Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates

Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates

Once an agency or Human Resources department has short listed potential candidates for a position, the manager might be left with the final decision. What sort of job interview questions can a manager ask in order to pick the most suitable person for the job? The following will provide some guidelines when interviewing someone for a key position in the company.

If the HR department or the agency has given the short list to the manager then one should assume that the candidates are qualified and fit the profile of the position offered. The manager needs to find out if they are competent and whether they will fit in or be best for the culture in the work environment.

Can a Potential Candidate Actually Do The Job?

Double check to see what skills they claim to have. Many people will exaggerate or even lie outright about skills in order to get a job. Ask one or two real world scenario questions to find out if the person really can do the job, for example:

“I see you have extensive networking experience. What tools or techniques would you use to troubleshoot one of our outlying branches that complain that they can’t connect to the server?” or “When you were the IT Manager for ABC company how did you go about planning the annual IT Department budget?”

The candidate can’t answer these type of questions with a simple answer. Listen carefully to see if they know what they are talking about. Does the candidate evade the question and start talking about something he is more familiar with or is he able to competently and confidently answer the question.

How Well does The Candidate Cope Under Pressure?

To answer this question, an interviewer needs to put the prospective employee under pressure during the interview. This might not come naturally since no one wants to make anyone else feel uncomfortable. Ask questions such as:

  • Why do you think you are better for this job than all the other candidates we are interviewing?
  • What stressful situation did you have to cope with in your last job and how did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a co-worker you didn’t get along with. What did you do about it?
  • What do you like about our website?

The above questions will put the person under a certain amount of pressure and the replies will be telling about the individual. Everyone has been under stress at one time or another. Someone who hasn’t will be the wrong person for a stressful position.

Interviewing candidates that have been short listed for a job can be challenging. Careful thought needs to given to the questions asked at an interview. Have a clear understanding of the reasons behind the question and what needs to be accomplished by the question. With these principles in mind the task becomes easier.