25 Best Interview Questions To Ask Job Candidates In 2023
25 Best Interview Questions To Ask Job Candidates In 2023
When it comes to interview questions, discussions tend to revolve around the answers given. But the things you ask a candidate are just as important, if not more so, than the responses they provide. This is especially true in 2023, as Human Resource departments have more riding on finding great hires than ever.
Read this HR guide for a rundown of the 25 key interview questions that you should be asking candidates in 2023 - and how to make the most of each one.
1. Can you tell me about yourself?
This question may seem stupidly simple, but it's a tried-and-true staple of job interviews of all kinds. And that's for good reason - asking a candidate to introspectively reflect on their skills, career achievements and personal goals can give you a great deal of insight into who they are, and just as importantly, how they see themselves as a professional.
2. What did you dislike most about your last role?
Chances are that your interviewee is in the position they are because something wasn't right at their last job. By asking them to highlight a negative aspect, you're gaining deeper insight into the context of that misalignment.
3. What did you like most about your last role?
Similarly, asking a candidate what they liked most about their previous job can shed light on what kind of workplace they thrive in - and whether yours is the right match.
4. What are your thoughts on remote work?
This is a very relevant question that every employer should be asking in 2023, regardless of their policy on the matter. Opinions are split across the board, so it's worth knowing where your applicants stand.
5. How did you hear about this position?
Job board? Referral? Whatever the source is, it will give you an idea of their overall search.
6. What do you know about the company?
Again, a simple question, but still one that many job applicants can't adequately answer. By asking it, you're not necessarily looking for whoever has memorized the most information about your company, but rather weeding out those who obviously skipped reading the job description and applied for the salary alone.
7. What is your greatest weakness?
Candidates come to interviews ready to sing their own praises. Having them do the opposite can tell you quite a bit about their humility and ability to take criticism.
8. Can you tell me one fun fact about yourself that's not on your resume?
Whether their answer to it is relevant to the role or not, this question is a great way to learn more about the actual person you're interviewing.
9. What challenges have you faced in your current role and how have you handled them?
Now is a great time to find out what kind of problem-solver the candidate is. What methods do they use to tackle tricky situations?
10. How do you manage stress?
We all experience workplace stress from time to time, but some people handle it better than others. This question is very important to ask if the role being interviewed for is high-demand.
11. Who is your professional inspiration/mentor?
Not everyone has one, but if they do, it speaks volumes about their career ambitions.
12. What would be your approach to resolving a workplace conflict?
Keeping in mind that it is entirely hypothetical, such a question will show you where a candidate's mind first goes when presented with a difficult situation.
13. What do you know about our company culture?
How well does the candidate understand the dynamics of the workplace they are joining? Do their values align with yours?
14. How have you grown professionally in your current role?
This is a great question to get an idea of the candidate's commitment to their own professional development, as well as how they strive to continually improve. They should be able to give you concrete examples of how their skills and understanding of the role have changed over time.
15. What other roles/companies are you applying to?
Although this question can be a bit blunt, it serves as an important reminder that your candidate is likely interviewing elsewhere. Knowing this can help keep you on your toes, as well as ensure a smoother onboarding process if you decide to hire them.
16. What is one thing you would like to accomplish in your next role?
It's always interesting to find out what an applicant is looking to achieve in the long run. By understanding their goals, you can get a better sense of how they plan on contributing to your team.
17. What do you consider to be your biggest career accomplishment?
This question will give you a better idea of the type of work an applicant takes pride in. It's also a great way to learn more about their professional narrative.
18. What do you know about our industry and the competition we face?
A great way to see how much research the candidate has done ahead of the interview. Has the applicant gone beyond reading your job description and taken the time to understand the bigger picture?
19. What do you think the biggest challenge for this role will be?
Your candidate should be able to prove their suitability for hire, but also be level-headed enough to admit the difficulties they might face.
20. Can you define work-life balance?
The trick to this employee experience question is that it doesn't have a single answer. By asking candidates for their interpretation, you can get an idea of whether it's compatible with the role they're applying to.
21. What would your colleagues say about you?
This allows interviewees to demonstrate their self-awareness and think about how they are perceived by their peers.
22. How could you make an immediate impact on our team?
This question can provide further insight into the candidate's goals and aspirations in their next role.
23. What are your long-term career goals?
Asking this question can provide a glimpse into the candidate's ambitions and whether they align with the company's values.
24. Do you have any questions for me?
Turn the tables. It can quickly prove how much your interviewee paid attention to the conversation and how interested they actually are in the role.
25. Why should we hire you?
Nothing beats a straight-to-the-point question like this. It gives candidates a chance to sell themselves while also giving you a better idea of their confidence.
Evaluating Answers From Candidates
So, you've written all of the above questions down and posed them to interviewees. Now comes the second, and arguably most important part of the process: disseminating their answers. While the idea of accurately reading into candidate responses may feel daunting, the reality is that you don't need a crystal ball to do it well.
Here are some simple steps to follow:
- Take notes - Writing down the answers that you hear during an interview can help jog your memory later when it comes time to evaluate them.
- Compare Responses - How did each candidate answer the same question? Were their responses consistent? Use the notes you took to compare their answers to one another, and look for similarities or differences in a candidate's thought process.
- Consider Context - Think about the context of the questions you posed and how they were answered. What were your expectations for a candidate's response? Did they meet them?
- Listen for Qualities - As you're listening to the answers a candidate gives, pay attention to their tone of voice, body language, and any other nonverbal cues they may be displaying. Doing so will help you better assess their enthusiasm for the role.
- Ask Follow-Up Questions - If a response isn't quite as clear as you'd like it to be, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. This will give the candidate a chance to further explain their answer, and it'll also ensure that you've got enough information to make an informed decision.