If you are looking to add more staff members to your business, it is important to take some time to organize a list of employee interview questions beforehand. Not all interview questions are equal, and some are even illegal. It is therefore a clever idea to first acquaint yourself with the kind of employee interview questions that are appropriate, and those that are not. Questions pertaining to age, marital status, pregnancy, and disabilities are examples of questions that you cannot ask a potential employee during an interview.
Employee interview questions that oblige the candidate to answer a YES or a NO are not likely to give you much information about a candidate and are therefore not suitable for an interview. Alternatively, questions that encourage the interviewee to respond fully can reveal some interesting and applicable facts.
The best type of employee interview questions
1. Introductory questions
Introductory questions are among the key questions to as an interviewee. Some examples of introductory questions include:
- What are your hobbies?
- Tell me/us about yourself
Such questions can reveal a candidate’s traits, skills and accomplishments that relate to the vacant slot. If the answers you get are unfocused or long-winded, the candidate may not be ready for the position you are about to offer. If he or she utters a negative comment regarding a previous position or job, you might want to ask yourself if he or she is the kind of person you want working for your company.If, on the other hand, a candidate mentions being a leader somewhere, such as a band or choir leader, this could be an indication that he or she has leadership capabilities. If you come across a candidate that has written a book or has a blog on your line of business, chances could be that he or she is focused and has a lot of knowledge that can be applied to the position at hand.
2. Teamwork Questions
If the job at hand will require the candidate to work with a team, you will want to know if he or she is capable of being a team player. Refrain from asking “Are you a team player?” as what you will probably get is a simple YES. The best way to phrase this question would be, “Tell me /us about a project or task that you have accomplished successfully by working with others.” The answers you get will probably reveal if the interviewee shows leadership, takes initiative, follows instructions, and meets deadlines, all of which are crucial for any position.
You will also want to find out how well the interviewee would interact with co-workers were you to award the job to him or her, and a good question in this case would be, “Tell me /us about the relationships you’ve had with co-workers and other acquaintances? Please describe the best relationships and the worst you have ever encountered in the line of duty.” Each candidate is different and the answers you get to such questions will teach you a thing or two about how the interviewee would interact with the rest of the team – will he or she be productive and happy to work with your team?
If the candidate has one or two foul things to say about former bosses and colleagues, it could be a sign of negativity that he or she could carry along if given the opportunity to join your company. Everyone encounters a negative working relationship at one point or another and if a candidate has nothing negative to say about former acquaintances, navigate the conversation towards a bad relationship he or she may have encountered at one time or another.
3. Conflict questions
Just like negative work relationships, conflicts are also part and parcel and life, both at work and at home. As a prospective employer, you will definitely want to find out how well a candidate can handle conflicts at work. In this case, ask your candidate to describe a conflict he/she encountered at his/her former place of work and how he/she handled the situation. Alternatively, describe a creative conflict and ask how he/she would handle the situation. How well or badly an interviewee addresses your conflict-related employee interview questions will give you a clear idea on what to expect of him/her when it comes to workplace conflicts.
Career path questions will help you to determine how the interviewee will handle the job at hand if given a chance. A good
career path question would be phrased like this, “Tell me/us about what you consider to be your most important accomplishment so far?” “Please walk me/use through it, how you managed to accomplish it, how you measured your success and the mistakes, if any, that you made and how you solved them?”
The answers you receive to these kinds of questions will show you if a candidate is confident in his/her work, while at the same time staying humble and acknowledging other people’s efforts. The answers will also indicate whether the candidate learns from past mistakes or not.
5. Skills and qualifications questions
Skills and qualifications questions are very important as they will determine whether the applicant has the necessary skills to perform the job at hand. This kind of questions may include the following:
- What certifications do you hold?
- Have you undertaken any special training related to this job?
- What is your understanding of this job?To get a sense of the career goals of the candidate, appropriate question may include the following:
- Please describe your deal job
- Give us a few reasons why we should award you this job
- Where exactly do you see yourself n 3 years?To present the candidate with a chance to sell himself/herself, here are a couple of relevant employee interview questions:
- Tell us a few things about our company
- What attracts you to this job?
- How do you expect to benefit from this job?
6. Closing Interview Questions
Closing employee interview questions can include questions like, “Do you have any questions for me/us?” Such question will give you an opportunity to learn more things about the candidates.