Interview Secrets - 42 Questions For An Employer

09 March 2021

Anyone looking for new hires for a vacant position needs more than just a good flair. It is important to learn as much as possible about the person - whether you are looking to hire an apprentice or a manager. What can the applicant do? How does he work? What drives him? Where does he want to go? How will he communicate with clients and colleagues? There is often too little time during the interview to figure it out.

In order to continue filling the vacancy with a suitable candidate who, ideally, will do his job well for the company for many years, employers, first of all, need good preparation for the interview and instead of the classic questionnaire about weaknesses and competencies, several smart questions that can give more than just standard answers. This ensures that the interview runs smoothly and doesn't feel like an interrogation. The following sample questions provide interview suggestions that will ensure a successful interview from an employer's perspective, clarify, and lead the right candidate to their dream job.

1. Questions that reveal something during the interview about the personality of the candidate, his work style and expectations

1.1. "How did you prepare for the meeting today?"

This shows how important this interview and new job is for the applicant. Is he preparing systematically? The question is a nice, pleasant transition from small talk to factual level. Ideally, the candidate participates in the conversation.

1.2. "Why do you want to change the company?"

Convincing candidates develop a positive outlook on their new job. Others, on the other hand, begin to blaspheme their old employer when asked to do so. This is not professional and says a lot about the applicant. In addition, the question then arises: did he expect to be fired?

Such questions from the applicant are also a good opportunity for employers to subsequently find out if the candidates are ready, for example, to move to a new job.

1.3. "How do you imagine the first three months here with us?"

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. But in this way, employers will find out during the interview how much the candidate has already taken into account his future role in the company. This is a tricky question for some job seekers. It is interesting to see how the applicant deals with this uncertainty. Does this embarrass the candidate, or can he confidently state that he has already set personal goals for himself, for example, in the first 100 days, I want to have lunch with everyone I work with in the company.

1.4. "How do you rate your current boss?"

This question is especially recommended when interviewing potential executives applying for important positions. Team leaders should also be able to identify criteria for good or bad leadership. Employers can expect a good candidate to adhere to certain leadership principles. It also shows how much help he expects from his manager and how annoying him - perhaps because the manager has discovered a weak point.

1.5. "Who is your role model and why?"

This hiring question gives employers a good personal impression of the candidate during the interview. If someone names an athlete, it means competition, ambition and discipline. If he names someone from the family, social relationships and balance are especially important to him.

1.6. "Tell me about a good experience you had in your life!"

By using this question, employers can see what really matters to the job seeker. For example, does he value close and trusting friendships? Is he more adventurous? Does he determine success also in terms of content and above all: whether the interlocutor appreciates a good experience as such.

1.7. "Tell me about the topics you have failed on!"

Employers can use this question to find out if a candidate has enough fortitude to admit their weaknesses and deal constructively with setbacks. Can the other person take responsibility for the failure - and learn from it in the future?

1.8. "Tell me about the craziest thing you've done in your life!"

This question is a good way to end the first phase of the interview. And it's much better than just going through the steps on a job seeker's resume. This question should be asked by everyone, regardless of whether they are applying for the position of a dispatcher or a sales representative. From the answer, you can see how open the candidate is, what he dares and dares - and where his own limits are. Here he can show his individuality.

1.9. "What must happen to make you regret coming to us?"

The answer to this question says a lot about the motivation of the job seeker. If someone says that they are unhappy with not getting along with the team, then that would indicate a team-oriented applicant. If someone regrets joining the company because they weren't promoted, employers will know the candidate is career-oriented. Understanding what would make a new employee unhappy helps to choosing - because it allows you to assess whether you, as a company, can also meet those expectations.

2. Questions that reveal during the interview information about the applicant's motivation and desire to show himself

2.1. "What does success mean to you?"

Using this question, employers find out what motivates the applicant to work. The spectrum of responses can range from a “minimalistic,” success-oriented employee with healthy ambitions to a self-centered careerist who is financially motivated at best. Ask about specific achievements to check if the candidate's answer is credible.

2.2. "What achievements are you particularly proud of, and why?"

Does the candidate respond with a reference to the achievement of a specific job? Are these qualities interesting for your company and correspond to the vacancy? Do the answers meet the requirements? The types of success and required skills also provide employers with information on motivation, core values, and talents that the job seeker has particular trust and values.

2.3. "What kind of failure is especially difficult for you?"

This is a tricky question from a prospective employer, as the applicant must inevitably open up here. But inferences about the applicant's sensitivity, ambition, failures and challenges, courage and openness provide very informative data. You can help him by changing the question and asking him to answer with just a simple example.

2.4. "Tell me something about the difficult situation in your last job and how you dealt with it."

The purpose of this interview question is for HR managers to get to know the candidate better and understand how conflict and resilient he is. The answer can usually tell you about his future behavior. A difficult question reveals a lot, for example, what the candidate generally perceives as a difficult situation (from a cafeteria with bad coffee to an environment in which there is little initiative or professional development). If you have a young professional sitting in front of you, ask about difficult situations during your studies or training.

2.5 "What do you think really inspires people to work: salary, flexible working hours, career, enthusiasm, ambition, calling, or something else?"

The answer to this question is very interesting for employers, because it reveals a lot about the candidate's value system. Pay attention to reliability and discernment, and you can ask the candidate for personal example or experience. Modify the question for more detailed and personalized information: for example, ask about further education or career planning.

2.6. Why do you think it would be interesting for you to do this job?

The answer to this question tells employers how well the job seeker is informed about the requirement profile and position prior to the interview, and which tasks are most interesting and motivating. You can also modify this question to get more detailed and personalized information such as personal requirements or project goals.

2.7. "What do you think provides a really good performance?"

This is an indirect question about motivation - on an objective level. Since the answer to this question requires the ability to abstract, employers should present it only to eloquent job seekers. You can also ask the question less openly: "What do you think are above average performance requirements?"

2.8. "What are the decisive aspects for you in your day-to-day work in the position that we offer?"

At first glance, this is a harmless and simple question. But he says a lot to employers about whether the candidate understands the basics and knows what is important. Employers should exercise caution when discussing little things, questionable priorities, or completely irrelevant issues. The term “aspects” is deliberately chosen as vague, but you can also ask the question more specifically, for example, in relation to problems and interests, agreement with career goals, etc.

2.9. "What do you expect from your new job, what is most important to you?"

Are there problems, opportunities to learn something new, get acquainted with a new industry, be able to apply the knowledge gained or develop further in a dynamic industry? The priorities that the candidate names, possible reasons, main motives (career, challenge, learning new, etc.) give you interesting information. As a potential employer, when answering this question, pay special attention to whether you can meet the expectations of the candidate and to what extent.

2.10. "How do you motivate yourself?"

This question is as short as it is complex - and has many answers. If a candidate has recourse to specific experience, he is confident in himself. Motivated candidates also state that they enjoy setting the professional goals they work towards and that they can handle failure better than unmotivated colleagues. A reasonable answer to such a question might be: “I motivate myself with good work results and I am proud of the success. When I solve a problem very well , I am immediately motivated for new challenges. For example, I took on an interesting project on the organization of processes at my current employer after I had mastered the work routine well. " It is recommended that you exercise caution when answering these questions in general terms, such as "I always try my best" or "Motivation is not a problem for me anyway."

3. Questions that reveal something about the candidate's soft skills in the interview

Questions about soft skills are only effective if they refer to the past. On the other hand, questions about the future usually elicit socially desirable responses.

For example, you shouldn't ask the question, "What would you do if your colleague set you up?" Because in 90% of cases, candidates answer what they have learned by heart, for example: “I would strive for an open conversation. This answer is useless. Practice shows that many employees will also treat their colleagues badly.

Better to ask this question: “Have you been set up in the past at work? If so, how did you react and how was the conflict resolved? Give examples".

4. The following sections list relevant questions about specific soft skills.

4.1. Good resilience interview questions: “Name professional situations from the past that have been stressful for you! How did you deal with it? How did others react? And what was the result? "," What was your last or biggest failure so far? How did you behave? What was the result? "," Do you consider yourself stress-resistant? And how do you define it? "," Imagine that you are a team leader on a very time-consuming project, on which different departments and colleagues are working together. What tools are you willing to bring to successfully structure the project and keep the workload within certain limits? "

Through these questions, employers learn a thing or two about a job seeker's resilience - for example, how much they have learned to maintain an overview and deal with stress in a structured manner.

4.2. Good interview questions about customer orientation are: “What does customer orientation mean to you? Give examples from the past that will show your strengths in this area! "," What do you think: what do our customers expect from our company as the next step? "

More than any list of qualifications, these questions help HR managers determine if a candidate is right for the company. Such questions are aimed at the applicant's empathy and the ability to change a point of view. Does he know your target groups and can he put himself in the shoes of his potential employer? These questions also show whether the applicant has a realistic view of the new challenges.

4.3. Good interview questions about diligence are: “Give examples from the past that required careful work!” “How did you ensure reliability and error-free?”, “Give an example in which you neglected to care. What happened as a result? What have you learned from this? "

4.4. Good interview questions about the ability to work in a team: “If you had to decide today whether to work alone or in a team, which would you choose? And why? ”,“ What makes you different from other people? Give an example from the past! ”,“ What is your usual role in groups? Give examples! ”,“ What people do you like working with? Rather calm, dominant, cheerful or structured colleagues? ”,“ How would you describe the people you enjoy working with? What are their strengths and weaknesses? ”,“ Who do you least want to work with? And why? ”,“ From which departments would you include colleagues for your projects? ”.

4.5. Good questions in a self-initiated interview: “In what situation did you prove your initiative? If you get stuck, what will you do then? ”,“ What freelance activities have you done in the past? Examples? ”,“ What freedoms are important to you? ”,“ How do your colleagues or current leader describe you in relation to your own initiative? ”,“ What framework conditions can impede or block your initiative? ”.

4.6. Good interview questions about your ability to criticize: “Try to go beyond yourself - and observe yourself from the outside: what do you like about yourself? What are you satisfied with? What topics do you want to develop further? Why do you need advice from others? "

There are people who find it difficult to critically assess themselves and accept criticism. Today, however, this is a very important quality for a team player, especially for those who would like to take on responsibility, including management tasks.

The interview should not be cross-examination, that is, the goal should not be to lull the applicant with questions or drive him into a corner. It's about being nice and polite to mature candidates, and after greeting, using good questions to intelligently engage them in the conversation to learn something about the person. Remember that the type of question also says a lot about the questioner. In addition, smart questions allow the candidate to the end of the interview is to ask good and open-ended questions, which then also reveal a lot about him.

Don't ask unpleasant interview questions - and only emphasize questions in exceptional cases! Unless the requirements profile requires it, you should avoid asking tricky questions that put candidates under unnecessary pressure. Only when the issue of resilience is important can the so-called stress questions or puzzles be used. Otherwise, you should avoid it.

Experts advise asking stress questions during the interview for no more than two to three minutes. It's also important to apologize afterwards so that the applicants know it was a test and that people in the company don't always treat each other that way. You might say, "With this question, I just wanted to test how you react when you are under pressure."

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