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8 Great Interview Questions Every Prospective Employer Should Know About

28 January 2016

 

 

Whether you are a veteran at the interview process or hiring your first employee, there is no doubt that “the interview” is a critical component of the recruitment process, making it imperative to ask the right questions. Here are a few of the most important questions available to interviewers. Some are designed to explore and highlight creative energy and some are to determine if and how candidates are prepared for the interview.

  1. Resume aside, what more can you tell me more about yourself? This may seem like a very simple and open-ended question, however it is a great way to get the interview started and put your candidate at ease from the beginning. It is typically easy for a candidate to talk about themselves, and it gives the prospective employer an opportunity to witness their communication skills and level of confidence first hand.
  2. Based on what you have learned about the organization, and the position you are applying for, how do you see yourself making the greatest contribution?

-Those that are prepared will be excited to share what they have learned, and how they see themselves as part of the team. Most importantly, it demonstrates that they have done their “homework” and taken advantage of the limitless sources of instantaneous information in today’s world of advanced technology.

-Those that are not prepared will most likely get stuck and attempt to come up with a generic response. Employers will absolutely consider favor upon a prospective employee who comes to an interview prepared. The time spent researching the company, its culture, and how you can add value to the organization – will prove invaluable during the interview process.

  1. Describe a time when something went wrong at work and how you dealt with it. This question is ideal for learning about how your potential new hire will handle the pressures of the job, and should it occur, conflict in the office. The answers to this question will also display the problem solving skills, and company culture fit, of the candidate.
  2. Tell me about your favorite past position and why it was your favorite. Resumes offer a list of responsibilities and accomplishments. Answers to this question should reveal the story behind the bullet points, the passion for the project, the genuine interest for the work and how it may have helped the company’s forward movement.
  3. What are the most important rewards you expect from your professional career? Answering this question gives the applicant a chance to show their ambition, that they have given serious thought to their future career goals, and what they expect to gain by achieving them. This question is asked by the prospective employer to get a sense of what would inspire (and motivate) the candidate once on the job. It is no longer taboo to discuss the rewards you will reap for your contributions. In addition, the interviewer wants to know that you have goals for the future, and that you have a plan in place to be a long term asset to the company.
  4. How would co-workers describe you?This is a great way to ask the “strengths” and “weaknesses” question without actually asking it. It also provides some insight into how your working relationship with the potential talent might be. Do the answers describe a person that would fit well within your organization, and add value to your existing core team?
  5. What sets you apart from the other applicants, and why should we hire you? This is among one of the best interview questions because it speaks to the candidate’s ability to define their best assets, and what sets them apart from the competition (and all of the other resumes telling a similar story). This question will help the employer narrow down the contenders, and ultimately determine the best candidate for the job.
  6. Do you have any further questions for me, or about the organization?This is an ideal way to “end” an interview, as it will turn the tables and encourage the talent to interview the interviewer. Not only does it demonstrate the company’s appreciation for open dialogue, but also lets you know whether the potential job seeker is definitely interested. If they answer “No” – then they are most likely – not the right fit.

An interviewee who does a great job explaining how their unique experience, education, industry credentials, and how their professional (and personal) interests, will best serve the company (and its culture) once hired. And, the best way to lead the applicant during the interview – is for the prospective employer to ask the right questions.

I would love to hear in the comments about some interview questions you have used or been asked that you felt were insightful, useful, or even outrageous! 

Thank you for reading, 

Sean Eggert

About Hanna Shea Consulting: 

Hanna Shea Consulting is the network marketing leader in executive recruiting and staffing. Representing the industries top talent since and best clients since 2007, we are passionate about making connections between talent and opportunity.