Finding just the right fit for your company can be challenging, but knowing what questions to ask an interviewee can make all the difference.

There's no denying that there are serious consequences of a bad hire, that's why Robert Half have put together 10 sample questions to ask as well as what answers to look for during an interview.


Questions to ask an interviewee and what answers to look for:


1. Which aspect of the job do you find the most appealing?

An interview question like this can help you determine how much preparation an interviewee has done prior, and whether their interests align with the tasks required for the role. A strong candidate will take this as an opportunity to show how their skills and interests match those mentioned in the job description. 


2. Imagine you’re talking to someone who knows nothing about your job — how might you tell them about a professional achievement you’ve had?

You can use interview questions like this to test how well a candidate might work with professionals outside of their team. Try to note how well they avoid jargon - are they clear and able to communicate the significance of the achievement without lapsing into technical talk?

Related: 5 interview task examples that will help you choose the right candidate


3. By your 6-month milestone, what would you like to have achieved in this role?

This is another great interview question which will help you understand how much the candidate knows about the role, and their research should come across in the answer. You’ll also get a good indication of how ambitious they are as well as how much they want the role.


4. Your CV has some gaps in it - can you tell me a little more about your decision to leave your last role and what you’ve been busy with since?

If your candidate’s CV has some gaps in it, you can use questions like this to explore whether the time was used productively. There are plenty of reasons why someone may take time away from work, so it’s important to approach the topic without sounding judgmental and to listen actively to the response. 

Related: Conducting a reference check: the dos and don'ts


5. From what you’ve seen so far, how do you think this business could be improved? 

Of all our interview questions, this is one of the trickiest to answer. It will test your candidate’s tact and reveals the depths of their preparatory research on your business. You can also use questions like this to find out how up to date your candidate is on current industry events.


6. What was your biggest contribution towards your previous job?

It’s important to find out how much of an impact your candidate has had on their last role and ways they might have evolved it. As they answer, pay specific attention to how creative and forward thinking they’ve been. 


7. Describe your perfect workplace

This is a test of soft skills, cultural fit and honesty. The candidate’s answer will help you figure out whether they will be well suited to the team and the company as a whole and how comfortable they’ll be working for you.


8. How could your previous manager have improved their leadership technique?

Here’s another question which probes the candidate’s honesty and tact. Are they positive and constructive in the language they use? Or do they tend towards negativity which might harm your existing company culture? In asking this question, you may also get an indication as to their management preferences.


9. Can you tell us how the skill set from your previous career might work well in this new one?

Is your candidate making a career change? You can try asking an interview question like this to explore their motivations and which of their skills can be carried over into this new role.


10. What problems can you identify in this profession as a whole?

A question like this shows you how switched on your candidate is regarding current industry events. Listen for original and innovative ideas and use it to decide how the individual might be best managed.


If you have any other queries, you can get in touch with the Robert Half team today. Alternatively, you can submit your vacancy and let us take it from there.