Best Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

January 21, 2014 0 comments General

job-interviewInterviewing is time consuming, sometimes stressful, and terribly important. And while the best interviews truly are conversations, as an interviewer, being prepped with a list of top questions and asking them consistently as you evaluate candidates will net you the best results in differentiating based on cultural fit, skill set, and how you’d expect the candidate to perform on the job.

As organizations and job seekers both gear up for open positions in 2014, we thought we’d dedicate a blog post to some of the best interview questions to ask to make sure those few hours of talking will yield the best fit possible.

In an article for Inc. focused on “14 interview questions that reveal everything,” author Jeff Haden spoke to some of the nation’s top entrepreneurs about what questions they asked that really helped give them a full picture of a candidate. Often the questions asked are also a reflection of the company’s culture and what they value–one of the 14 questions was simply “So, (insert name), what’s your story?”.  Is this candidate a literal or broad thinker? Defensive or creative? How do they frame and approach their answer? This simple interview question helped answer numerous others.

With more and more candidates vying for a finite number of positions, some organizations head into interviews with out-of-left-field questions. Glassdoor compiles their top “oddball” interview questions each year as shared on their site and a few of 2013’s standout questions include “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?” and “What do you think about when you are alone in your car?”.  The point? Candidates need to be prepared for anything to show that they can think on their feet.

Here are a handful of helpful questions from our experience to keep handy in your interview arsenal. Some you’ve heard before, and some are rather obvious, but it’s all in the response.

Why are you the best person for this job?

What project would you consider the most significant accomplishment in your career so far?

Talk about one of your weaknesses that has created difficulties for you on previous jobs and what you’ve done to overcome that weakness?

How would you help your team to achieve its goals if the team is divided within?

What’s the most creative idea you have ever come up with?

Which one of your bosses managed you the best? Why?

What interests you most/least about this position?

What questions do you have about the job or department?

Of course, this is really just the tip of the interview-question iceberg. What are some other questions that you’ve used before that have yielded great insight into a candidate? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.


Image courtesy of franky242 at

Back to top