Coming up with the right interview questions to ask is a critical aspect of the recruitment process. Recruiters and hiring managers go beyond looking at resumés by conducting interviews to better assess the knowledge, skills, and experience of potential employees.
During face-to-face interviews, recruiters will know more about the candidate through body language, attire, punctuality, etc. For phone interviews, they will rely on the candidate’s tone of voice and how he/she responds to questions.
Preparation is essential in an interview, and it’s not just for the candidates. The interviewers also need to prepare for it by knowing the right questions to ask. Also, how can they determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the role and the company in general? This can be done by asking the right interview questions so the candidate will provide the required information.
Examples of Interview Questions to Ask
If you’re an interviewer, what will you ask a potential employee? Here are some of the best interview questions to ask job candidates to help you decide who best fits the position:
1. What made you decide to apply for this job?
The answer will tell you the things that motivate the candidate at work. You will learn what is important to him/her when it comes to career opportunities. It will also help you assess if the candidate’s needs are in line with what the position and the company can offer.
2. Why are you leaving your current job?
Many job applicants consider this question a tricky one. There can be a wide range of reasons why people would want to leave their current employer. The answer to this question will enable you to know the candidate’s employment history, as well as his/her goals and work attitude.
Did he/she go through a bad experience with the company? If the candidate is bad-mouthing a previous employer or manager, it can be a red flag that the candidate is not the best fit for the role.
3. If you were hired for this role, what is the first thing you would do on the job?
The candidate’s answer will let you know if he/she fully understands the responsibilities involved in the role and learn their priorities. Since the question is about the actual position, you will get insights into how the candidate will tackle a new set of tasks and a new work environment.
4. What are the skills that you would like to improve? What will you do to improve them?
Instead of asking the candidate about their weaknesses, consider focusing on areas where they think they need improvement. You can also ask a follow-up question to give you an idea of the steps that the candidate will take to develop or further grow their skill set.
5. Can you tell me about a time when you encountered a work problem? How did you resolve it?
Many interviewers include this question in their list, and for a good reason. Issues with a task or project can happen. The answer to the question will give you an idea of how the applicant handles a difficult situation. Knowing their strategies or coping mechanisms will help you decide if they are a strong fit for the role.
Knowing what to ask during interviews is essential. It gives you a better understanding of candidates and helps you narrow down the selection process and eventually find the best applicant for the role. Just like the candidates who take the time to prepare for an interview, do your part by making a list of your questions so you get the most out of the conversation.
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to interview questions to ask. CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional resources below will be useful: