As a Human Resources professional, part of your job is finding the very best talent to fill open positions in your organization. Most definitely, an individual’s resume is the best way of seeing if they meet the basic skills and qualifications for a particular job. However, an in-person interview is an absolutely critical part of the process, as it allows you to see a candidate’s ability to think strategically and their leadership potential. Below are some common questions that can help you assess a candidate, and what you should be looking for in their responses.
Tell me about the time you faced your greatest challenge; how did you handle it? With this question, you are looking to see a candidate’s thought process when it comes to working through a challenging situation. You want to see that they demonstrate problem solving skills, utilize strategic thinking, and that they have the ability to seek help when they need it. This question may also tell you something about the candidate’s ability to work in teams or their customer service skills, depending on the situation they were dealing with.
How would your friends and/or colleagues describe you and why? This question requires the candidate to do some self-reflection, and can provide a great deal of insight into certain aspects of their personality. Listen for key words that will tell you more about the candidate’s values, leadership qualities, time management, commitment, and acceptance of personal responsibility.
Name an area where you feel you need improvement; what steps you are you taking to act on it? Obviously, if a candidate has no answer to this question, that would be a red flag regarding their insight into themselves. Otherwise, the key to this question is really to see if the candidate is action-oriented and taking steps to correct what they perceive as an area of improvement for themselves.