Good Job Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

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The job interview process is a time for employers to access job candidates to determine their potential as qualified employees for the job. To do this effectively, asking the right questions of a potential employee is essential to help you get a feel for whether or not the job candidate should be considered for the position.

What DId You Like or Dislike About Your Previous Job?

Asking about likes and dislikes at a previous job allows you to gauge a potential employee's attitude toward a particular work environment. It can also help gauge how an employee may one day talk about your company. If a potential employee speaks about a previous employer or the work environment in a negative or bitter fashion, you may consider the potential employee not suitable for hire. Asking this question can also help you get a feel for the type of work the potential employee enjoys and whether or not what you have to offer is likely to keep him interested and working enthusiastically.

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

This question can help determine a potential employee's drive. An employee who answers the question with a shrug or an "I don't know" isn't likely to have a lot of determination and goals. This can be a red flag and should cause you to consider looking elsewhere. This question can also help you determine if a potential employee is likely to be working for you long. If the employee states goals that aren't attainable working for your business, you can use this information to determine if the employee will be around long enough to make it worth the time and training of hiring. Another related question you might ask is, "What are your short- and long-term goals?"

How Do You See Yourself?

Listening to a candidate describe how she sees herself can give insight into her confidence level. You can augment this question with specific questions relating to areas of employment. Variations on the question include: "Do you see yourself as a team player?" or "Do you see yourself as a leader?" Other questions of this type might include "What are your flaws?" or "What are your most positive attributes?"

How Many Days of Work Have You Missed in the Past Year?

This is a good way to judge an employee's potential attendance record. If you would rather, you can phrase it, "If I called your last employer and asked about your attendance, what would I hear?" The second question may help keep potential employees more honest with the answer.

Situational Questions

Use a variety of situational questions, typically presented in the form of "what if" questions, to help determine a potential employee's character, moral values and work ethic. These questions can include "How would you handle a customer speaking to you in a disrespectful tone?" or "What would you do if you found a $10 bill lying beside the cash register?"

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