To make your interviews a little more potent and find the right people more quickly, you just have to ask the right questions. You’ll see below that some of these are pretty straightforward, but to gain real insight about an applicant, you have to direct your questions a little left-of-center.
1. Can you describe your level of communication skills?
You need to know how well someone communicates because it’s the foundation of working with a team in every capacity. If someone can’t explain themselves clearly and easily understand where coworkers are coming from, then getting any work done will be laborious and ineffective, eating up excessive amounts of time.
2. Why do you want this job?
It’s important that someone has the ability to perform in the position for which they are applying, but possibly even more important is why they are doing it. You will get infinitely more output from a person who is interested and invested in your company and in the work they will be doing for you.
3. What do you do when responding to heavy stress?
People respond to extreme stress at work in a variety of different ways. Even though anybody will say that they handle stress well when asked during an interview, asking the applicant specifically what coping mechanisms they use when they encounter stress will give you a good idea of whether it’s going to be an issue or not once they are hired.
4. What is the most important function of a team member?
This is kind of a broad-spectrum question that can help you to obtain a lot of helpful insight into what sort of a person you are interviewing, and the functions for which they are best-suited.
For example, if the applicant answers, “To get every task done quickly,” it seems like an appealing trait but could also mean that this person might miss important details of a project. If they say that making sure the client is always happy is most important, then it’s hard to count that as a negative trait.
5. What else do you have experience with?
Commonly underestimated when interviewing potential employees, this question may help you to find a diamond in the rough whom you may have otherwise overlooked.
A hiring professional is primarily just looking for people who excel in areas that apply overtly to the position they are trying to fill, but people will consistently surprise you with expertise in seemingly unrelated areas that would actually make them perfect for certain positions. You merely have to ask, “Do you have any alternate areas of experience?”
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.