7 Powerful Job Interview Questions to Ask Your Candidates

You probably have your list of standard questions to ask your candidates. Standard questions are good, they help you understand more about your candidates’ background, motivations, career goals and level of expertise for the job.

Here are a few questions you may want to consider in order to investigate your candidates’ preferences in terms of management style, team work, work ethics and motivators. They will help you understand whether or not the candidate will fit-in and thrive in your current company environment and culture. This is just as important as their level of expertise for the job.

You will notice that these questions have no right or wrong answers, allowing the candidate to open up and be truthful.

  1. How would you describe excellent work?

This question will give you some insights on the work ethics / values and working style of your candidates. While some will talk about a work done without errors some others may value a work done fast, a work done in collaboration with others or a work done better than anyone else. Ensure you hire someone whose working style will fit-in with your current team.

2. What frustrates you at work?

Once again, answers will vary and will help you determine if the company environment is a good fit for this candidate. Some people get really frustrated by bureaucracy, micro-management or the lack of flexibility; some others get frustrated by a lack of structure and discipline.

3. What do you expect from your line manager?

This is an important question. Considering that most people leave a company due to their managers, it is crucial to ensure the candidate will work well with the person currently in charge and the management style of the company as a whole. Some people will expect freedom, trust, understanding and independence, some other may be looking for directions, support and mentoring.

4. Tell me about your most significant career accomplishment to date, how did you succeed?

This question gives your candidates an opportunity to shine, display their skills, expertise and interests without being restricted to what the role you are offering entails. It will help you understand what motivates them, what they consider as a success, their determination and their ability to talk positively about themselves.

 5. What has been the biggest challenge in your career? And how did you deal with it?

This question is not meant to trap your candidates. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and everyone faces tough challenges. Someone who has never faced a significant challenge never took any risks or accomplished anything. This question is meant to understand your candidates’ ability to deal with complex situations, assess their decision making skills and stress management abilities.

6. What type of people do you like to work with?

This question will help you ensure the chosen candidate will fit-in with your current team members. A new team member can truly disrupt the dynamic of your team which can lead to a drop in performance and morale. Ensuring their working style and personalities won’t clash is your responsibility.

7. Do you have any questions about the job or the organization?

Give your candidates a chance to ask questions and express any doubts or concerns they may have about the job or your organization. An interview is a 2-way conversation and it’s important to give your candidate a chance to find out if they want to work for you. It is in the interest of all parties. Take the time to answer all questions as openly as possible. It will also show your candidates that you care about what they have to say and value their input. (Something a lot of candidates are looking for)


Need support in improving your Interviewing skills or Recruitment process? Feel free to get in touch, I would be delighted to support you.

Emeline Roissetter

Emeline, Founder of MomentuM, is a highly-accomplished coach with a unique background in supporting talented individuals and businesses reach their full potential through customized solutions. Read More

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s