11 Candidate Interview Questions Hiring Managers Should Ask

11 Candidate Interview Questions Hiring Managers Should Ask

In order to ensure that you are hiring the right candidate, you need to do an excellent job recruiting, vetting candidates and of course, conducting in-depth interviews. In fact, some companies are known for putting their candidates through rigorous interviews with several employees to make sure they are the perfect fit for the position. With that said, it doesn’t matter how many people interview a candidate if they aren’t asking them the right questions.

That is why we sat down with 11 professionals and asked them what interview questions hiring managers should be asking every candidate they meet with. Keep reading to see if you are asking all the important questions on our list!

What was your biggest failure?

Asking this question lets me know if the candidate will be truthful, if they are open and honest, if they are mindful of their shortcomings, and if they have grown past the failure. Most importantly, we can discuss what the experience taught them. 

LT Ladino Bryson, vCandidates

Why did you apply for this position at our company? 

This is an open-ended question that will reveal the candidate’s awareness of what truly motivates them. If they really have a passion for what they do and want to join your company because they are attracted to its purpose, then you have a good chance to really tap into their discretionary effort (i.e. energy, creativity, and commitment). A win-win partnership.

Philip Botha, Culture Advantage

Why shouldn’t I hire you?

People usually come in with a long list of reasons why they should be hired for the job. Asking this question forces the candidate to think on their feet and dive deeply into their shortcomings. People who can be truthful and honest about areas in which they are lacking possess an element of humility that should be desired in someone who works for your company.

Megan Chiamos, 365 Cannabis

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

If they could have any job in the world, regardless if they were qualified or not, what would it be and why? It’s important to me that an employee has a sense of purpose and drive. Whether they actually intend to pursue that career or not, their answer could provide insight into their work ethic and motivations.

Ryan Nouis, TruPath 

Do you have any questions?

My favorite question is, “Do you have any questions?” Asking this truly separates a good candidate from a great candidate. Great candidates will come prepared with a variety of questions about your organization, and this shows that they really did their research and are invested in working for your company.

Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors

How can we improve our interview and hiring process?

There are so many perks to this question. You learn a lot about how your own company presents itself and treats others, plus what you may or may not be doing to attract certain kinds of candidates. Even better, you get a great read on the candidate’s ability to give constructive criticism and problem solve. Bonus points if they name an issue and then immediately back it up with a possible solution. I can’t hire people like that fast enough!

Ty Stewart, Simple Life Insure

Why do you want to work at a pipeline company?

This question serves as a great opportunity to see how much the candidate has researched the company as well as to get a better idea of the motivation behind wanting the job and wanting to work for us. We have to make sure they are a good fit for us just as much as we are going to be a good fit for them. 

Rex Murphy, American Pipeline Solutions

How do you remain productive at home?

I think this question can reveal so much about a candidate – it can shed light on their work environment, how they stay focused, tactics they use to reset their productivity and how they view remote work in general. It’s also a really good question to ask early in order to get the conversation flowing before getting into more technical topics.

Quincy Smith, ESL Authority

Tell me about a time you took on a project without much direction.

One, this question helps me understand if they are a self-starter and if they can plan for their own success. I learn how they think and how they develop processes to achieve goals. Also, if they respond in a way that ultimately throws other people under the bus – “Well, my supervisor didn’t really give me much direction and the rest of my team was too lazy to do anything” – I learn a lot about how they approach conflict and if they can work within a team. I don’t want to hear that they took it all on themselves without help from others; I want to hear that they took it on because they saw a problem that needed solving and felt compelled to be the one to fix it.

Eric Mochnacz, Red Clover

Who was the worst boss you ever had and why? 

This is my favorite question to ask any prospective employee. If everything they answer is complaining, talking bad about them or not taking responsibility for anything, that is a red flag. In turn, they will have that same mindset if they work for you. If they take responsibility for what went wrong, that is a winner. It will also tell you what they don’t want to see in a boss.

Trevor Rappleye, Corporate Filming

Across your entire career to date, what is the achievement that has made you the most proud?

The reason that I love that question is because it tells you so much about a person – what motivates them, what is important to them and what they value in their own achievements. I will use that question and ask lots of follow-up questions to find out a person’s motivations and whether they will be a good fit for the role on offer.

Ineke McMahon, P2P Learning and Development

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