25 questions for interview

1. Which piece of constructive criticism do you receive the most?

Candidates may find it challenging to be honest about their flaws. Some want to appear skilled and talented, so they might find it difficult to discuss the critical feedback they have received. However, the ideal candidate will share a useful piece of constructive criticism that has helped them to improve.

For example, after receiving constructive criticism they might try to improve their
active listening skills
to ensure they are receptive to their colleagues’ ideas.

2. Tell me about your biggest weakness.

Personal weaknesses and constructive feedback go hand in hand. Every candidate has a gap in their knowledge, skills, or work experience. Some candidates might struggle to take control of a project and others may feel uncomfortable with leading client meetings. Learning about their weaknesses can help you better understand their
prominent personality traits

Research suggests that 55% of candidates have
lied on their resumes at least once
. They might change details about their personal life, skills, work experience, or references. Therefore, you may consider avoiding resume screening and asking this tough interview question early in the interview to receive accurate quantitative data about your applicants.

You could also send each candidate a
16 Types personality test
before the interview to determine their suitability for the open position.

3. What did you dislike about your previous job?

Asking this tough interview question is another way to encourage candidates to be honest. Not all candidates will have negative experiences with specific jobs, but they might have ideas about how previous companies could improve.

For example, applicants may mention that their previous organizations need to provide more challenging tasks or host more social events to strengthen the team. Although candidates should take time to think about their answers, those who take too long to respond may be omitting details or altering facts.

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

Requesting an answer to this tough interview question may force your candidates to think quickly and refer to the facts they have learned about your organization. It will help you evaluate their thought processes and critical-thinking skills.

If your applicant has researched your business, they will provide a thorough response to this question, and likely mention facts about the open position or statistics regarding your latest projects.

5. What would you do differently if you could start your career over again?

Not every candidate will be satisfied with every career choice they make. If your candidate regrets past experiences or educational choices, it shows they know what they want to achieve in their professional career.

Candidates who are open about their mistakes are more transparent and determined. They may talk you through each career step and how they would’ve made different choices to achieve more challenging goals.

6. What do you know about this company?

You can test your candidates’ knowledge of your company by asking this tough interview question. A suitable candidate will provide facts and key information related to their research.

Candidates who don’t have information about your organization may have failed to research the company and lack the dedication to join your team. You need potential employees who understand your mission and want to be a part of an evolving team.

After a job interview, 47% of candidates are rejected because they
don’t know anything about the company
and the specific role. Therefore, listen to the candidate’s answer closely to determine whether they’ve done appropriate research.

To determine a candidate’s ability to research industry trends and compare them with your company’s advancements, you may ask this tough interview question.

Candidates knowledgeable about their chosen industry may be more determined to succeed in the role. Of course, research isn’t compulsory, but the lack of insight may prove the candidate isn’t ready to work for your company.

For example, the candidate could discuss artificial intelligence systems and how your company uses AI-powered chatbots to improve customer experiences. Linking trends to the open position indicates their level of expertise in their desired industry.

8. What technological advancements do you hope to see?

Candidates should be aware of the latest developments in technology. Most jobs require technical-based systems and programs to fulfill tasks. If the candidate is unaware of recent technological advancements, they might not have the right mindset to follow technological advancements.

However, this question may only work for technical roles requiring extensive knowledge of computer software and AI systems. For other roles, you could send skills tests beforehand to
bridge internal gaps
and prevent mis-hiring.

It’s also worth using basic software skills tests like
Microsoft Windows
Google Sheets
to screen candidates with practical knowledge.

9. How would you describe your personality?

An interview question such as this can help you understand a candidate’s personality. Their responses, body language, and overall persona will reveal their unique characteristics. Ask the candidate what they think about themselves to gain a deeper insight.

Your question should make them think about their positive and negative attributes. Remember — honest candidates won’t only discuss good traits in the interview.

Consider sending each candidate a
Big 5 (OCEAN) test
before you test their knowledge in a meeting. This test evaluates five key aspects of personality: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability. Understanding more about their mindset can foster intriguing conversations.

10. What have you learned from your mistakes?

Everyone makes mistakes, and no candidate is perfect. Creating human errors in the workplace is also common, so candidates shouldn’t feel ashamed about past mishaps.

The ideal candidate will provide an example of one mistake and what they took away from it. For instance, they may have misunderstood an assignment, which resulted in a missed deadline. To show great mental strength, the candidate should discuss ways they prevented the mistake from happening again.

11. What was the most and least rewarding thing about your last job?

Candidates may need time to think about this question, which may help them provide in-depth responses. They should be honest about previous jobs and how those experiences benefited their career path.

Some candidates might give a quick answer if they didn’t enjoy their last role. Write down their responses to better understand their expectations and work preferences.

Be wary of candidates who mention that they dislike the things your company offers. For example, if one candidate dislikes a computer program your company uses, they may not be suitable for the job.

12. How much do you expect to get paid?

Questions about compensation can feel awkward, but they’re necessary. Candidates may have difficulty answering if they haven’t considered their salary preferences. Still, hiring job applicants who feel comfortable with their initial earnings is important.

Research suggests that 73% of candidates believe
salary is the most important factor
when considering a job offer. The ideal candidate should always have salary expectations before an interview and feel comfortable negotiating their wages.

Consider applicants who understand the value of their work and ask for realistic compensation when answering this question.

13. How has your work experience prepared you for this role?

Candidates should discuss how previous jobs have supported their career path. They might talk about their skills, current knowledge, and personal insights. Candidates must understand the benefits of work experience, especially in demanding industries that require high-quality talent.

You can
identify talent gaps
in your company and use candidates’ responses to hire ones who have the applicable skills. Just ensure the ideal candidate talks about relevant work experience and ties it back to the open position they’ve applied for.

14. Tell me about a time you had to resolve a conflict with your boss.

Conflict is bound to happen in any demanding job. When the stakes are high, team members may experience stress and burnout. Suitable candidates should have experience resolving conflict and maintaining professional relationships. However, overcoming issues with a manager is another type of skill.

Candidates may use the
STAR method
to answer the question (and structure their response by giving an example situation, task, action, and result) to explain how they settled terms with their boss.

You could send a
Problem solving test
to each candidate to evaluate their reactions to complex situations. This test also determines whether the candidate will successfully merge with your company culture.

15. How will you contribute to our team?

This is a tough question that will require your applicants to think before they respond. They should know exactly how they will benefit your company and the processes that will make them succeed.

Candidates who apply for a job without considering their value or ability to contribute may not be passionate about your company and their career path. Therefore, ask this question to identify top job applicants during the hiring process.

Asking this interview question also ensures you don’t make
hiring mistakes
that increase turnover costs and lower productivity levels in the team.

16. How do you manage stress when the team has to meet tight deadlines?

Candidates who can manage stress are often very productive. They know how to support their emotional well-being while getting tasks done. The ideal candidate should have measures that help them manage stress efficiently.

In the interview, they should explain those measures related to meeting tight deadlines. For example, one candidate might encourage open communication to ensure all team members are on the right track and not falling behind.

Send them a
Communication skills test
before the interview to further assess their skills. This test evaluates the candidate’s ability to use professional etiquette in the workplace and communicate problems.

17. What are you hoping to achieve in this role?

Goals create new behaviors and help candidates focus on their target. Those without goals may not have much guidance regarding their career path. Therefore, ask this tough question to determine the candidate’s motivation.

Every candidate should have a reason for applying for the specific role in your company, whether that’s to lead innovative projects or put forward ideas that could enhance your company’s brand. If the candidate is passionate about the open position, they will prove that by expressing their long-term goals and dreams.

You should also note candidates who want to grow in your company and improve their skills. This type of achievement shows dedication to
personal development
, which is something all teams need to succeed.

18. What do you look for in a manager?

Candidates may have preferences when it comes to management. They could have set ways for how managers should monitor them in the workplace and offer support. Having preferences isn’t necessarily negative, but candidates should explain why they favor specific character traits in a manager.

For example, one candidate could value transparency, active listening, and consistency in their boss, and another candidate may prefer a trustworthy manager. Write their responses down to see how their opinions align with your company.

19. How would you define success?

Success means different things to every candidate. For some, success is reaching a long-term goal after months of hard work. Others might view success as personal growth due to their consistent efforts.

Candidates may struggle to answer this question if they haven’t considered what victory means on their career path. Give them time to think about their motivation and how they would define success in the open position.

20. Share some of your long-term career goals.

Recent studies show that 14% of people with goals are
10 times more likely to achieve them
. This correlation occurs because workers feel passionate about future aspirations and want to boost personal progression. Candidates with a similar view may share the goals they wish to accomplish while working for your company.

21. Are there any tasks that you dislike?

Candidates will have preferences when it comes to completing tasks in a job. They should tell you honestly about what they don’t enjoy, which can help you determine which candidate suits the open position best.

For example, some candidates might not enjoy documenting their progress on computer software, and others may struggle with digital communication. This question is important as it will help you narrow down your list of potential candidates.

22. Tell me about a mistake you made in a previous job.

The ideal candidate should talk you through one of their job mistakes and how they resolved it. For example, they may have lacked the confidence to ask questions in a meeting, which made them more confused about their upcoming project.

Candidates should explain the situation and what they did to prevent such mistakes from happening again. You can also better understand their thought process when achieving
personal development goals

23. What has been the most challenging decision you’ve ever made?

When responding to this question, candidates may explain a challenging decision they had to make when navigating a previous job. You should note their responses to learn more about their personalities and how they might use
leadership skills
to make decisions in the company.

Challenging decisions may range from cutting expenses from the company budget to dropping a client who couldn’t collaborate efficiently with the team.

Consider giving candidates a
Leadership & People Management skills test
to evaluate their coaching abilities and delegation skills. You can also use this test to hire potential leaders who can enhance your company.

24. What changes would you want to make in our company?

This tough question may require candidates to pause and think before they answer. Some candidates might not have considered potential changes in advance, but it’s still worth learning about their future aspirations.

For example, your candidate may want to teach team members how to use the latest technical software. This positive change can help your company to digitally transform and speed up project developments. Note their responses to ensure you
hire the right candidate

25. How would you improve your current skills?

A recent survey found that 77% of job seekers are
ready to learn new skills
and develop the ones they already have. Constant self-improvement shows that candidates want to better themselves and obtain the right experience, skills, and knowledge for the open position.

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