Having a team geared for success entails finding the right people to join your business. Needless to say, it’s a must to know applicants well beyond their pristine credentials and well-written cover letters. By asking the right job interview questions, you can dig deeper into their personality and attitude. Consequently, it will allow you to make an informed decision about whether or not they’ll be the right fit.

Interview Questions You Can’t Ask

Before we dive into the questions you should ask, let’s discuss the questions you can’t ask. In the United States, it’s illegal to ask a job applicant about the following questions:

  1. Are you a US Citizen? Where are your parents born?
  2. Are you married?
  3. Do you have children?
  4. How old are you?
  5. Do you have any disabilities or medical conditions?
  6. What is your religion?
  7. Have you ever been arrested?

The law prohibits employers from discriminating applicants based on race, gender, religion, age, pregnancy, disability, or national origin. So If there’s an issue related to those matters, focus the question on your employment requirements instead. 

For example, instead of asking about whether a person is a US citizen, you can ask if they are authorized to work in the US. Similarly, you might opt to ask if someone is willing to relocate for work instead of asking if they have a spouse and children.

10 Job Interview Questions to Ask

Here are the ten most common interview questions you should ask your next hire. Their answers to these questions can most likely describe who they are and what they can bring to the table.

Tell Me About Yourself.

This question enables you to learn a lot about a person not only from their actual answers but also from how they choose to answer it. Because there are a million different ways to answer this, it’s a good gauge of knowing which aspects are essential to a person.

Why Would You Want to Apply for This Job?

The answer to this query will give you two pieces of info. For one, it can reveal if the person did enough research about the job opening. Secondly, it also gives you a glimpse of the interviewee’s qualifications for the job.

What Are Your Strengths?

It’s good to learn about one’s strengths from the get-go. This will allow you to designate the right tasks to the person should you decide to hire them. Similarly, you’ll know to give them specific tasks they excel at, should you wish to have them done in the least time possible.

What Are Your Weaknesses?

In contrast to the previous question, this one could be a bit tougher to answer. But in the same vein as the strengths, knowing a person’s weaknesses is essential in the workplace. Clearly, it doesn’t mean that you won’t assign specific tasks to a person because they’re not good at it. Instead, it gives you the info that you’ll need to pay extra attention to them when they’re handling tasks they admittedly aren’t well-versed in.

Why Did You Leave Your Last or Current Workplace?

This, obviously, isn’t one of the job interview questions for fresh graduates. For people who already have work experience, however, this question is crucial. For one, it’s best if the applicant follows the rule of thumb – they should never badmouth their past employer. Moreover, they should stick to professional issues rather than personal ones. Besides, you wouldn’t want to hire someone who will talk foul about your company if things don’t go well.

How Do You Deal With Pressure?

You won’t fully know how a person deals with pressure unless you see them under pressure. Even so, it’s still great to hear how they cope with stress and how they perform when the situation isn’t a conducive one.

Describe Your Working Style.

Does the applicant like to work alone? Or does the person get energized when working together with a team? Knowing these matters can help you manage an employee better, should they be hired.

How Do You See Yourself in the Next 5 Years?

The answer to this question allows you to know the person’s long-term goals. Similarly, it gives you an insight into how working at your company aligns with the applicant’s planned career path.

What Can You Offer the Company that Others Can’t?

This question allows the person to highlight their special skills. Aside from that, it also gives them a chance to express their attitude towards work.  

What is Your Biggest Accomplishment So Far? 

Just as with the first question on the list, there are a million ways to answer this question. In the same vein, what they consider to be their biggest achievement can say a lot about who they are.

5 Unique Interview Questions

Aside from the traditional job interview questions and answers, you may want to mix in some unique interview questions. These questions will keep the interviewees on their toes and allow for spontaneity during the conversation.

What Should the Title of Your Biography Be?

Not a lot of people would have a ready answer to this query. However, a creative person will surely be able to come up with an honest, albeit a possibly funny title on the spot.

If You Had Six Months to Yourself Without Financial Limitations, What Would You Do?

Many people do what they do for obligations and financial reasons. So, taking these factors out of the equation can help you learn about the things that really matter to a person.

If You Could Have Dinner With Someone Dead or Alive, Who Would It Be and Why?

The historical figures or famous personalities the applicant looks up to can tell you a lot about who they aspire to be. In the same vein, it can also give you an idea about what motivates them and what values are important to them.

If You Were a Fictional Character, Who Would You Be and Why?

If the person doesn’t have actual historical figures they idolize, then perhaps there’s a fictional character they most like to be.

What One Item Would You Bring With You If You’ll Be Stuck On An Island for A Week, Aside From Food and Water?

Not only will the answer allow you to know what’s the most important thing to the applicant, but it will also catch the interviewee off-guard. 

The Big List of Interview Questions

Here’s a big list of questions you might want to keep on hand for your next hiring interview. 

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why do you want to apply for this job?
  3. How did you learn about the job opening?
  4. What do you know about our company?
  5. What are your strengths?
  6. What are your weaknesses?
  7. Tell me about your last job.
  8. Why did you leave your last workplace?
  9. What was your biggest accomplishment in your last workplace?
  10. What were your favorite things about your last job?
  11. What were your least favorite things about your last job?
  12. What’s your dream job?
  13. Describe your working style.
  14. How do you deal with time management?
  15. How do you deal with pressure?
  16. How do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
  17. How do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
  18. How do you think you can contribute to the company’s growth?
  19. How do you think the company can contribute to your growth?
  20. What can you offer the company that others can’t?
  21. What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment so far?
  22. Tell me about a big problem you’ve encountered and how you solved it.
  23. What motivates you in your career?
  24. What is your biggest failure?
  25. Who do you consider to be your mentor?
  26. What do you like to do outside of work?
  27. If you were to fire someone, how would you do it?
  28. How would you deal with an irate client?
  29. What makes you unique as a person?
  30. Out of all the applicants, why should we hire you?

You can print out this list and highlight the ones that are essential to your business and branding. Hopefully, these questions can help you find the best people who will mutually grow with your business.