4 Important Questions Every Employer Should Ask Candidates During Interviews

Every hiring manager’s goal is to hit a home run with every new employee they bring on board. No one ever wants to make a bad hiring decision that ends up costing the company more time, money, and frustration. So it’s critical to conduct thorough interviews that give great insight into the candidates’ backgrounds, personalities, skills, and goals so that the chances of hiring the right fit the first time are high. While there’s no foolproof method, I believe that asking the right questions during the interview will most often give you the insight you’re looking for.

The following list is a good starting point to include in among other interview questions, especially ones that are more technical or job-specific. However, make sure that you don’t neglect these bigger-picture, open-ended questions that are geared toward discovering whether or not the candidate is a good personality match for the department and the company as a whole.

1.      How does this position fit into your short and long term career plans?

If your goal is to hire a long-term superstar for your company, it’s important to know whether or not this candidate sees himself rooted and growing in your organization for years to come. Also make sure you come to the interview with clarity on your short and long term needs for the person who fills this position so that you can assess each candidate accordingly.

2.      Aside from compensation and benefits, what motivates you to come to work every day?

Beyond the bottom line for every employee, it’s important to build a team of people who are personally invested in the work they do. This doesn’t mean a disproportionate work-life balance; it means that when they are at work, they receive some sort of internal fulfillment for what they do. Otherwise, they will burn out after a while and move on to another job or career that provides that for them.

3.      What personality/work style do you most enjoy reporting to and/or managing?

Do you need someone with a reserved, calculating personality to sit behind a desk and crunch numbers in peace and quiet all day with little to no supervision? Then don’t hire an outgoing candidate who thrives on human interaction, group projects, and input from management, regardless of how amazing he or she is with numbers. Or if you need to hire a manager for a department of interns, it would be a mistake to choose someone whose prefers overseeing a mature and seasoned group of employees. It will be a bad personality fit that won’t last long.

4.      What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of work?

You might be thinking, “That has to do with the candidate’s personal life outside of work; therefore, it’s not my concern.” Well, showing interest in the candidate as a person, not just an asset to the company, goes a long way toward earning their trust and loyalty. Their answers will also give you further insight into their personality and help you remember them better when making the final hiring decision. This may even be a good question to start out the interview with in order to break the ice and get the conversation flowing more comfortably.


In addition to these 4 questions, you might also want to include some others from our list of Frequently Asked Interview Questions during your next interview. I hope you find that they are helpful in your efforts to select great employees for your organization. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.