The Best Questions to Ask a Job Seeker During an Interview

Whether you’re a franchise owner or a startup founder, you’re eventually going to find yourself involved in the interviewing process. Interviewing job seekers isn’t something that comes naturally to most people, and it will take some time for you to develop the right techniques for learning as much about potential candidates as possible.

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That said, there are some questions that you can put in your quiver, which will help you quite a bit when you begin to interview candidates. To get you started off on the right foot, we’re going to share some great interview questions that you can use in your hiring process.

The Normal Questions

In your professional life, you’ve probably been on more than a few job interviews. Because of that, you probably already know many of the standard questions that you should be asking. That said, there are some “normal” interview questions that you may not have encountered yet. Let’s take a look at some good ones:

  • Who is the best boss you’ve ever had and why?
    • Asking this question will give you insight into what values the candidate has as an employee. Are those values a match?
  • What would your last boss say is your greatest weakness?
    • You likely already know to ask a question like this during the interview, but asking the candidate to consider the question through the eyes of his or her previous boss encourages honesty.
  • If you could start over, what would you do differently?
    • By asking this question, you learn a number of things. You learn about the candidate’s critical thinking skills, and you gain better insight into the candidate’s goals and ambition.

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The Off-the-Wall Questions

Without a doubt, there are a number of normal interview questions that you’ll want to ask. Sometimes, however, interviewing is about knocking a job seeker off balance. Doing this allows you to get a better feel for candidates, as they’re more likely to be honest when they’re out of their comfort zone. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What’s the best joke you’ve ever heard?
    • This is a question that really encourages a candidate to be his or herself. Does the candidate have a joke? Is it appropriate? Does the candidate tell it well?
  • Where do you like to eat?
    • Asking this question can help you to gauge whether or not a candidate will be a good fit for the company culture.
  • If you had your own business, what would it be?
    • The candidate who’s just going to tell you what you want to hear will describe your business. The candidate who is being honest will describe something else.

What Are Your Goals?

The ultimate goal of interviewing is to match a potential candidate to the goals of your business. Therefore, when you begin the hiring process, make sure that you and whoever else will be participating in the interview process is clear on what those goals are. This will enable you to steer the interview in the directions that it needs to go in so that you can understand whether or not any given candidate will assist in achieving your business’ goals.


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