Best Interview Questions to Evaluate Potential Employees

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Are you an employer or hiring manager who is responsible for screening and interviewing job candidates and looking to revamp your interview questions?

Adding to your team can change your business for the good…. or the bad. Most of us have worked in a place where there was that one person who just didn’t quite fit in. This person can change the whole dynamic of a team, affecting productivity and workflow.

For this reason, when hiring, we recommend you look beyond the conventional practice of filtering by resume. While resumes can match an applicant’s skills to the role, they are poor at predicting how well a candidate will interact with the company’s culture and future colleagues.

Here are some of the best questions we like to ask potential employees in an interview:

As Winnipeg’s largest and locally owned recruitment firm, we know that employers want to hire employees with top talent, and with the right cultural fit. Screening candidates is a vital aspect of the job interview process and to gauge a candidate’s potential, you have to dig deeper and ask very specific questions.

1) “Can you tell me about a time when you faced a challenge or conflict, and how you dealt with it?”

This question gives insight into an individual’s personality and job skills. The answer may offer the employer understanding of how the candidate handles high-pressure situations. Employers want to hire people that are good problem solvers, creative, and willing to go the extra mile.

To form the best open-ended question, consider what the company values and needs the most. Then, develop a prompt that will lead to the desired answer. Asking open-ended questions is meant to reveal important aspects of a person’s capabilities and can ensure employers hire suitable candidates that confirm a candidate’s personality, professional abilities, and compatibility with company culture. Open-ended questions allow the candidates to determine the focus of the answer. Quite often one question will naturally lead to another and can take the conversation into a direction not even anticipated (and one that no set interview questionnaire would likely ever cover).

2) “Which job have you enjoyed most and why was it so enjoyable?

A question that builds upon a candidate’s resume may be a good question to spark conversation. There is a reason why the candidate chose to highlight specific points on his or her resume and cover letter. By picking up on these points, an employer receives insight about what the candidate wants and how he or she sees a future career. This question can help clarify whether or not a person fits a position. To follow up on this question, it’s appropriate to ask about a project they disliked as well or tasks that they do not like to do.

3) “What is your ideal work environment?

It is important to gain insight as to how the candidate will fit into a company’s culture. This question can enlighten an employer to this information. If a workplace requires professional attitudes and behaviour, yet a candidate describes a laid back, lively environment, he or she may not be a good fit. On the flip side, many workplaces value a diverse workforce. Asking the right question in an interview can reveal a lot about how a person will influence workplace dynamics.

4) What do you do for fun in your spare time?

You will be spending a lot of time with this person should you decide to hire them. Get to know the candidate. Hosting inviting conversation extends a warm welcome to the candidate from the company. This is why employers must think outside the box when coming up with discussion topics. Ask questions about who they are, what they like to do, and what makes them tick.

Questions could include:
• Why do you want this job?
• Why do you want to work at our company?
• How do you like to be managed?
• Tell me about an accomplishment that you are proud of achieving.
• And, a fun question: “What kind of candy would you be?”

5) “Do you have any questions for me?

This last question is very telling and gives you a sense of their level of engagement. It is unacceptable for a candidate to say that they have no questions or that you’ve answered all of their questions. This question reveals if a candidate has done their homework – are they asking you something they should have found out for themselves through their own research? Are they listening to your answers? Are they interested in the job and the company in general?

6) Consider Administering Skill-Testing Questions

In addition to the questions mentioned above, another way to enhance your pre-employment screening process is by using a platform that offers skill-specific tests. For example, you can administer mechanical reasoning tests for jobs that require problem-solving skills, coding tests for technical positions, and other skills tests based on the role.

Incorporate these questions into your interview practices and start building stronger and better workforces. For the past 18 years, Pinnacle has grown to become Winnipeg’s largest full-service recruitment firm by consistently meeting our clients’ recruitment requirements with integrity and care. We maintain over twenty specialized recruiters that focus on recruitment at all levels, from C-suite professionals to front-line personnel. Regardless of the position for which we are recruiting, our team focuses on one goal: locating and connecting top talent with top companies. If you’re interested in connecting with us for job opportunities, or, know someone who would benefit from using us for their hiring needs – don’t hesitate to reach out.

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