9 Interview Questions To Ask Candidates (Thought-Provoking)

To attract and retain top talent in today’s competitive market, many businesses retain top talent in order to remain successful. One of the most effective ways is for companies to hire candidates with the right skill sets. Whether conducting phone interviews or on-site interviews, you should always ask interview questions that will provide you with insight into the candidate’s personality and aptitude as it relates to the position you’re trying to fill. 

Luckily, there are plenty of questions you can ask potential employees that will help you weed out the good ones from the bad ones before hiring them.

1. What motivates you?

Many people wonder what motivates them. Some might think about things they want to change or improve, while others might look inward and consider their own feelings and motivations.

This can be especially insightful in determining their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their potential for further development. It also gives you insight into their character – if they aren’t motivated by anything but money, it could be a sign that they might not be the best fit.

2. How have your skills evolved over time?

Most candidates will have specific skills they can list on their resume, but they won’t always be able to tell you how those skills developed over time. To find out, ask a question like How have your skills evolved at each of your past positions?

This question is a great way to gauge whether a candidate can learn new things. It also gives you insight into how a person approaches learning and growth. If someone hasn’t learned anything new in his or her career, that could be an indication that he or she isn’t open to trying new things—and that may not bode well for future success in your company.

3. What challenges have you faced at work and how did you overcome them?

This question is a time-tested way of getting an inside look at how candidates handle challenges and obstacles. By asking them about their previous experiences, you can glean whether they’re someone who overcomes challenges or avoids them altogether. You can also use it as a chance to see if they take ownership of their past mistakes, or if they try to pass the blame.

4. What are your thoughts on productivity and efficiency in the workplace?

An organization needs efficiency and productivity, but you also need creativity. It’s important to get an idea of how candidates think about their workdays, as well as how they think about dealing with coworkers who aren’t pulling their weight. This question will help you determine whether or not someone is going to be a good fit for your team.

5. Do you feel that your team is cohesive and supportive? If not, what could be done to improve this relationship?

A potential employee’s relationship with their last team can say a lot about how they work with others. If a candidate has issues with their boss or coworkers, it could be an indication that they are not able to work well in a group setting. This question is intended to gauge whether or not candidates have learned from past experiences and if they are ready for another opportunity in which teamwork is necessary. This question also gives you insight into what kind of leader your candidate will be and whether or not he/she will be able to lead a team effectively.

6. How do you handle criticism?

The ability to handle criticism is an important part of any job, as it helps people grow and maintain professional composure. If you want a sign of how strong your candidate is, ask how he or she handles criticism. This can be difficult for some people to hear—but it’s one of those questions that separates people from being good and being great. A good employee will take it on board and see if there’s any truth in what they’re being told. A great employee will do more than that: They’ll find ways to make themselves better because of it.

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7. How do you see the company evolving over the next five years?

This question will not only give you insight into what type of professional your potential candidate is, but it’ll also allow you to identify how well they understand your company. You can find out whether or not they have a grasp on where your business is going, which will be a strong indicator of their ability to provide effective contributions. It’s also smart to ask them where they see themselves within that time frame. If they don’t align with your vision for their role in five years, then it might not be a good fit.

8. What are some of the biggest challenges that you face in your role?

Asking a candidate what they believe are the biggest challenges in their role will allow you to see how they view their own ability, as well as how they deal with stress and obstacles. If they respond by saying that there aren’t any major challenges, it could mean that they either lack confidence or are not open to new ideas. If they say that there is something holding them back, ask them what it is and if there is anything you can do to help. This question also gives candidates an opportunity to showcase their strengths by offering solutions for overcoming those hurdles.

9. How do you handle stress in your personal life and at work?

The workplace is a high-stress environment. Asking questions about your candidate’s history with stress will give you an idea of how they manage and cope with it, as well as their personal preferences regarding situations in which they feel overwhelmed. A candidate who doesn’t handle stress well may not work out at all, while one who thrives in high-pressure environments could be an asset.

You don’t have to ask candidates all of these questions. Instead, you should select a few, or even one, based on your specific needs. The most important thing is that you choose questions that are relevant and can help you better understand their personalities and skillsets. This will gives you a chance to find out more about their interests and career goals and give you an opportunity to do some fact-finding of their own by asking the above questions that could help steer your hiring decision.

This post has been included by Twinkl in their blog on Teacher Interviews.