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The 3 Best Questions to Ask Job Candidates

The 3 Best Questions to Ask Job Candidates

It’s a common truth that job interviews are stressful. Everyone tells candidates to show up prepared. However, that advice also applies to interviewers. As a hiring manager, it’s your job to determine whether an interviewee is the right for the job, the team and the company as a whole. By asking the right questions, you’ll likely be able to make your decision easier. 

We’ve compiled a list of what we feel are the most important questions to ask candidates in a job interview. By using you’ll be sure to get the answers you need to make an informed hiring decision.

1. What excites you most about the position?
Enthusiasm for the position is imperative for a good hire. You can teach skills, but you can’t teach someone to be excited about their job. Excitement in the interview often translates into great work and a longer time period spent with the company. 

Be sure to also ask what initially drew the candidate to the position. This will tell you about his or her understanding of the job duties and which ones interest him or her most.

2. What skill makes you the most qualified for this position?
As the hiring manager, your primary focus should be finding someone who meets the necessary qualifications for the position. Once you find that person, you can then decide whether he or she would be a good culture fit for the company.

This question is important because you get to hear about what the candidate considers his or her strengths to be. It also gives you the opportunity to affirm that the candidate understands the skills he or she will need for the job.

Say a candidate boasts a skill that — while impressive — is completely irrelevant to the role he or she would be filling. That may be a sign that you two aren’t on the same page, and you should probably should continue your search.

3. Can you tell me about a challenge you faced and how you overcame it?
Behavioral questions like this one are a great way to gauge how a candidate’s experience on his or her resume translates to real life. 

Every interviewee is bound to have dealt with conflict, whether it was with a fellow team member or with a past project. How he or she coped with it can tell you a lot about how he or she would tackle challenges at your organization.

For example, say you’re interviewing for a graphic designer, and a candidate tells you they haven’t handled constructive criticism well in the past. Based on the answer, you’ll likely be able to tell whether he or she has grown since then or if it’s still an issue. You can use that information to decide whether to move forward with their interview process.

Finding the right person for a job can be difficult. It often takes time and serious deliberation to know you’re making the best decision for your company. These questions will hopefully be able to make your job as hiring manager a little easier and point you toward a great hire.

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