questions to ask in an interview

Selecting the right candidates for your job vacancy is never easy. Despite your best efforts to get a read on a candidate, you can never really know who they are based on screening and CV alone. This is where job interviews come into play as they can help employers pinpoint the right talent for their vacancies more easily. Relying on questions to ask in an interview can also be a double-edged sword.

According to BBC, 62% of professionals said they lost interest if an employer didn’t get back to them up to 10 business days after an interview. On the other hand, interviewers took up to four separate interviews for them to hire someone with 86% certainty of their skills. In practice, this process can be made shorter by using the right questions to ask in an interview from day one. Let’s discuss job interviews and what you can do to streamline your hiring pipeline in 2022.

Reasons to Prepare the Right Questions to Ask in an Interview

Job interviews and the inherent questions to ask in an interview play an integral role in making sure that you onboard the right employees. According to Cambridge Dictionary, a job interview is “a meeting in which an employer asks the person applying for a job questions to see whether they would be the right person to do that job”. In short, choosing the right questions to ask in an interview can save you precious time and resources by avoiding poor candidates and hiring the most competent ones.

Think of it as an extension of your background check for employment, only more direct and with back-and-forth communication with the potential candidates. Whether you’re hiring an IT specialist, a digital marketer, or a sales representative, finding out how valid their CV data is can be helpful. You will get a better feel for their strengths and weaknesses, as well as character traits during the interview.

It’s extremely important to be as objective and professional as possible when presenting your questions to ask in an interview, however. This goes double when hiring international employees who are ready to migrate to a different country only to join your company. What are some good reasons to prepare thoroughly before inviting candidates to virtual or in-office job interviews in 2022?

  • Showcase your company’s professionalism and standards
  • Effectively shortlist candidates based on your job vacancies
  • Give candidates a chance to express their opinions through the interview
  • Double-check the validity of candidates’ skills and expertise from the CV
  • Speed up the hiring process and increase its payoff in the long run

The Best Questions to Ask in an Interview in 2022

1. “Tell us/me more about yourself.”

When interviewing job candidates for potential employment, it’s best to start small and break the proverbial ice. Understand that a lot of candidates will be nervous, anxious, or unsure of themselves at the beginning.

Open the interview by asking them about themselves, their education, past experiences, likes, and dislikes. Most importantly, let the candidate speak without interrupting them for 1-2 minutes to let them relax before moving on to more serious or job-related questions.

2. “Tell us/me more about your hobbies and pastimes.”

Once the candidate becomes more talkative, you can also ask them about their favorite hobbies, what they’re passionate about, and their pastimes. Asking this question upfront will let you know how your candidate would fit into your business culture if you hire them.

However, this shouldn’t be a make-or-break moment for your candidate selection. Just because most of your staff likes social gatherings or going out doesn’t mean you should avoid hiring introverts, for example. Use this question as an additional step to get to know your candidate better beyond their CV. The best questions to ask in an interview are always a mix of formal and informal queries – keep that in mind in 2022 when hiring new staff.

3. “Why are you a good choice for this position?”

After you’ve got a good idea of who your candidate is as a person, move on to more job-related questions in your interview. First off, you should check just how familiar the candidate is with your job listing. According to statistics, 47% of candidates are rejected because they didn’t know what the job or the company was really about.

It is essential that you quickly find out whether your job candidate did their homework or showed up at your interview hoping to fumble their way through it. Moreover, it will give you an indication of how thoroughly they researched your company before the interview, further splitting viable from unviable candidates.

4. “Could you tell us/me more about THIS point (choose one) in your CV?”

One of the most critical questions to ask in an interview is in regards to your candidate’s CV. Many candidates embellish or outright lie in their CVs for one reason or another. To find out whether or not your candidate is being truthful, open their CV during the interview and ask them a question about it. Pick a random point from their professional experience, past jobs, or formal education and confront them about it.

5. “Why did you leave your previous job position and company?”

Of all the questions to ask in an interview, you should be very mindful of this one. Regardless of which position you are hiring for and whether you’re looking for a junior or senior staff member, ask this question openly. You must understand where your candidate is coming from professionally.

Some candidates are very vocal about why they left their previous job employment and others will skid and dodge an open answer. They might have been fired for misconduct, poor work ethics, or improper behavior with other staff members. Or, they might have left of their own volition in search of a better life abroad – everything is possible, and you should ask about it to remain upfront.

6. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

It’s a good idea to incorporate a bit of talk about the future in the questions to ask in an interview for your job vacancy. Ask your candidate about their professional aspirations, goals for the future, and vision for their career.

This will give you a very good indication of how passionate someone is about their profession. It will also show you how prepared they are to dedicate their career to your company for the foreseeable future. Be open to candidates who don’t have a long-term professional plan as well – it’s all a matter of perspective and foresight. Ask the question regardless to get the conversation going and discover your candidate’s impressions about your industry.

7. “Tell us/me about your greatest professional mistake.”

Mistakes happen daily, and owning up to them showcases character and agency. Ask your job candidate about their biggest professional mistake and how they handled it. Discuss it in greater detail by asking for bits of information about how it happened and its aftermath.

Respect your candidate’s privacy in the sense that they shouldn’t disclose which company or client they worked for, however. Extending your questions to ask in an interview to mistakes and lessons in failure is a valuable tool. It will help you determine what kind of a person your candidate is and how well they’ll play off of your existing staff.

8. “How do you handle stressful situations?”

The questions to ask in an interview should challenge the candidate in some way to determine how well they perform under pressure. One of the questions which can lead you down that road concerns the candidate’s focus under pressure.

Ask them about their past experiences with stressful work situations and how they handled them. Present them with a case study or a scenario in your company and ask them to untangle it in under 60 seconds. While this shouldn’t be the de facto point of decision for their employment, it will reveal a lot about your candidate.

9. “What can you tell me about THIS (choose one scenario) in 2 minutes?”

Depending on the industry and niche your company operates in, there are several quick and easy tests you can conduct during the interview. Questions to ask in an interview don’t necessarily have to be “questions” as long as they serve to help hire or eliminate a candidate.

For example, if you are working for a graphic or web designer, give them an example of a site, product, or content to describe. For IT professionals, you can present them with a piece of code to describe or fix in a short time to check their expertise. This is one of the most useful questions to ask in an interview as it revolves around your candidate’s skills and experience as a potential staff member.

10. “Do you have any questions for us/me about the job or our company?”

Lastly, your questions to ask in an interview should end by allowing your candidate to express themselves and ask something about you instead. This will create an open, two-way dialogue between you and let you determine how professional and cordial your candidate is. Their questions can be directed either at the job position they’re aiming for or your company in general.

Don’t take questions about salary/compensation the wrong way and be as transparent about that as possible. This is very important for people from abroad who will need to pack and come to your country for an extended period – they need a sense of security. Cap the interview off by thanking the candidate for their time and the answers to your questions to ask in an interview. Don’t wait too long to get back to them with a “Yes” or a “No” once you’ve interviewed all available candidates to maintain a good sense of professionalism with them from the start.

In Conclusion

Now that we’ve discussed the best questions to ask in an interview, what’s the next step for your company? Start your hiring process by visiting and exploring what we can do for your business as a prospective employer. Combined with our platform, these questions will certainly lead to higher-quality hires for your vacancies.

You should use these questions to ask in an interview as a baseline and modify them based on your company’s hiring needs. No matter if you’re looking for an accountant, a medical professional, or a copywriter, conducting a job interview is always a good idea before hiring anyone.

Even if you’re hiring someone you know personally, you should still go through the questions to ask in an interview to double-check everything. Mix, match, and modify your interview questions and you will not only have better staff for it but also improve your brand image in the eyes of prospective job candidates.

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