As any hiring manager knows, the right job interview questions can make or break the success of a potential hire. The right questions can help you get to know the applicant’s qualifications, experience, and skills to determine if they are the right fit for the job. I've been a hiring manager for over 20 years, and I've learned a thing or two about asking the right job interview questions. I've seen candidates come and go, and I've seen the difference that a few well-chosen questions can make.
One of my favorite interview stories is about a candidate who came in for an interview for a software engineer position that I was able to be part of the interview team for. He was very qualified, but he was also very nervous. He answered all of my questions perfectly, but he didn't seem to be able to relax.
Finally, I asked him a question that was designed to get him to open up a bit. I said, "If you were a piece of software, what would you be?". This wasn't a typical interview question I routinely asked, but it worked.
The candidate thought for a moment, and then he said, "I would be a compiler. I would take all of the different pieces of code and turn them into a single executable file. That way, everyone could run the code without having to worry about the details."
I was impressed by the candidate's answer. It showed that he had a deep understanding of software engineering, and it also showed that he was able to think creatively. He got the job, and he's been a valuable asset to the team ever since.
Crafting the perfect set of job interview questions is no easy feat. That’s why I've put together a list of the top 10 rules of job interview questions that can lead to successful hires.
Focus on the Job Requirements: It’s important to ask questions that focus on the job requirements so that you can get a better understanding of the applicant’s skills and capabilities. Ask questions about the applicant’s past experience that is related to the job they are applying for and how they would handle certain tasks.
Ask About Past Achievements: Asking questions about the applicant’s past successes is a great way to get an idea of how they perform under pressure and how they handle success. Ask questions about specific accomplishments and how the applicant overcame any obstacles to reach their goals.
Get an Idea of Their Personality: Personality is a key factor in determining a successful hire. Ask questions that get to the heart of the matter such as how the applicant views working with others, how they handle difficult conversations, and how they cope with stress.
Ask About Their Preferred Working Environment: Working environment is a big factor in determining a successful hire. Ask the applicant questions about their preferred working environment, such as what type of team they work best in, how they handle deadlines, and how they handle feedback.
Find Out What Drives Them: It’s important to understand the applicant’s motivations in order to determine if they are the right fit for the job. Ask questions about what drives them, what motivates them, and how they stay on track with projects.
Get an Idea of Their Professional Development: Professional development is a key factor in finding success in any job. Ask the applicant questions about how they continue to develop their skills and how they stay up to date with the industry.
Find Out What Makes Them Unique: Everyone brings something unique to the table, and it’s important to find out what makes the applicant unique. Ask questions about what sets them apart from other applicants and how their unique skills and experience can benefit the organization.
Ask About Their Long-Term Goals: Asking questions about the applicant’s long-term goals can help you determine if the applicant is the right fit for the job. Ask questions about where they see themselves in five years and how they plan to achieve those goals.
Ask Open-Ended Questions: Open-ended questions are great for getting a better understanding of the applicant’s thought process and opinions. Ask questions that allow the applicant to elaborate on their answers, such as “Tell me more about your experience with…” and “What do you think is the most important thing to consider when…”
Follow Up Questions: Follow up questions are a great way to dive deeper into the applicant’s answers and get a better understanding of their thought process. Ask questions that allow you to gain more insight into the applicant’s answer, such as “Can you tell me more about that?” and “What do you think would be the best approach to…”
Recap: By following these 10 rules of job interview questions, you’ll be able to craft the perfect set of questions that will help you find the perfect candidate for the job. With the right questions, you can get to know the applicant’s qualifications, experience, and skills to determine if they are the right fit for the job.