SupportBiz lists 10 questions that you should ask candidates at job interviews, which will help you find those right employees.
1. What are you looking forward to learning here?
The answer to this question will give you an idea about what the candidate is really expecting from your start-up, the skills that he/she presently has, and the skills that he/she aims to grow during his/her tenure with your firm. This information will be of great value to you in putting the candidate in exactly the kind of job where he/she wants, if he/she is selected.
Moreover, this question will convey an unspoken message to the candidate – that you are interested in him/her as an individual, and in the overall growth of their personality and career.
2. Which are the books/movies that you think every single person should read/watch? Why?
The answer to this question will tell you a lot about the candidate – his/her personality, his/her intellect, his/her tastes and preferences. This will, in turn, help you determine which position in your organisation he/she would be a best fit for.
Plus, the answer will give you a lot of book/movie recommendations, which you can follow up on later. More often than not, it will open up the candidate and lead to an interesting conversation, which will, again, tell you a lot more about him/her.
3. If you were to start a business, what kind would it be?
The candidate’s answer to this question will tell you whether he/she possesses an entrepreneurial spirit, and how far they would go to chase this dream of theirs. You will get an idea about the hopes that the candidate has about his/her business, and where he/she thinks his/her skills lie.
Aspiring entrepreneurs will possess a certain curiosity and determination about them, which you will ultimately stand to benefit from. On the other hand, a total lack of entrepreneurial drive will help you avoid putting the candidate in positions which will require it, which could have been a total disaster.
4. Tell me about a time when another employee or a customer got very upset with you. How did you handle the situation?
Conflicts are bound to arise in any kind of work. The candidate’s answer to this question will indicate to you the level of conflict he/she has been through. This, in turn, will give you an idea of whether he/she will be able to handle the pressure that life in your firm will put on them.
How the candidate handled the sticky situation will also tell you a lot about him/her. If they put the entire blame of the situation on someone else, that should ring warning bells in your head. However, if the candidate admits that he/she was at blame, either fully or partly, but managed to keep his/her cool and handle the situation with élan, he/she is definitely someone you should be considering for employment in your firm.
5. What worries you about working for us?
This might sound like a strange question initially, but it will reveal a wealth of information to you. It will give you an idea of how outsiders perceive your firm, and give you an objective picture of what are apparently your flaws. It, thus, gives you a chance to better yourself and your image.
Also, if the candidate is really good, you could see if his/her concerns can be completely eliminated before he/she joins you at work.
6. Have you ever felt that the management was wrong about something? What did you do in that case?
Conflicts or differences of opinion with the management are natural in most kinds of work. What you need to know is how the candidate handled such a situation.
If you feel that the candidate was right about something, and the management was not, but the candidate was able to convince the management of the same through rational discussions, he/she is definitely someone you should have on board. This indicates that the candidate was not afraid to stand out from the crowd, and was able to challenge popular opinion.
7. Describe a time when you were doing a task, and you realised that time just flew.
The answer to this question will tell you what the candidate really loves doing. This, in turn, will help you put him/her in the right kind of job in your firm.
8. Describe a time when you were doing a task, and you felt that time was not moving at all. How did you manage to complete the task?
The answer to this question will give you an idea of the kind of task that the candidate does not like doing at all. It will also tell you how determined he/she is, and how he/she will motivate himself/herself when faced with a task that he/she does not like.
In all kinds of jobs, it is inevitable that there will be certain tasks that a person does not like doing. This answer will, hence, be of great value to you in finding out the candidate’s pain points, and how he/she will overcome the pain points in the job you will offer him/her.
9. What did you like about the previous jobs you have held, and why did you leave them?
The candidate’s answer to this question will give you an idea of what he/she is really looking forward to in a job, and the things they dislike enough to quit a job. Try not to get too judgemental with this answer, and delve deeper into the candidate’s mind.
10. What is the hardest decision you have made recently? How did you arrive at it?
The answer to this question will give you an idea of the analytical skills of the candidate. It will tell you how the candidate reacts to difficult choices, and his/her priorities in arriving at one particular option.