The Best Questions to Ask an Interviewee in 2020

Questions to ask an Interviewee

Staff recruitment is one of the essential components of any successful organization. Obtaining the best performers in your industry is critical if you want to outgrow your competition. Unfortunately, it can be tough to choose the best employees for your business—you only have a short window of opportunity to find the best performers.

One of the best tools you have to assess potential applicants is an interview. During this interview, you’ll have the opportunity to ask a broad range of relevant interview questions. It’s your job to choose questions that help you assess applicants effectively.

It’s critical to find the right questions to ask an interviewee. You should never underestimate the importance of selecting questions that uncover the information you’re looking for. In this post, we’ll be taking a close look at a variety of different questions you can ask your next applicants— check it out!

First Round Interview Questions to Ask


First-round interviews tend to be exploratory more than anything else—they should be aimed at getting to know more about the applicant. First-round interviews are often used to filter initial applicants.

In many cases, you may have a large applicant pool, so it’s critical to identify the ones that are best suited to your company. You won’t have time to conduct multiple interviews with all prospective employees. For this reason, using effective first-round interview questions can help you establish the best short-list.

Below, let’s look at a few examples of first-round interview questions:

  • Give us a rundown of your interests and your background
  • How did you become aware of the job?
  • Why did you decide to apply?
  • Do you know much about our organization? If so, what?
  • What’s your past professional experience?
  • Do you have the relevant qualifications for the job?
  • Do you know anyone else that works in this industry?
  • Where are you currently working? Do you enjoy it?
  • What is your favorite thing about your current (previous) job?
  • What do you look for in a manager?
  • Do you have any questions about the role or our organization?

You should also come up with some specific first-round questions that apply to your niche or industry. It’s essential to ask about things that matter to your organization.

Unique Interview Questions to Ask Candidates


If you’re looking to break away from the pack, it’s a good idea to ask some unique interview questions. While traditional interview questions serve a purpose, finding creative questions can tell you a lot about an applicant.

Below, let’s look at some creative examples of unique interview questions:

  • What would you change about your past and why?
  • What achievement are you most proud of?
  • Name the most creative thing you’ve ever done (or been part of).
  • Describe a time in your life that you had to ‘break away from the pack.’
  • What makes you happy?
  • If you had to start your own company, what would it be?
  • If you could eat dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?

Using these interview questions can help you get more creative answers from your applicant. In many cases, job seekers may prepare for standard questions. While this shows excellent preparation skills, asking unique questions puts people on their toes.

If you’re able to curate a list of interesting questions that other employers don’t ask, you’ll be able to gain a more in-depth insight into the applicant. Consult with other employees in your organization to determine what creative questions you can ask your next applicants.

Strategic Interview Questions to Ask an Interviewee


If you’re planning on getting the most out of your interview, it’s essential to be as strategic as possible. All good interview processes involve some form of strategy. Your organization should assess what types of answers it’s looking for before it determines a list of strategic questions.

Strategic questions are very similar to the ‘unique questions’ mentioned in the previous section of this post. They’re utilized to make applicants think on their feet and provide insightful answers. You can tell a lot about someone when they have to answer a question they’re not expecting.

Below, let’s look at a few sample questions that might be applicable if you want inspiration for strategic questions:

  • If you could change one event in human history, what would it be and why?
  • If you could change one thing about your current (previous) job, what would it be and why?
  • If you could live anywhere on earth for six months, where would it be and why?
  • If you had to give $10,000 to a charitable cause, what would it be and why?
  • Discuss a time you had to fix or build a relationship with a client or co-worker.

Again, make sure to liaise with your fellow employees about strategic questions that are suitable for your organization and its niche. It’s crucial to have your own strategy when it comes to forming these questions.

Technical Interview Questions to Ask an Interviewee


Lastly, it’s important to consider technical interview questions— this is especially relevant for people who work with businesses that require a high amount of technical skill. You don’t want to hire someone without testing their technical knowledge.

The technical questions you ask applicants will vary greatly depending on your industry. You should always consult with individual departments about appropriate technical questions. You should also have an expert from your organization to sit in on the interview to ask their own questions.

Below are some things to keep in mind when forming technical questions:

  • Begin with general topics and close in on smaller details.
  • Make sure to ask the applicant to explain the technical problem in the context of an applicable situation.
  • It can also be a good idea to ask the applicant to solve a particular problem (or provide a particular example).

As mentioned previously, technical questions will vary significantly depending on your industry. Consult with the relevant figures in your organization to prepare appropriate technical questions.