How To Interview Potential Employees

Posting a job is the easy part when it comes to hiring new employees. You've still got to go through the interview process. If you're baffled at what to ask potential employees during an interview, start with these general questions.

Step 1

Inquire about his personal traits. A great way to open up an interview with a potential employee is to get him talking about himself. You will learn a lot about a person's work habits, social skills and accomplishments from a few simple questions. Any of these questions will work.

  • Tell me a little bit about yourself.
  • What education and experience will you bring to this job?
  • What is your greatest strength or weakness as an employee?

Step 2

Ask about his goals. Ideally, every employee you have will possess the same drive and determination that you do. But you won't know about the goals of potential employees until you ask. So try to get a feeling for how each employee sets, works towards, and meets his goals. These questions will give you a good idea of how hard of a worker he is.

  • How will you set and meet goals if you work here?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • How would you describe success? Give an example of when you have been successful.

Step 3

Learn how each candidate prefers to communicate. He might have a golden résumé, but if he isn't a great communicator, you might not want him to work for your company. Discuss the importance of communication with a potential employee to get a feel for how he will react in a team setting, during conflicts with other coworkers, or when working with supervisors. These questions are a great start.

  • How important is communication and interaction with others on the job?
  • Do you prefer telephone or email correspondence with coworkers? With clients?
  • How comfortable would you say you are communicating with management?

Step 4

Talk about flexibility. Potential employees need to be flexible in order to meet the needs of most jobs. As detailed as a job description will be, there should always be some flexibility in what each employee is willing to do as part of his or her job. Approach the subject in this way.

  • Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
  • How did you handle change in your last job? Give an example.
  • Talk about a time when you took a risk at work. What was the result, and was it the right choice?

Step 5

Discuss a stressful incident. A happy work environment is a productive environment. Conflict and anger are not good qualities of potential employees. Weed out destructive behavior  by talking about stress and conflict with potential employees during an interview.

  • How have you dealt with conflict on the job in the past?
  • What kind of decisions do you find difficult?
  • What do you do when you're having trouble completing your job? Give an example.

Step 6

Decide whether this person will work well with management. Finally, make sure that you hire employees that will respect and support upper management. Decide whether potential employees are manageable by asking the following questions.

  • Describe the traits of a good manager.
  • If you felt your boss treated you unfairly, what would you do?
  • If you had to be the manager at your old job, what things would you do differently?

Once you've got your answers from these questions, feel free to add other questions relevant to the job you are interviewing for. Keep track of all answers on an interview template, and take time to process your thoughts about each applicant before moving on to other interviews. That way, you'll devote the proper amount of time to interviewing and hiring the right employee for the job.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles:



Awesome!! wish i'd read this earlier.

By Wayne DSouza