Remember getting nervous answering questions in a job interview? It was so important to give the right answers. Today you’re on the other side of the desk. Now it’s more important to ask the right questions. In today’s environment, you want more information about applicants than “What skills do you have?” You also want to know how they approach their work. Consider asking these interview questions to see if your next applicant might be a good fit for your small business.
In an interview, you want to find out not only what skills applicants have but also how they work. If they’ll interact with customers, you want them to have good listening skills. If it’s a fast-paced environment, you need to assess how they react to challenges.
Consider these questions to help you learn more about how your candidate works:
- Tell me about a problem you solved in your job – This is a chance for you to learn how they go about attacking a problem. Pay attention not just to the solution but how they arrived at the solution. What process did they follow? How did they gather information? Whom did they enlist to help? How did they check for results?
- Tell me about the last time a customer or co-worker got mad at you – This can give you a sense for their people skills. How well did they listen? How did they determine what the issue was? What solutions did they offer? Did they check to see if they addressed the concern? What was the outcome?
- When you have three tasks to do at one time, how do you decide which comes first? – This can help you understand how they handle multiple demands. How do they prioritize their work? How do they manage their time under tight deadlines? Do they have a backup plan if the unexpected occurs?
- Why do you think you’re a good fit for this company? – This can tell you how well the applicant has researched your business. Do they understand what your business does and how their strengths can help you grow? Look for examples of specific skills and work habits that match a current need you have.
- What questions do you have for me? – This can do two things. It can help you uncover concerns they may have about the position so you can address them. It can also provide insight into what motivates them. For example, if they ask about growth opportunities, they may be interested in taking on more responsibility.
- Describe the best boss you’ve ever had – This can tell you which personality types the applicant works with best. Does that fit into the culture of your company? Is it a good fit with your management style? For example, do they like to work with minimal supervision or do they require regular feedback on how they’re doing?
The interview can be an important part of your selection process. It’s your opportunity to learn more about what applicants can do and how they work. Help uncover this information by asking the right questions.