As an employer, what are the top 7 questions I should ask during an interview?

May 8th, 2020

In my opinion, the interviewing strategy has changed quite a bit. In previous times, interviews were about assessing skills for the job and asking about the candidates strengths and weaknesses. Definitely important, however, I’m finding more and more companies focusing on getting to know the individual as a person, rather than just a skill set. Obviously, a candidate must meet the basic technical skills to be able to do the job, or learn to do the job. However, culture fit is top of mind for many companies, and that means we need to look at the individual’s character, prior experiences, beliefs, etc. So, from that framework, here are some questions I suggest:

1. What interests you in this job/our organization?
2. What is it like to work with you? How do you typically operate?
3. Tell me about a challenge you’ve had to overcome (professionally or personally). Also can ask about a recent accomplishment you’re proud of.
4. Tell me something about yourself that’s not on your resume.
5. What do you do for personal/professional development? (this could cover what books you are reading or have read, etc.)
6. What would you have liked to do more of in your career? What has held you back?
7. How do you deal with different personalities/styles in the workplace? Which ones are most challenging for you and how do you handle them?

Situational examples are always a good way to see how candidates think. Asking a candidate how would you handle ….(then fill in the blank with a situation) is also a good way to learn about how someone sees a situation, thinks through it and ultimately reacts.

Ultimately the key is asking questions that help a candidate talk, and listening to understand and learn about them. Often, the ones doing the interviewing don’t take the time to really listen or ask follow-up questions – that’s what gets to the heart of how someone thinks and operates. That’s where the real information comes out that helps you determine who someone is, and how they fit and complement your culture.


Donna Flynn – BankTalentHQ Career and Management Coach