Best Questions to Ask Candidates in an Interview

September 22, 2023

Written by Sandra Reder

Founder and President

Vertical Bridge HR

If you’re in the process of hiring, it’s crucial to ask the right questions during an interview to ensure you make informed decisions. The right interview questions can help you gauge a candidate’s skills, experience, and cultural fit within your organization. Let’s explore some examples of great questions to ask candidates in an interview. By incorporating these questions into your interviewing process, you can gain valuable insights and make well-informed hiring decisions for your company’s success.

You’ll note that all the questions below are behavioural based questions; meaning that you are asking for examples of things that the candidate has done in their past jobs. These types of questions eliminate a “yes” or “no” response and provide you with insight into how the candidate has handled “real life” situations at work. 

1. Background and Experience

  • Tell me about your previous work experience and how it relates to this position.
  • What skills and qualifications do you bring that make you a strong fit for this role?
  • Can you provide examples of projects or accomplishments that demonstrate your abilities?

2. Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills

  • Tell me about a challenging situation at work that required you to think critically and find a solution.
  • How do you approach decision-making when faced with multiple options?
  • Can you give me an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision under pressure?

3. Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Tell me about a time when you had to work as part of a team to achieve a common goal. 
  • How do you handle conflicts or disagreements within a team? 
  • Describe your experience working with diverse groups of people. 

4. Communication Skills

  • Tell me about a situation where effective communication was crucial in achieving success. 
  • In what ways have you adapted your communication style to work effectively with different individuals or teams?
  • Can you share an example of when miscommunication led to problems in the workplace? What did you learn from it? 

5. Motivation and Professional Development

  • What motivates you to excel in your work?
  • How do you stay updated on industry trends and developments?
  • Tell me about a time when you pursued professional development opportunities to enhance your skills or knowledge.

In addition to these questions there’s many more that can be asked to identify a person’s strengths and abilities. Just remember to always ask your questions based on the candidate’s prior experience and make sure that they do not solicit a “yes” or “no” answer.

When youre asking the right questions, this leads to finding the best candidates for the position you are hiring for.

About the Author

For over 20 years, Sandra has been a driving force within the human resource community. Her understanding of current HR best practices and trends is extensive, and her desire to ensure that Vertical Bridge is providing innovative programs and services to their clients is what drives her and the business forward. She has worked within a wide range of industries including healthcare, private sector, not-for-profit and public sector.

Over the years she has been privy to information that few employers ever hear directly from their employees. She became aware that many employers do not realize how they are perceived by their employees. That awareness produced Sandra’s strong interest in assisting employers to ensure that they are creating engaging and respectful workplaces. In 2005 Sandra founded Vertical Bridge, a full service HR and recruitment consulting practice.

In late 2014 Sandra identified a need for human resources support within the healthcare sector. She founded HealthBridge HR, offering a variety of HR solutions specifically for health care practitioners providing them with the HR expertise that they would not otherwise have access to.

Sandra is a well-regarded facilitator and speaker on a variety of subjects, including HR Best Practices and Inter-Generational Communication within the Workplace. She is a sought after keynote speaker on the topic of human resources and has presented at numerous association and industry conferences.

She is actively involved with HRMA (the Human Resources Management Association), Sandra has been active on a number of Boards, including EMBERS, a downtown Eastside social enterprise and the Developmental Disabilities Association. Sandra is the past chapter president of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services and past Chair of the Board of Governors for the Developmental Disabilities Foundation. She also has had the privilege of sitting on the local Chapter Board of Room to Read and she has actively volunteered her time with Covenant House in Vancouver.

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