Most interviewers begin with, “Tell me about yourself,” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” While these open-ended questions are a good way to get the interview moving in the right direction, applicants have come to expect them and most likely will have researched and rehearsed their response. Using more pointed questions allows the interview to delve deeper into the applicant’s background and uncover details regarding their work ethic, commitment and drive.
Some interview questions to consider:
- . Why do you want to work for our organization? This is a good way to determine if the applicant has done their research on your company. Are they targeting specific companies or industries, or are they just sending their resume to any open position? Does their answer demonstrate their passion for your organization and what you stand for? Discovering where the applicant stands on this point can provide the basis for the rest of the interview.
- What strengths do you bring to this position? It is important to determine if the strengths of the applicant align with the core functions of the position. This question provides the applicant with an opportunity to highlight specifics of their background and skills and to demonstrate their ability to articulate when communicating.
- What was your greatest success in your personal/professional career? How did you achieve it? Inviting this information helps explore what makes the person tick. You can determine if what they value as important matches up with the goals and mission of your organization.
- What did you enjoy/dislike about your most recent position? The goal in asking this question should be to find out if the applicant will be satisfied with the tasks related to the position they are interviewing for.
- If not this career, what other career path would you have chosen? This question is geared towards encouraging the applicant to reflect on what they want in life as well as in their career. The more information you can get the candidate to reveal about their interests, the better you will be able to ascertain what they are looking for in their next position. After all, the goal of the interview is to find the applicant that will be the best fit for your company in the long run.
Becoming a great interviewer takes time and practice, but the first step is making sure you are prepared just as the ideal applicant would.