Articles by Smart Recruit Online

What Questions Should you ask at Interviews to Find the Best Candidate?

interview question

By Dianne Howell

A job interview is not only tough for the candidate, but also for the interviewer. Finding the right person for the job is a great responsibility.

Therefore, you need to learn to be patient and pay very close attention to the qualities and flaws of the candidate.

The most important aspect is to prevent yourself from getting tricked. There may be candidates with great resumes but no passion for the job.

When trying to find the right fit for the position available in your company, you should do your research properly in regards to interview questions and think about the best replies you would expect from candidates.

Here is a list of questions that will help test your candidate, and reveal whether they are compatible with your company’s culture or not.

Tell me about yourself

This question aims to reveal details about the candidate’s professional life. This way, you will develop closure, making the candidate feel more comfortable. It is best to let them tell you the story instead of asking lots of questions because they might feel as if they are interrogated, which will stress them out.

What are your lifelong dreams?

This question is meant to help to learn whether the candidate has a life perspective, find out if they think about the distant future and what they want to do with their life.

Learning about their dreams and passions will help you determine what their aspirations are and how hard they are ready to work to achieve it.


Tell me about your proudest achievement

Will the candidate brag about their achievements or will they be sincere, explaining their contribution? Pay attention to whether they offer relevant examples.

Tell me about your hardest day at work and how you managed the situation

Here, you have to test their ability to face the truth, be able to admit when they are wrong and tell you how they cope with stress and solve a difficult situation. When they prove their strength, you know for sure that they are able to commit, be responsible for their deeds and repair their mistakes.

What magazines/websites do you read?

When you ask your candidate such a question, the purpose is to see what their interests and hobbies are. Learning about their favorite activities and interests will help you bond with the candidate.

Be friendly, it will help the candidate relax, be open, and able to answer all your questions. He/she will feel comfortable when telling you different stories about themselves.

What does your ideal company look like?

This question will help to determine your candidate’s expectations. They will tell what they hope to get and learn if they occupy the position available in your company. Allow them to tell you what changes they would like to make if they get hired, depending on their skills, and how they want to improve the company’s culture.

What do you think of your previous boss?

By asking the candidate this question, you want to see from what point of view they analyse their previous boss’ behavior. Their answer will tell you more about themselves than you would expect, learning what kind of boss they want to have and how they expect to be treated by their superiors.

What are the things you disliked most about your last job?

This question should help the candidate be honest in order to avoid getting the same treatment if they get the job. By stating their dislikes, you will automatically learn what they expect from their next employer, and you can do your best to suit their needs.


Who inspires you and why?

Learning about a candidate’s role model will help you learn a lot about themselves. You will also learn what qualities their role model has and why that person inspires them.

Do you have any questions for me?

You have to offer the candidate the opportunity to ask some question in case they did not obtain enough information about your company or about the new position. This way, you will let them see that their uncertainties are important too.

As an interviewer, it is simple to spot the right candidate for the available position if you know what and when to ask them the proper interview questions.

Just make sure to make the candidate feel comfortable so as to give you honest answers. 

Diana Howell is an HR Manager. She runs JobInterviewAdvice, a collection of job interview resources for career searchers. Diana graduated from MBA Managerial and Organizational Behavior, the University of Chicago.