The top 10 interview questions you should be asking

By Robert Half on 9th September 2019

Looking for advice on how to interview someone for a job? You’ve come to the right place. Get interview tips from the experts at Robert Half, with this list of top 10 interview questions, designed to show how well a candidate fits with your company and how well suited they are to the role.  

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Top 10 interview questions and answers to look for

1. Which aspect of the job do you find the most appealing?

An interview question like this can help you determine how much preparation a candidate has done prior to the interview and whether their interests align with the tasks required for the role. A strong candidate will take this as an opportunity to show how their skills and interests match those mentioned in the job description. 

2. Imagine you’re talking to someone who knows nothing about your job — how might you tell them about a professional achievement you’ve had?

You can use questions like this to test how well a candidate might work with professionals outside of their team. Try to note how well they avoid jargon—are they clear and able to communicate the significance of the achievement without lapsing into technical talk?

3. By your 6-month milestone, what would you like to have achieved in this role?

This is another interview question which will help you understand how much the candidate knows about the role and their research should come across in the answer. You’ll also get a good indication of how ambitious they are and how much they want the role.

4. Your CV has some gaps in it—can you tell me a little more about your decision to leave your last role and what you’ve been busy with since?

If your candidate’s CV has some gaps in it, you can use questions like this to explore whether the time was used productively. There are plenty of reasons why a professional takes time away from work, so it’s important to approach the topic without sounding judgemental and to listen actively to the response. 

5. From what you’ve seen so far, how do you think this business could be improved? 

Of all the top 10 interview questions, this is one of the trickiest to answer. It will test your candidate’s tact and reveals the depths of their preparatory research on your business. You can also use questions like this to find out how up to date your candidate is on current industry events.

6. What was your biggest contribution towards your previous job?

It’s important to find out how much of an impact your candidate has had on their last role and ways they might have evolved it. As they answer, pay specific attention to how creative and forward thinking they’ve been. 

7. Describe your perfect workplace

This is a test of soft skills, cultural fit and honesty. The candidate’s answer will help you figure out whether they will be well suited to the team and the company as a whole and how comfortable they’ll be working for you. 

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8. How could your previous manager have improved their leadership technique?

Here’s another question which probes the candidate’s honesty and tact. Are they positive and constructive in the language they use? Or do they tend towards negativity which might harm your existing company culture? In asking this question, you may also get an indication as to their management preferences.

9. Can you tell us how the skill set from your previous career might work well in this new one?

Is your candidate making a career change? You can try asking an interview question like this to explore their motivations and which of their skills can be carried over into this new role.

10. What problems can you identify in this profession as a whole?

A question like this shows you how switched on your candidate is regarding current industry events. Listen for original and innovative ideas and use it to decide how the individual might be best managed.

Interview questions and structure should be flexible

Every interview is different, and one question may spark other thoughts and conversations. If you’d like more expert assistance on how to interview someone for a job or additional information on the top 10 interview questions we recommend, get in touch with the Robert Half team today. Alternatively, submit your vacancy and let Robert Half take care of it for you. 

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