Which Interview Questions Will Help You Identify the Best Candidates?

When you’re hiring a new team member, you may receive plenty of resumes that seem qualified, but this doesn’t mean that the person behind the resume has the needed skills or will be the best fit for your company. 

That’s why holding interviews with candidates is one of the most valuable stages of the hiring process. They allow you to ask the important questions and dig deeper to discover which person is the perfect new team member for your business. 

But what should you ask at the interview to be sure you’re uncovering the information you need to make your decision? And how will you know if the answer your candidate gives means they’re a great fit? 

By understanding a few key principles, you can be sure that the candidate who is right for you will shine through. That’s why we’ve put together our top tips for writing effective interview questions for any role you’re looking to fill.

The purpose of interview questions

Interview questions aren’t just about reinforcing the points you’ve read on a resume. They should help you uncover if a candidate is the right fit, both in terms of qualifications and values, for your business and the specific position. 

Every question should be designed to provide you information of value. So, for each question you’re planning to ask, make sure you know exactly why you need to know the answer to that specific question. If you’re not sure what you’ll gain from asking it, take it off the list!

Every interview question should provide you information of value. if you're not sure what you'll gain from asking it, take it off the list

What type of interview questions will help you select the best candidate?

Behavioral interview questions

Questions that ask for specific examples from their past experience will provide you with the most useful information about whether your interviewee is the right person. 

Behavioral questions start with things like:

  • Tell me about a time when… 
  • Give me a specific example of when you had to… 
  • Walk me through a time when…

Ask your candidate behavioral questions about experiences they’ve had in the past that are relevant to the role they’re applying for. 

You’re looking for evidence that they’ve dealt with the specific scenarios that are likely to come up in this role so that you can assess whether they have what it takes to deliver the results you’re looking for. 

Why are behavioral questions so useful?

The reason we recommend these types of questions at interviews is because past behavior really is the best indicator of future behavior. 

These questions allow you to hear how the candidate has applied their skills or how they acted in certain scenarios. They also show if they really do have the experience they say they have.

Not only can you see whether they are qualified for your role, you can also assess whether this behavior is a match for your culture and values.

Hypothetical questions don’t work!

Hypothetical questions are a popular choice for many interviewers, but in fact these are probably the worst kind of questions to ask.  

Hypothetical questions are those that begin “what would you do if…”

The reason you should avoid these questions is because they give absolutely no evidence for anything the candidate says. They might formulate a great answer based on their research into best practice or even your own company values, but it wouldn’t tell you anything about the candidate’s true responses or capabilities in real-life scenarios. 

Remember that just because they can talk the talk doesn’t mean they can walk the walk. We want to make sure their behavior matches what they say they would do – that’s why questions about past behavior are so much more effective than anything hypothetical.

Are you looking for help with hiring your next team member?

Are you ready to hire a new team member for your business, and want to ensure you hire the person who can succeed in the role, make you happy, and positively impact your bottom line?

Growing Your Team can help you determine what skill sets and qualities need to be dug into during an interview and provide you with a custom made interview guide that focuses on these specific areas.

So let’s set up a time to chat! Click here to book your free jump-start consultation

What Interview Questions will help you identify the best candidates, Growing Your Team, Jamie Van Cuyk, Small Business hiring consulting