Getting the right candidates to fill a vacancy in your company is a serious thing and could take a lot of time. You have to know what to look out for in the perfect candidates and most importantly, you need to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Knowing the right questions to ask and the answers to expect is the first way to start. Here are 20 powerful questions that can quickly reveal if a candidate is qualified to do a job or not:

Conducting a Job Interview – 20 Sample Questions to Ask

1. Tell me about yourself

This question will reveal to you how the candidate sees himself; his self-worth. It may also reveal some hidden strengths and talents or experiences not listed in his CV.

2. What do you think your duties would be?

You want to know how serious this candidate is about getting the job. A serious candidate would have taken time to study the job descriptions listed in the vacancy announcement or at least researched some things about the job title and what the functions of a person occupying that position could be.

3. Why do you want to leave your job or why did you leave your last job?

First, this would reveal the level of commitment this person would have for the job if offered to him. If he is a chronic job hopper who changes jobs for the slightest of reasons, then you may not want to employ him because he is going to cost you time and money by making you go through another recruitment process when he decides to leave your company too after a short while. Another thing this question would reveal to you is the personal character of the candidate and whether or not there are any red flags to watch out for.

4. Why do you want to work for our company?

This would also help reveal whether the candidate has taken time to research anything about the company.

5. What can you contribute to our company?

Of course, you don’t want to employ empty Danny; you want someone who can move your company forward, someone who can take initiatives, who doesn’t have to be told what to do at all time and most importantly, someone who has some refreshing ideas to bring into the company.

6. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

This question helps you understand the things that are important to a candidate as well as his individual values.

7. Are you experienced with these kinds of tasks?

Training new intakes for a job can be costly and time consuming, which is why most companies prefer to employ experienced individuals who would be cheaper to train; this question would reveal whether or not the candidate has the required hands-on-experience.

8. Tell me about your last job review

Job reviews are done so that employees can recognize the areas where they need to improve. An employee who is serious about improvements would know what his last job performance review was and the steps he has taken to record necessary improvements.

9. What improvements do you think we should make to our products and services?

This can reveal some useful ideas that you can use to improve your business and also show you the level of intelligence of a candidate.

10. How well do you handle pressure?

If the job position to be filled requires multi-tasking, you would need to know whether this client can handle it or not.

11. What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses?

This would reveal what the candidate considers his strengths which may be useful to your business and his weaknesses which may stand in the way of his job performance.

12. Have you ever had a problem with a co-worker or employer and how did you resolve it?

This would reveal the candidate’s conflict resolution skills, his ability to learn from mistakes and whether he is teachable or not.

13. How would you solve this problem? (Insert job specific challenges)

If there are some specific challenges which you think the candidate is likely to face in the course of carrying out his duties; you may want to know whether he has the skills and knowledge needed to handle these challenges

14. Are you able to travel or work shifts?

Do not just assume that every employee would like to travel on the job, work overtime or run shifts. If the job description involves any of these, it is important to ask the candidates during the interview.

15. What motivates you?

This is a way to learn what your candidates are passionate about and also reveal ways which you can help them to perform better if they are employed eventually.

16. Where do you see yourself five years from now?

You want to work with people who can grow along with the business, people who are interested in personal growth and improvement and people who can be part of a progressive team.

17. Tell me about the times you had to work with other people to accomplish tasks

This question would help you learn more about the candidate’s team-playing skills and leadership abilities.

18. What do you think your challenges would be on this job?

This is another way to learn how serious the candidate is about getting the job and find out if he at least took out sometime to find out about the company.

19. How much would you like to be paid?

20. Do you have any questions for me?

Of course, your candidates should have questions for you. How can you sit discussing with someone for 30 minutes and in the end the person has absolutely nothing he wants to learn, clarify or add? A good candidate would have a set of questions he would have prepared to ask after the interview maybe to learn more about the company or know what would be expected of him if he is employed or even grab some tips to help him perform better in his next interview (in case he didn’t do well this time). Successful people are always willing to learn.

Ajaero Tony Martins