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  • Top 20 Questions to Ask During an Interview

    Top 20 Questions to Ask During an Interview

    Posted December 26, 2019 By in In the News

    The interview can be the most stressful part of the job search process, for parties on both sides of the table. As an employer, asking the right questions is critical if you want to find the candidate who is truly the best fit for the job. At Linked, we recommend that clients use the behavioral interview model. This helps hiring managers to identify the candidates that have had similar experiences and provides deeper insight into how the candidate has been successful in similar situations. 

    Of course, a candidate’s background and resume are important pieces to the puzzle, but it’s during the interview that you learn about the person behind the resume; it allows you to see how their experience has shaped values, work ethic and character. 

    Asking the right interview questions can make the difference between finding the person who is a good fit for the position, your company and culture, and finding the person who is the perfect fit. 

    So what questions should you ask? Before we jump into the best interview questions, let’s review what not to do during a job interview. 

    1. Don’t “wing it.”Interviewing can be time-consuming work, but it requires careful planning and attention to detail. Prepare your list of questions in advance and do your homework on the candidate or candidates you’ll be interviewing for the position. Read their resume. Review their online profiles and platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. 
    2. Don’t go on your “gut feeling” alone. Yes, gut instincts can be powerful, and often truthful, but those instincts are based on something. Key factors that should influence your gut feeling and ultimate decision are the applicant’s background (resume) and the applicant’s answers to the interview questions. 
    3. Don’t use the interview only to screen out the unqualified. Using the typical list of interview questions can be helpful in identifying candidates who are not the right fit. But well-designed interview questions can help you also identify the candidate who is the best fit for the job. 

    Once you’ve identified the specifics of the job you’re trying to fill, and you’ve done your homework on the initial candidates for the position, it’s time to prep for the interview. As you create your list of interview questions, focus on behavioral interview questions. A behavioral interview is a technique used to assess candidates based on their past decisions and behavior and reveal the candidate’s skills and personality. During a behavioral interview, the hiring manager asks situational questions to get a clear understanding of how the candidate has performed the required skills and how they will work in a particular environment. 

    Here are the top 20 traditional interview questions and behavioral interview questions to ask during a job interview to help you identify the best candidate for the job. It’s important to note that when you’re interviewing more than one candidate, it’s best to select the same questions for each candidate. This will make the evaluation process at the end much easier and consistent. 

    1. Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it. 
    2. Give an example of a goal you didn’t reach and how you handled it. 
    3. What career accomplishment makes you most proud? Why?
    4. What are your greatest weaknesses? 
    5. What are your greatest strengths?
    6. Describe a time you experienced a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.
    7. Tell me how you work under pressure. 
    8. Have you ever made a mistake at work? How did you handle it? 
    9. Give an example of how you’ve worked on a team. 
    10. Describe a time you made a decision that was unpopular and how you implemented that decision. 
    11. Describe a time you made a risky decision. Why did you make that decision and how did you handle it? 
    12. Give an example of a time you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty. 
    13. How do you handle meeting a tight deadline?
    14. What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? 
    15. Share an example of a time you have been able to motivate employees or coworkers. 
    16. Describe a time when you have disagreed with a coworker. How did you handle it? 
    17. Have you ever experienced a difficult situation with a supervisor? How did you handle it? 
    18. Have you ever experienced a difficult situation with a vendor or client? How did you handle it? 
    19. What do you do if you disagree with your boss?
    20. Why do you want to work here?

    This list is not all-inclusive, nor is it mandatory that you ask every question in this list. Most importantly, take the time to plan for the interviews. Do your homework on the candidate, and identify a list of questions you want to ask the candidate. During the interview, listen carefully to the candidate’s answers to ensure you’re able to get the best view of who they are and why they may (or may not) be the best fit for your job opening. 

    About the Author

    Top 20 Questions to Ask During an Interview With over 35 years of experience in marketing, sales and operations in Fortune 50 to family-owned businesses, Kurt VandeMotter has perfected the art of establishing candid conversations and building long-term relationships that accelerate companies’ hiring process. It is because of these core specialties that hundreds of firms turn to Kurt and his team to find them the talent they need.  After 13 years in search, his results speak for themselves. Forbes recently ranked Kurt’s company Linked Executive Search as the #1 search firm in TX and 19thin the nation.  


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