Interviews are an invaluable opportunity to learn about a candidate. Effective questions help you learn who they are, how they work and whether they make a good fit for your team. In addition to specialized questions related to the specific role you’re trying to fill, consider some of these general questions, designed to help you get to know a potential new employee.
Common Interview Questions
Whether you are preparing to interview a candidate or applying for a job, review our list of top interview questions and answers.
What experiences and skills make you a great candidate for this position?
The candidate should describe specific experience and capabilities that align with the qualifications detailed in the job description and demonstrate an understanding of the function the role performs. Look for answers that highlight:
- Relevant experience and training
- Understanding of the position applied for
- Consistent, purposeful pursuit of endeavors within the industry
What has been your most meaningful work experience?
Listen for details of a project or challenge where the candidate showed competence and initiative, even if they weren’t ultimately successful. A great answer will include specifics of a quantifiable outcome or result from a successful experience or valuable insights and strategy improvements from a meaningful failure.
- Industry-specific problem-solving skills
- Creativity and initiative
- Self awareness and an accurate appraisal of business value
What do you look for in an employer?
The best answer to this question would highlight the overlap between the candidate's passion and the employer's objective. Look for signs of self-awareness, thoughtful career goals and an appreciation for the needs of the company.
- Clearly articulated career goals
- Desire to contribute meaningfully
- Recognition of the role employees play in meeting company goals
Describe a major workplace problem you've encountered and how you handled it.
This gives the candidate an opportunity to describe how well they operate under pressure. They should be able to explain a difficult situation clearly and thoughtfully. A good answer may describe both actions they took as well as actions they wish they’d taken, upon further reflection.
- Ability to cope with/resolve conflict
- Interpersonal skills
- Emotional resilience
What qualities make you a team player?
This gives the job seeker an opportunity to explain how he or she will contribute to workplace dynamics. Look for answers that describe how a candidate would contribute to the success and productivity of others. Is the candidate:
- Aware of team dynamics?
- Able to be subordinate to group functionality?
- Interested in promoting the productivity of others?
What are your career goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
A great employee is both ambitious and cooperative. Here, they should demonstrate a vision for their future that will make them an energetic and functional addition to your team. Look for:
- A motivating vision
- Interest in skills development
- Interest in the industry and mission of the company