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How To Conduct An Interview Questions

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Exit Interviews Will Improve Your Company Culture

How to Conduct an Interview | Effective Interview Questions

Exit interviews are the key for improving your business from the inside out. Knowing what makes some employees leave can help you keep the employees you already have. As a result, youll improve your company culture, reduce turnover, and boost productivity leading to a better and better workplace over time.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Originally published Nov 11, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated November 11 2021


Every Interview Question You Need To Ask

There are hundreds of questions you could ask job candidates during an interview. Choosing the best questions, however, is imperative to an interviews success. From behavioral questions to tough questions to fun questions, here is everything youll need to ask to find the best candidate.

Questions to Ask When Youre Strapped for Time

When youre trying to fill a role, you dont always get as much time as youd like to find and vet prospective hires. Instead of a warm and unhurried half-hour conversation, sometimes youll need to find out if an applicant is a good fit with five interview questions or even less.

If youre strapped for time or simply want to weed out less qualified candidates quickly youll want to ask strategic questions to help you find the best candidates as fast as possible.

Here are five questions to ask when you need to find the best candidates, fast:

  • Whats your availability for this job?
  • What attracts you most about this position?
  • What was the best thing about your last job?
  • What was the worst thing about your former job?
  • How would you solve this problem?

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral-based interview questions rarely come in the form of questions. Instead, they are usually statements that guide candidates into sharing a situation from their past experience.

Here are 17 behavioral interview questions you may want to ask:

Situational Questions

Here are eight situational questions you may want to ask:

Quality-Control Questions

How To Conduct An Interview In 5 Easy Steps

Talent acquisition leaders around the world face a serious problem: hiring managers who cannot conduct effective job interviews. Having trained managers from the deserts of Baghdad to the jungles of Nigeria and the open-space offices of Silicon Valley, I find that how to conduct an interview is something that always comes up as a topic of interest.

It often seems as if people believe they are given the skill of interviewing once anointed with the title of manager. But when faced with the reality of conducting an actual interview, these same people are without a process to manage or a set of tools to use.

The 5 Steps of an Interview

As I see it, the anatomy of an interview consists of five steps:

1. Interview Preparation

4. Closing the Interview

5. Assessing the Candidate

Before scheduling candidates for interviews, you should make sure to have a list of interview questions to ask each candidate. The list should be made up of both rapport-building questions and behavioral interview questions.

I will discuss when to use each type of question in an interview, but first, lets look at the five steps that make up the anatomy of an interview:

Step 1: Interview Preparation

The first step of an interview is preparation. This may seem obvious to say, but the fact is that preparation is the most overlooked part of the entire interview process.

Step 2: Starting the Interview

Some examples of rapport-building questions are:

In researching our company, what have you learned?

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Make Natural Transitions Between Questions

Having a list of interview questions to ask is good practice, but it has an inherent difficulty: it might make the interview seem more robotic and inflexible.

For example, imagine youre listening to a candidates answer. When they finish talking, you may suddenly feel awkward, so you nod and say something akin to OK, interesting and then you move on to the next question. This isnt how a natural conversation would flow, and it might make the experience less pleasant for the candidate .

What Reason Primarily Describes Your Reason For Leaving

Interviewing Tips

Was it a change in lifestyle, a career change, or a better opportunity elsewhere? While the last option may seem like the most common and useful answer, a change in lifestyle such as becoming a stay-at-home parent could tell you where else you could improve.

For instance, you could offer paid parental leave so that your employees no longer have to choose between their jobs and their children. Or if theyre switching careers, you could offer more interdepartmental mobility to current employees, so they dont feel stuck in one role.

What to Look For

Dig into the specific reason for their leaving without letting the employee dive into anecdotes or frustrations. Focus on what attracted them to the new opportunity, new career, or new lifestyle, and use those answers to figure out what you could offer your current employees.

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What Did You Like Most About Your Job

Give yourself a chance to breathe and your employee, too by focusing on the positives. That way, you dont accidentally overhaul the things that work. If the employee answers that they loved the people they worked with, for instance, continue attracting top talent to your firm.

What to Look For

Listen specifically for the people aspect and the project management aspect of this answer. If the employee loved the projects they were working on or the people in their team, youre doing the core things well. If they only mention surface-level things, such as the snacks or the free parking, youll want to revise your recruiting strategy.

E Interview Questions For Managers

If youre hiring team leaders, you want to make sure they can answer well to the above types of interview questions. But, hiring for each managerial position will entail an additional set of questions specifically to judge the candidates management skills . Depending on the seniority of the managers role, there are different interview questions to ask managers:

  • Whats your approach to delegating work to employees? How do you ensure that tasks are completed?
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • Tell me about a time you had to deal with a team member who constantly opposed your ideas. How did you handle it?

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Definition: What Is A Structured Job Interview

Simply put, a structured job interview is a job interview in which all candidates are asked the same questions and compared on the same scale.

This means that the interviewer has to choose the interview questions and decide how to evaluate candidates answers in advance – before the interview with the first candidate begins!

A structured job interview has 2 key determinants:

  • All candidates are asked the same questions in the same order

  • All candidates responses are evaluated using the same rating scale.

  • Gauging The Candidates Level Of Self

    How to Conduct an Interview

    As you try to determine a candidates awareness of themselves and how they fit into organizations, consider opening your interview with a question like:

    • Walk me through your progression in your career leading me up to your current role.

    This is a good way to get a candidates job history as well as their view of their progression. Once you have their answer, follow up with questions such as:

    • How have you had to reinvent your job in light of your organizations changing needs?
    • What makes you stand out among your peers?
    • What would your most respected critic say of your strengths, areas for development, and future potential in your field?

    In addition to probing an individuals assessment of themselves, you also want to ask questions about how they assess their organizations, with questions like:

    • How many employees does your company have?
    • Whats your organizations annual revenue base?
    • How is your department structured in terms of reporting relationships?
    • How exactly does your company make money, and what are its two biggest expenses?

    Depending on the level of the candidate youre interviewing, their responses can provide excellent insights into their level of business acumen and self-awareness.

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    Do You Have Any Questions For Me

    This is another classic interview question, and like the one above, you’re seeing how candidates think on their feet. The answer to this question also reveals what’s important to the candidate. Are they wondering about company culture, or compensation? Are they curious about growth potential, or learning opportunities?

    A good answer to this question:

    There are no right or wrong answers, but personality and communication style are important factors when considering hiring someone to join your team, and you can get a sense of these factors with their answer.

    Want more interview tips? Learn about some of the real questions HubSpot’s CMO asks in marketing interviews.

    If you happen to be on the other side of the interview table, you can make your resume even more appealing to potential employers by becoming a certified inbound marketing professional with HubSpot’s free . Get started here.

    Originally published Aug 20, 2018 11:17:00 PM, updated April 24 2020


    Why Should You Conduct Interviews

    Using an interview is the best way to have an accurate and thorough communication of ideas between you and the person from whom you’re gathering information. You have control of the question order, and you can make sure that all the questions will be answered.

    In addition, you may benefit from the spontaneity of the interview process. Interviewees don’t always have the luxury of going away and thinking about their responses or, even to some degree, censoring their responses. You may find that interviewees will blurt things out that they would never commit to on paper in a questionnaire.

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    When Interviews Are Not The Best Option:

    Interviews are not the only way of gathering information and depending on the case, they may not even be appropriate or efficient. For example, large-scale phone interviews can be time-consuming and expensive. Mailed questionnaires may be the best option in cases where you need information form a large number of people. Interviews aren’t efficient either when all you need is collecting straight numeric data. Asking your respondents to fill out a form may be more appropriate.

    Interviews will not be suitable if respondents will be unwillingly to cooperate. If your interviewees have something against you or your organization, they will not give you the answers you want and may even mess up your results. When people don’t want to talk, setting up an interview is a waste of time and resources. You should, then, look for a less direct way of gathering the information you need.

    How Would Your Boss Describe You

    How to Conduct an Interview in 5 Easy Steps

    This may give you a sense of the candidates relationship with previous managers. Reliable? Prompt? Efficient? Keep in mind, though, who youre asking. The answer will be simply their opinion of what the boss might have said. Thats why its still critical to check references. Request a list of contacts and give former employers a call to hear how their impressions align with the candidates.

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    What Excites You Most About This Position

    Skills can be taught, but theres one thing that cant be: enthusiasm. When an interviewee is truly excited about an opportunity, that typically translates into excellent work and greater longevity with your company.

    Ask that potential employee about what initially attracted him to the position. What makes him most excited about the prospect of working there?

    Doing so will not only once again confirm his grasp of the duties of the role, but also give you a chance to figure out what aspects of the job interest him most.

    Know The Appropriate Questions To Ask

    It is a good idea to prepare the questions you will ask during the interview prior to conducting it. Doing this will allow you to ensure your questions will cover every topic you want to address and will also give you time to consult with your human resources department if youre unsure of what you can legally ask. Certain topics such as race, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy and number of children, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship and marital status are protected classes that should not be discussed during an interview.

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    Practice How To Conduct An Interview

    Just as you expect candidates to be polished during job interviews, they expect the same of you, too. The job market may be a bit more challenging for candidates at the moment, but that doesnt mean in-demand professionals arent going to be selective about their next career move. Your tone and degree of professionalism matter.

    This can take practice. You could rehearse with a colleague over a video call, practice with a friend or family member at home, or run through a mock interview in front of your webcam or a mirror. This process will help you build more self-awareness of your communication abilities. At the same time, this will clue you in to opportunities for improvement.

    Dont have time for candidate searches or conducting interviews? Robert Half can help. We make hiring easy, whether you need to staff roles on-site or remotely.

    Give A Background Of The Company And Details About The Job Role

    Interviewer Technique – How not to conduct an interview

    It is a good idea to give a little background about the company at the beginning of the interview. We should also explain how the position they are interviewing for fits into the goals and objectives of the organization. Doing so will give the interviewee a better understanding of the responsibilities and expectations of the job role.

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    How To Craft The Best Interview Questions

    Conducting a good interview is an art form. Within a relatively short period of time, you need to gather enough information to determine whether a candidate is the best fit for a given position and with so many interview preparation resources available online, its very easy for candidates to come over-prepared with canned responses to those all-too-common interview questions.

    To get a better understanding of the candidates skills, experience, conversational and problem-solving skills, and more, youll have to go beyond the expected and ask questions that will allow you to judge their suitability for the role. Here is how you can craft the best interview questions.

    1. Know what youre looking for.

    To determine a candidates suitability for the job, you have to identify the specific qualities and skills needed for the role. So, first, make a comprehensive list of the qualities you can assess through interview questions. Determine which of these qualities are most important to the role, and prepare a list of questions that elicit responses that illustrate the most pertinent qualities.

    For example, asking how a candidate engaged with customers in a previous role is essential for a position that requires engaging with customers. But if a candidate is applying for a non-related role, you wont get the answers you need by asking about their customer service experience.

    2. Ask questions about problem-solving.

    3. Assess the candidates ability to learn and adapt.

    Prepare Specific Questions For The Role In Advance

    Its easy to get caught up in conversation during an interview. Having interview questions prepared in advance ensures you cover all the bases you wanted to cover.

    Most companies have a base set of questions they ask every candidate and then specific questions for each role. Giving the same base questions to every candidate allows you to compare candidates more directly to each other.

    To make sure you elicit answers that help drive your decision-making, use a mix of question types. Use a variety of close-ended questions, open-ended questions, hypothetical questions, and behavioral questions.

    For example, asking a behavioral question like tell me about a time you dealt with a challenging manager is more likely to dig into how the candidate deals with conflict as opposed to asking them directly how they deal with conflict.

    And while its good to be prepared, leave room for organic questions that come up naturally. If theres something in particular that stands out , dont be afraid to ask follow-up questions.

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    What One Skill Would You Like To Improve And Whats Your Plan For Doing So

    If youve previously been relying on that cliché what’s your biggest weakness question, give this one a try instead.

    Rather than asking an interviewee to point out her flaws and poke holes in her own candidacy, you can turn the tables by focusing on areas of improvement.

    Additionally, the second half of this question gives that applicant a chance to redeem herself, so to speak, by explaining what action plan she has for continuing to grow and develop within her own field.

    What Is An Interview

    How to Conduct an Interview: A Full Hiring Process With 11 ...

    When you’re watching the news at night or reading the paper in the morning, you’ll notice that all the stories have a point in common: They all contain interviews. No matter what subject is being tackled, there’ll always be people willing to be interviewed about it. And that’s great, because that way we can get a sample of what people think and feel about different issues.

    Interviews are usually defined as a conversation with a purpose. They can be very helpful to your organization when you need information about assumptions and perceptions of activities in your community. They’re also great if you’re looking for in-depth information on a particular topic from an expert.

    Interviewing has been described as an art, rather than a skill or science. In other cases, it has been described as game in which the interviewee gets some sort of reward, or simply as a technical skill you can learn. But, no matter how you look at it, interviewing is a process that can be mastered by practice. This chapter will show you how.

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