5 Great Interview Questions to Ask Any Job Candidate

The job of a professional recruiter involves more than just finding great talent to help grow organizations by filling challenging positions. An often overlooked component of a recruiter’s services is the guidance they provide organizations for their own interviewing process. Your recruiter should be willing and able to help you execute a better interview process if that is an area where your organization needs to improve. Questions make up the backbone of any interview and asking the right questions can make all the difference when it comes to making a final determination about a candidate. Here are 5 questions we would encourage any of our clients to ask during any interview, elements of a great response, and responses that should raise red flags: Tell me about yourself? A great answer from a candidate will include a synopsis of their professional background, reasons why they are the best hire for the position, and tie in relevant examples of successes whenever possible. A red flag can be someone who gives significant personal history and does not talk about elements of their personality and background that will help them meaningful contribute to your organization if they are hired. Tell me about a time you displayed a sense of urgency while on the job? Great responses will include completing work ahead of deadlines or demonstrating a desire to get tasks and projects accomplished in a timely manner not because they have to, but because they want to. Answers that do not convey self-motivation and a willingness to get work done could raise red flags. In what role do you see yourself in three to five years? How has your career progression thus far shown that your prediction may be accurate? The best answers to this question include logical career progressions within your organization. If you are hiring a junior project manager or Mid-Atlantic sales manager, they should hope to progress over 3 to 5 years into a senior project manager or east coast sales manager. Major red flags are answers that do not outline a desire for growth or have an unrealistic expectation such as going from an entry level position to a C-level position. Tell me about a time that you were assigned a task or project that was beyond your capabilities. How did you handle this project? A great response will outline how they would reach out, who they would reach out to, and how long it would take them to reach out. Responses that include elements of refusing to ask for help, procrastinating, or ignoring the problem should raise red flags. Tell me about a situation at work when you have failed or were unable to meet expectations. How did you deliver this news to your customer or manager? A terrific answer would include reporting the issue quickly, identifying the cause of the problem, and providing ideas to prevent the problem from occurring again in the future. Responses that include assigning or deflecting blame, waiting to report the issue, or solving the problem on their own and not reporting the issue should all raise red flags. There is no magic list of interview questions we can ask that will tell us everything we need to know about a candidate. We can, however, make sure we are asking challenging questions that give us insight into who a candidate is and how they respond in tough situations every business faces. These 5 interview questions are designed to provide details about real-life work experiences that can help shed light on a candidate’s actual working career. When asking questions pertaining to real-life scenarios, interviewers are able to obtain true facts and weed out the smooth-talking candidates attempting to dodge the task at hand.

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