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77 best interview questions to ask candidates

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When you conduct an interview, asking engaging interview questions is essential. With the best interview questions, you can enhance the candidate experience and understand their skills, passion for the role, and eagerness to improve.

Suppose you start the candidate assessment process with skill tests, such as the Motivation test. In that case, there are many benefits, but when you prepare for interviews, where can you find the best interview questions

Your search doesn’t have to be complicated. Continue reading to discover the 77 best interview questions to ask your candidates.

22 common interview questions to ask applicants

Check out these common interview questions that can help candidates feel more comfortable at the start of the interview, and help you learn about their work experience and professional background. 

1. Tell me about yourself. 

2. Why are you interested in this role?

3. How would your colleagues describe you?

4. Where do you see yourself in five years?

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

6. How do you deal with pressure?

7. Do you prefer working independently or in a team?

8. How do you organize multiple projects?

9. What are your salary expectations?

10. Tell me more about your qualifications. 

11. What are you passionate about?

12. Share some of your long-term goals.

13. How do you respond to stress?

14. Why should we hire you?

15. How do you learn new skills? 

16. What do you like most about our company? 

17. Why did you leave your last job?

18. What is your ideal work environment?

19. Tell me about one of your most significant accomplishments.

20. How do you spend your spare time? 

21. How did you hear about this job?

22. Do you have any questions for me? 

5 common interview questions and answers 

Below are common questions and answers you can refer to when comparing the candidates’ responses and assessing their knowledge after the interview.

1. Why are you interested in this role?

Asking a simple question like this at the start of the interview may help candidates feel more comfortable. They should provide reasons for applying for the role and talk about why they are interested in your company. Their answer should help you better understand their long-term goals and career path. If the candidate struggles to respond, they might not be as passionate about getting the role. 

2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Every candidate will have work-related strengths and weaknesses. As an HR professional, you should learn more about how they function to ensure you hire the right candidate

Some candidates avoid including negative traits in their resumes because they want recruiters to focus on their positive attributes. However, you should learn the candidate’s weaknesses to see how they improve long-term. 

3.  How do you deal with pressure?

Candidates may have many stress management measures to succeed in the workplace and cope with pressure. For example, they might journal to express negative thoughts in their free time. Other candidates could seek support from higher management when big projects become overwhelming. 

Research suggests that 83% of employees experience pressure and work-related stress daily. Thus, hiring candidates who work well under pressure is important, especially if the open position involves demanding projects. 

4. What do you like most about our company? 

This question determines whether the candidate has done any research on your company before the interview. Candidates who know about your projects or recent launches may be more motivated to get the role. 

Of course, it’s not always a bad sign if the candidate struggles to answer this question, but the lack of knowledge or effort to find out about your company may show that your candidate doesn’t have the curiosity or passion required to become your next employee.

5. What is your ideal work environment?

If a candidate’s ideal work environment doesn’t align with your company’s culture, they may not be a suitable fit. 

For example, if the candidate prefers a collaborative, office-based workspace to converse with team members, but your company mainly offers remote work, the candidate isn’t a good match for the role. 

Always learn about the candidate’s preferred environment to hire someone with similar job expectations. 

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Did you know that combining skills tests with interview questions vastly improves your chances of making a great hire?

17 unique interview questions to ask candidates

We’ve compiled a list of unique interview questions to help your candidates stay engaged and keen throughout the interview. 

1. Which literary character do you relate to the most? 

2. Describe an ideal work environment that would encourage you to be more productive. 

3. In five minutes, teach me a random skill. 

4. Where would you go if you had to move across the country tomorrow? Explain your answer.?

5. How do you lower your stress?

6. Which factors inspire you to be creative at work? 

7. Do you prefer to figure things out on your own? 

8. What type of work environment would make you happy?

9. Which superhero is your favorite and why? 

10. What excites you most about our company?

11. how would you reward your team if you owned a business?

12. What would you do if a team member was visibly upset? 

13. Can you name a few of our competitors? 

14. What are you most worried about in terms of career?

15. If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?

16. What is your usual routine for the day? 

17. What social events would you want to attend at work? 

5 unique interview questions and answers 

Here are five unique interview questions and answers to help you evaluate the candidates’ responses.

Five unique interview questions and answers graphic

1. Which superhero is your favorite and why?

Questions don’t always need to revolve around professional work. Unique questions can make the interview more interesting and keep the candidate engaged.

Asking about their favorite superhero allows them to create an original response. For example, the candidate may describe a character’s power or level of intelligence. 

Send candidates a 16 Types personality test to better understand their mindsets. You can identify their source of energy and the way they process information. Learning more about a candidate’s personality will determine whether they could work in your company’s environment. 

2. In five minutes, teach me a random skill.

This question may throw candidates off, but it can get them thinking quickly. A skill can range from speed reading text to making origami art with scrap paper. 

Whatever it is, you should watch how they present their skills and consider if they can teach you quickly. Focus more on their communication and leadership capabilities when they respond to this question. 

A Critical Thinking test can help you evaluate how candidates make judgments and use deductive reasoning. This pre-employment assessment allows the candidate to solve complex problems using quick thinking. 

3. Which factors inspire you to be creative at work?

Many organizations believe creative work drives long-term business objectives. Candidates with creative skills may be ideal for writing, programming, design, marketing, and managerial jobs.

The ideal candidate should explain how they develop ideas in the workplace to help them complete specific tasks. 

4. Do you prefer to figure things out on your own?

An independent candidate will prefer to work problems out on their own. This mindset isn’t always negative if your company handles small projects. However, in a team-based environment, candidates must adapt and work with other team members. 

When reviewing responses, consider whether your interviewees favor a collaborative workspace that fosters professional friendships and increases productivity. 

5. Where would you go if you had to move across the country tomorrow, and why?

This question can give you a deeper insight into the candidate’s personality. They may talk about their favorite destination or holiday plan that stuck with them the most. Although this question is not work-related, it will help the candidate feel more comfortable during the interview. Holding more casual conversations keeps candidates both engaged and interested. 

20 behavioral interview questions to ask applicants

Discover 20 behavioral interview questions that evaluate the candidate’s behavior, mindset, and reaction to realistic scenarios. 

1. Give an example of when you had to resolve a conflict with a team member. How did you handle it? 

2. How do you approach unhappy customers or clients? 

3. Tell me about a time you had to assume leadership for a team.

4. What is the most challenging decision you’ve ever had to make?

5. How do you approach problems in the workplace?

6. What do you do if you disagree with another idea?

7. Tell me about a time you failed a project. 

8. What is your task prioritization process?

9. How would you handle project delays or changes?

10.  Describe a time you had to support another team member and help them complete their tasks. 

11. How do you constantly improve your skills? 

12. How would you give critical feedback to team members? 

13. Talk me through the steps of receiving feedback and making the changes. 

14. Tell me how you would motivate your team. 

15. What do you do to prevent stress in the workplace?

16. Give me an example of how you set long-term goals. 

17. Tell me about a time the team had to compromise.

18. Have you ever had to change your communication style? How did you do it? 

19. Do you want to improve any of your work habits? 

20. How do you make a work environment more enjoyable? 

5 behavioral interview questions and answers 

Below are some behavioral interview questions and answers to help you compare responses and choose the right candidates. 

1. Give an example of when you had to resolve a conflict with a team member. How did you handle it?

Conflict is often when teams work on challenging projects. Team members are more likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed when the stakes are high. 

However, colleagues need to resolve any conflict professionally. The ideal candidate should provide a real example of how they’ve dealt with disagreements in previous jobs. 

The average employee spends around a couple of hours a week dealing with conflict. Instead, employees could spend those hours on projects or effective collaboration between team members. Candidates who work to resolve conflict quickly can contribute to a positive environment. 

You could also send candidates a Communication Skills test to evaluate their ability to discuss problems and arrange group meetings. 

2. Tell me about a time you had to assume leadership for a team.

Candidates who want to become leaders should discuss past responsibilities and how they took control of specific projects. This question allows them to explain leadership styles that encourage better relationships and behaviors in the workplace. For example, the coaching style focuses on nurturing strengths and increasing confidence among team members. 

Use a Leadership & People Management test to evaluate the candidate’s leadership skills and knowledge. This assessment is better for managerial roles in the human resources department.  

3. Talk me through the steps of receiving feedback and making the changes. 

Feedback is essential because it helps employees enhance their quality of work and succeed. Even though constructive criticism can feel daunting, candidates should try to take it on board. 

The ideal candidate will provide examples of previous feedback and how they created personal development goals to make relevant changes. 

Research suggests that 89% of HR leaders offer continuous feedback to encourage positive outcomes. Employees also feel appreciated when higher management acknowledges their work performance. 

4. What is your task prioritization process?

Time management is one of the best skills to have as it helps employees organize their tasks efficiently and spread work evenly throughout the day. 

There is a reduced risk of missed deadlines or late projects if the team uses an efficient time management system. Prioritizing tasks means the candidate is confident in completing their work on time. 

Highly-skilled candidates will go through each step in their task prioritization process and provide examples of how they would start projects. Always note down their answers to stay aware of their current skills and knowledge. 

A Time Management test will show you how candidates prioritize, plan, and execute specific tasks in the workplace. Hiring a candidate with strong time management skills ensures your company meets deadlines and satisfies client requirements. 

5. How would you handle project delays or changes?

Candidates should have the ability to adapt to sudden changes in the workplace. Being able to accept new routines and build strategies can boost productivity quickly. In response to this question, the candidate may discuss previous jobs and how they collaborated with their team to overcome delays. 

For example, candidates may use their analytical skills to evaluate and solve complex situations in their current role. 

If you want to learn more about these abilities, you may ask follow-up questions about creating and adjusting schedules to handle job expectations. You can also send candidates a Problem-Solving test to determine how they overcome common challenges at work. 

18 personality interview questions to ask candidates

Use these personality interview questions to better understand the candidate’s prominent character traits and beliefs. 

1. What are your hobbies outside of work? 

2. What is your favorite book and why? 

3. How would your best friend describe you? 

4. What do you do if someone interrupts your task? 

5. Would you say you are a creative person? 

6. What one trait makes you a unique candidate?

7. How do you handle negative feedback? 

8. Describe a time when you devised a creative strategy to solve a challenging situation at work. 

9. How would you make a new team member feel comfortable?

10. What are your pet peeves?

11. How do you determine success in a job? 

12. Tell me more about your work style. 

13. Are you eager to complete any training sessions? 

14. Do you take work home with you? 

15. If your boss was wrong about something, how would you approach them? 

16. Can you tell me about your dream job? 

17. How do you keep your mental health in check?

18. What projects do you enjoy working on? 

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5 personality interview questions and answers

Here are some personality interview questions and answers you can refer to when evaluating the candidates’ responses. 

1. What do you do if someone interrupts your task? 

Candidates should be honest about their actions and how they deal with a coworker who constantly interrupts them. Being interrupted can be frustrating, but the candidate should remain professional, use professional etiquette, and avoid escalating the situation when communicating. 

Note down the candidate’s response to remember their behavior and mindset. You don’t want to hire someone who reacts negatively and causes conflict with other team members.

Use the Big 5 (OCEAN) personality test to gain insight into their prominent character traits and thought processes. With this test, you can also evaluate the candidate’s openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability in the workplace. 

2. Describe a time when you devised a creative strategy to solve a challenging situation at work.

This question encourages the candidate to think of a challenging situation they’ve been in. They might use conflict as an example or talk about a difficult project with demanding requirements. Candidates can show their creativity skills by explaining how they created a strategy to overcome challenges. 

When hiring for design, marketing, writing, or engineering roles, it’s worth asking this question to determine if your applicants’ creativity matches the required duties.

Remember to note down their answers to compare creative responses after the interview. 

3. Do you take work home with you?

Dedicated candidates are more likely to bring work home and get ahead with complicated tasks. This determination can benefit your company, as there is a lesser risk of missed deadlines or unhappy clients. However, the ideal candidate will also understand the importance of work-life balance

Many full-time employees don’t have a good work-life balance and struggle to manage their mental health. Hiring candidates who know how to work and enjoy their lives at the same time can enforce a more positive environment. 

A DISC personality test measures four behavior types in the workplace. These include dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. Use the test to study how the candidate manages their work in and outside of your company. 

4. Tell me more about your work style.

Everyone has a unique work style that supports their productivity. Some candidates may tackle problems head-on, and others prefer to collaborate on tasks with team members. A candidate’s work style can determine whether they will contribute to a positive work culture

You can send candidates a Culture Add test to understand their beliefs, expectations, and behaviors. Each candidate will complete a customized survey,  which you can download and evaluate in your own time. 

5. How would you make a new team member feel comfortable?

Candidates may show more of their personality when answering this question. They should talk you through the steps of introducing a new team member and helping them complete their first set of tasks. You can learn more about their social interaction and how they would make others feel welcome in the workplace. 

You should hire candidates who value workplace relationships and feel excited to make new friends in your company. 

At which stage of the hiring process should you use the best interview questions?

You should use these interview questions after sending applicable skill assessments to each candidate. This order ensures you interview candidates with desirable skills, character traits, and knowledge. 

There are specific skill tests you can use during your hiring process. For example, roles in the programming field may require a Kotlin (Coding) assessment for candidates who want to write and build scripts. The same goes for accounting roles that require an Accounting test to evaluate the candidate’s ability to record financial information. 

Once you have evaluated the candidates’ results on each test, you can narrow down your list of job applicants. This method allows you to interview top talent without the risk of hiring unqualified individuals. 

Use skill assessments and refer to our list of the best interview questions to ask candidates 

Before starting your interviews, find relevant assessments on TestGorilla’s extensive test library. You can choose tests that apply to your open position and evaluate the candidate’s ability to complete specific tasks. 

You can also download and compare the results when making a list of top candidates. This process ensures you interview talented candidates who can bring something unique to the company.

Create your free plan with TestGorilla to access a range of comprehensive tests. You can also refer to our list of 77 best interview questions to ask candidates before conducting the interviews.


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