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11 Good Interview Questions

Here are 11 interview questions (in no particular order) that you can ask job candidates. The questions should be aimed at selecting people who possess values that are important to your organization.


  1. What’s the next thing you have to learn?
    Purpose: To identify attitudes toward learning. To look at ability for self-assessment.

  2. Imagine it’s six months after you’ve been in this job. You say to yourself, “I’m glad I took this job because …”
    Purpose: To get at what’s really important to them.

  3. What does the day look like on those mornings you get up and say to yourself, “I can hardly wait to go to work today because …”
    Purpose: To identify what’s important, what motivates the person.

  4. The next morning you say to yourself, “I really don’t want to go to work because …” Why do you say that?
    Purpose: To find out the demotivators.

  5. If you were independently wealthy and didn’t have to work, what would make you want to go to work? What about the work, the company, the people or anything else would be so appealing that money didn’t matter?
    Purpose: To find out values.

  6. In your career, describe your biggest success? What made it so?
    Purpose: To find out what they accomplished and why they thought it was great. To help assess skills.

  7. In your career, what’s the one thing if you had to do over again, you would do differently? Why? What would you do?
    Purpose: To determine if they learn from their mistakes. To determine if they can admit mistakes.

  8. Imagine your best boss, describe his/her best trait.
    Purpose: To determine how they view their boss and what’s important.

  9. Imagine your worst boss, describe his/her worst trait.
    Purpose: To determine if they can balance between answering the question and putting a positive spin on it or fall into whining about how bad their situation was. Depending upon the answer, you may ask something about their preferred work environment.

  10. What’s your greatest strength and why?
    Purpose: Just to describe themselves.

  11. Then — what is it that is your Achilles heel or your weakness?
    This often stumps people, but if someone can do self-assessment and has self-knowledge they would know. People with self-knowledge are easier to manage because they do understand their strengths and weaknesses and work to manage them.

Note: Notice how these questions don’t put a premium on asking people to describe their specific jobs and what they did. That’s because the most important thing is fit, the way they think, what they bring to the table that makes them who they are … and after that, experience and skills. You can teach specifics; you can’t teach attitude, smarts and values.


SOURCE: Written and compiled by several Workforce staff members.


The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion.