Some of today’s hiring managers rely on unconventional questions to identify talent. Google’s famous interview questions have inspired a generation of interviewers who try to outsmart and confuse candidates with complex brainteasers.
This style of interviewing is going out of fashion though, but it still pays to be a little creative when speaking to applicants, as you need to dig deep and ask interview questions to determine skill, cultural fit and intelligence. With this in mind, we’ve put together a collection of the top interview questions that will show you whether any candidate is a fit for you.
1. How Did You Hear About The Job?
While seemingly innocuous, this question serves an important purpose. You need to know whether the messaging your company is investing in is resonating with the right candidates. Make a note of the answers to see whether specific trends emerge.
2. Do You Know What Our Company Does?
This is simple but effective; it shows you how much research a candidate has done.
In an ideal world, you just want to hire candidates that are genuinely excited about a job at your company, not just a job in general. The goal is simply to find out if a candidate has put a little time in on your website and looked through online materials.
3. Why Did You Apply For This Role?
We all need to pay the bills, but it’s important to check that this is not the sole motivation for a candidate. They’re likely to be a more productive and happy employee if they identify with your company in some way.
4. What is the Best Job You’ve Had Before This One?
This gives you the opportunity to compare their likes with what your job entails and how your company operates. You can compare your company culture by having them outline the responsibilities they enjoyed, or what their colleagues were like.
5. Explain a Time When You Missed a Deadline or Made a Mistake?
This question can measure two things: is the candidate willing to be honest and vulnerable? Do they view failure as a learning curve or shift blame? You can also discover if the task was their responsibility, if they were part of a team, and how the problem was resolved.
6. What’s Your Definition of Hard Work?
Some companies move at very different paces. Projects that might be allocated a week at a large corporate might be expected in a few days time at a fast growing start-up. This question is a great way of telling you whether a candidate can keep pace with your team and fit in with your company’s culture.
7. Explain Something That Is Complicated, But You Know Well
This is one of the best tests of intelligence far more effective than a college education or test score and a great way to gauge passion. The “something” in question doesn’t have to be anything to do with the job. The key thing to focus on is the way that the candidate breaks down a complex idea and the way that they articulate it to someone they know doesn’t understand it.
8. If You Had 1,000 Unread Emails, But Could Only Answer 50 of Them, Which Ones Would You Answer?
Despite the subject matter though, this question isn’t about email. The point of this question is to demonstrate how candidates approach work and how they prioritize tasks. You want to understand their process for attacking a project that, on the face of it, seems difficult to deal with.
9. Who is the Smartest Person You Know? Why?
This is a great way to see what a candidate values and aspires to. By forcing them to think of someone that they know personally, you avoid a stream of people praising Steve Jobs and telling you how much they aspire to be like him. There are no perfect answers here, but the best should focus on a specific characteristic, candidates might praise a friend’s desire for learning or networking ability.
10. Do You Have Any Questions?
The classic way to finish the interview, this question is important for a number of reasons. It gives the candidate a chance to follow up on any talking points from the interview, it lets them dig into issues that you haven’t covered in enough detail no interviewer can explain everything and it shows you how much research a candidate has done about your company.
Although a candidate might give you an unexpected response, their attitude could be a breath of fresh air that adds value to your company. The world around us is continually evolving and so must your business if you want to remain competitive. Consider diversity when compiling, asking and analyzing your job fit interview questions list.