Top 5 Interview Questions for Candidates

You can tell a lot about a business leader by the kinds of questions that they ask. In an interview, asking the right questions is not just integral to finding the right candidate, it also helps to create a relationship between employer and employee that is crucial. Simply put, asking the right questions is the best way to find a good fit for your company. Here are five key interview questions that you should ask your potential hire:

1. Why do you feel you are a good fit for this position?

This is a very good question to ask candidates early on in the interview process. Since finding out the answer to this question is the essence of what the interview process is for, getting a candidate’s take on it can be very informative. You don’t just want to hear about their background and education; anyone can discuss that. The goal of this question is to get a sense of the intangibles – the qualities that aren’t always measured on a resume that are good determinants of how someone will perform on the job. It also gives great insight on what a potential hire feels his or her best attributes to contribute are.

2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

The main goal of this question is to determine exactly what goals you’re hire has in pursuing the position. Will they stay on indefinitely? Are they looking to gain experience and go back to school? Having a candid discussion with a potential hire about their short term and long term goals will help both sides communicate their expectations. This will create a clarity that will strengthen the business relationship if the person is hired. In short, it is a great way to start on the right foot and to determine if the position is the right fit for the employer and the employee.

3. Describe a time where you failed at something and what you learned from it?

The best opportunities to learn are often not when things are going well. The truth is you gain more experience from losses than wins. By asking a potential hire to highlight a career failure and what they learned from it, employers can get a great sense of how much a candidate actually learns on the job and if they take positives away from even bad experiences. Ultimately, the goal of this question is to learn how valuable a candidate’s experience has actually been. If they are able to draw great lessons from their past experiences, chances are they will do the same with new ones as well. This is a trait that will make them a strong part of your team. The added benefit of learning the answer to this question is that the employer may get to learn something too.

4. What is it that draws you to this firm?

Many potential hires aren’t passionate about the role or the company culture; quite frankly, some are just in it for the money. For this reason, you need to learn early what it is about the position and the firm that interests your potential candidate. While compensation is a great motivator, there needs to be a driving force that goes above and beyond. You want your employees to be passionate about what they do and to let that excitement exhibit itself in all of the work that they do.

5. What is the most difficult part about your job?

This is a very interesting question to ask. Not only because it helps employers evaluate potential obstacles to working with someone, but it also gives the employer insight into an employee’s day-to-day experience. This is important because understanding what your employees are going through each day will help you to lead them better. It will also create a top-down awareness of your company that will dramatically enhance your effectiveness. By getting to know the difficulties associated with positions, you can now take steps to try and alleviate or eliminate any impediments and make your team run better.