered through this question. Is the candidate flexible and willing to work to be understood by others in the workplace? Is the candidate observant to social and verbal cues that would show whether a coworker or a client is on the same page as the employee? Flexibility, adaptability and willingness to change are invaluable skills.

5. What goals do you have for yourself professionally? What do you want to accomplish?

Not only does this question allow business leaders to see whether the potential hire is ambitious or has any goals that would drive them to succeed on the job, but it also indicates whether that person would be dedicated to the amount of time or type of work that is necessary for the position. Will the candidate most likely stay with the company for as long as the business needs? Are their skills and what they desire to learn something that is useful or will be useful to the company down the road? Can the candidate help the business in one aspect currently but then fill a need in the business later?

6. Give me an example of a time you had a lot “coming at you” – multiple people needing things, phones ringing, lots of emails… Tell me about the requests and how you handled them.

With all the moving parts of this question, it is easy to learn a lot about the potential hire. First and foremost, employers learn about the worker’s disposition. Is he or she eager to help? Able to multitask and do it well? How would he or she react in a demanding situation? How do they prioritize and manage stress?

7. Give an example of an initiative or project you were responsible for starting. What did you do? How did it work out?

Find out what potential this candidate has as a worker and see whether he or she would be the one to take initiative in the office or just sit at his or her desk and wait to be given something to do. If there is down time, does the candidate find a task to complete? Does he or she have to be guided all of the time, or do they find ways to be productive? Easily, a hirer would know whether this potential worker would waste the company’s time or money, or if he or she would be fueling productivity for the business.

8. If your trainer or mentor was unavailable, how would you go about learning the things expected or required of you?

This question helps determine if the candidate is self-sufficient in finding ways to learn new concepts and skills, able to problem solve without having to be monitored constantly, or able to research independently to save time for higher managers. Employers don’t want someone that has to have his or her hand held the entire time! Independence and initiative are great qualities in a new hire.

9. Could you please describe your organizational skills and what methods you envision yourself using to remain organized?

Quick and to the point, candidates are asked whether they are responsible with their work area, dependable in maintaining work, and reliable for quality work through having specific processes that keep the rhythm of working going smoothly. Being organized is crucial, especially if the candidate will be required to communicate often with other coworkers and even work on projects that have multiple hands on them.

10. What are the most important attitudes and behaviors of someone working on a team?

Ask this question to find out if the potential client can positively work with others or whether their disposition toward teamwork is negative and discouraging. Working with many people can be challenging, but it is important to being part of a workplace community. Healthy communication techniques and the will to work with others can be a strong indicator of whether a candidate would be a good fit for your company.

 

Hiring a new person can often feel daunting as it can be difficult to know whether someone would fit into the current staff upon initial meetings, but using very specific and pointed questions to find out valuable information would benefit your small business. Try using some of these questions that span the hot-button subjects regarding communication styles, teamwork, workplace management, and much more.