HR Matters: 3 Tips to Ensure You Are Asking The Right Questions


Hiring soon? Here are a few of my favorite interview questions for you to customize during your next round of interviews. Making the right hire is the single most important job and sometimes we rush the process because we are stressed about the timeline or the work not getting done. But a good hire will pay you back dividends. So take a deep breath and slow down your process.

Tip #1: Ask neutral questions that don’t guide your interviewee to respond in a way that you want…

“Tell me about how this position fits into your future career goals.”

“What qualities in a manager work best for you?”

“If you could dream up the perfect job for yourself right now, what would it be? What would the responsibilities be?”

Tip #2: Ask them about what they have done in the past, not what they would do in the future. We all have the ability to dream up how we might handle a hard situation or approach our work in the future, what really matters is what they actually did.

“Tell me about a time you had to manage multiple deadlines for a team of people. What worked? What didn’t? How did you adapt when something changed last minute? How did you keep your team on track?”

“Your resume says that you have experience with database management, can you tell me more?”

“Tell me about a time something didn’t go the way you wanted it to go. How did you work through it? What did you change so it wouldn’t happen again?”


Tip #3: Focus on the emotional skills and personality traits that would be the best fit for the position, not simply the specific skill the job requires.

“Tell me about a time you received feedback that was hard to hear. How did you process it? What did you do to address it?”

“What do you need from your colleagues to do your very best work?”

“If I asked your past supervisors to tell me about their experience working with you, what would they tell me?”

Most importantly, have a game plan going into the interview. Curate a set of questions that give you the full picture. It’s not uncommon to bring someone in for a second interview so it might make sense to create two sets of questions. Asking someone too many questions in an interview is a common mistake—you can find out a lot with a few carefully crafted questions. Finally, make sure you allot time for them to ask you questions—it’s only fair and you can learn a lot based on the types of questions someone asks.

We understand hiring is a significant investment and finding the right person is important! If you have any questions about upcoming interviews or could use a little help with the process, we would be happy to chat with you.