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101 interview questions-to-hire-quality-candidates-faster

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The Definitive Guide
101+ Most Effective
Interview Questions to Hire
Quality Candidates Faster

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2
Introduction
Screening for fit and competency is no easy task, especially when your manager is telling
you “this role...

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Behavioral Interviews
The root of these interviews is to understand an applicant’s behavioral conduct within
the workpla...

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101 interview questions-to-hire-quality-candidates-faster

  1. 1. The Definitive Guide 101+ Most Effective Interview Questions to Hire Quality Candidates Faster
  2. 2. •  2 Introduction Screening for fit and competency is no easy task, especially when your manager is telling you “this role needed to be filled yesterday”. That’s why we scoured the web and consulted the experts to develop an easy reference guide of the 101+ most effective interview questions. Use it to know which questions are most critical to ask, the right interview approach to take for your company, and how to assess candidates for quality and fit even faster. IN THIS EBOOK The Difference Between Behavioral, Competency, and Situational Interview Questions Interview Prep Checklist Interview Questions by Category Collaboration and Teamwork Training and Onboarding Creative Thinking and Problem Solving Culture Add Management and Leadership Skills Communications Skills Project Management Motivation 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 11 13 14 15
  3. 3. 3 Behavioral Interviews The root of these interviews is to understand an applicant’s behavioral conduct within the workplace. This technique is used to determine whether or not that behavior will be suitable for the position. Competency-Based Interviews Competency-based interviews are designed to test one or more of the skills needed for a particular role. This style of interviewing is more systemic and each question targets a skill needed to do the role to the fullest. Situational Interviews A situational interview is used to ask a candidate how they’ve behaved or reacted in past situations and circumstances in the workplace. The main benefit is that it allows the interviewer to uncover how that candidate will react in workplace situations and problems they may encounter on the job. Are behavioral interview questions better than standard ones? While behavioral interview questions should make up a large part of your interview process, there are also some straightforward interview questions that you can ask that don’t require as much in-depth information. We recommend using a combination of interview question styles, which you’ll find comprehensive lists for within this eBook. The Difference Between Behavioral, Competency, and Situational Interview Questions
  4. 4. 4 Prior to the interview, you’ll want to make sure that you’re properly prepared for each and every candidate. Here’s an interview preparation checklist: Pre-game. Discuss with your team and all stakeholders the criteria that you’re looking for and your ideal candidate. Create an interview dossier. Every interviewer should have all of the information they need on each candidate prior to meeting and speaking with them. Coach poor interviewers. Meet with poor interviewers ahead of time to give them an idea of what information you want them to gain from the interview. It’s best if you give poor interviewers a goal to work toward, rather than letting them walk in without a plan. Divide and conquer. With so many questions to ask, it can help to divide the questions that matter amongst your interviewing team, so that each member is responsible for gaining insight into a particular area per candidate. Schedule the interview. Candidates are in high demand. Make sure that you and your team promptly schedule an interview and do not postpone or reschedule unless absolutely necessary. Lever Tip: Consider video interviewing to expedite the interview process with candidates. Lever just became the first ATS to incorporate video conferencing into its recruiting platform. Interview Prep Checklist
  5. 5. 5 Our list of interview questions is split into several different categories to help assess various qualities of candidates. Under each section, you’ll find several interview questions that you can choose or customize, based on the roles you’re hiring for. Interview Questions by Category Collaboration and Teamwork Training and Onboarding Creative Thinking and Problem Solving Culture Add Management and Leadership Skills Communications Skills Project Management Motivation
  6. 6. 6 The candidate you ultimately hire must be able to effectively work and collaborate with your team. These interview questions help you understand their past experience, as well as what they’re currently looking for in a new team. 1. Do you prefer to work as part of a team that is primarily autonomous? 2. Can you describe one of your favorite teams that you’ve been a part of? What made this team your favorite? How would you replicate or improve this type of team at our company? 3. What was the worst functioning team that you’ve been a part of? What made it challenging to work as part of this team? What would you do differently to make this team function better and/or be more enjoyable to work in? 4. What does your ideal team look like? Describe roles, collaboration tools, and communication practices used. 5. What do you think is more important for a team: technical skills or communication? Why? 6. What type of employee development program would you put in place to help your team gain and improve skills? 7. Would you rather give your team the opportunity to gain new skills or hire a new employee for those skills? 8. How would you handle a member of your team who is not performing well? 9. How would you handle a member of your team who is having communication issues with other team members? 10. Can you give me an example of a time you faced conflict while working on a team? How did you handle and manage that situation and still fulfill your responsibilities? 11. Describe a time when you had to collaborate with a team member in another department in your company. How did you overcome the differences in department goals? 12. We all make mistakes in communication. Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled communicating with a member of your team differently. 13. Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with a member of your team who was not responsive. How did you handle that situation? Were you able to fulfill your responsibilities and hit your goals? Interview Questions for Collaboration and Teamwork
  7. 7. 7 A leading contributor for retention is onboarding, according to new research from the Harvard Business Review. In fact, organizations with a standardized onboarding process experience 62% greater new hire productivity and 50% better new hire retention. Therefore, it’s important that every member of your team will at some point be required to help onboard and mentor new hires. If this is an important part of your company culture, then we recommend using the below questions to learn how your candidate helps to train and mentor new members of your team. 14. Have you ever mentored a new hire, intern, or other member of your team? If so, how did you ensure they learned what you were teaching? 15. Tell me about a time when you had to train someone on your team. Why did you have to train them? How did you balance the time requirements of training with other work? 16. Have you ever had to train someone from a different department on how to use or do something that you were an expert in? What was your strategy for training them? What was the outcome? 17. Have you ever had to onboard new hires to your team? How did you ensure they were up to speed as quickly as possible? 18. Do you enjoy training new hires? Why or why not? 19. Do you enjoy mentoring team members? Why or why not? 20. What is your ideal process for hiring and onboarding new team members? Interview Questions for Training and Onboarding 62% GREATER NEW HIRE PRODUCTIVITY 50% BETTER NEW HIRE RETENTION
  8. 8. 8 Creative thinking and problem solving are key indicators of overall competency. Use these interview questions to understand how a candidate thinks through problems and uses their creative thinking to overcome obstacles in the workplace. 21. Describe a situation in which you found a creative way to overcome an obstacle. 22. Tell me about a time that there was a problem at one of your past companies and you went above and beyond the call of duty to get things done. 23. Tell me about a time when you came up with a new way to solve a problem. 24. What’s the most innovative or “cool” new idea that you have implemented? What was the outcome? 25. What would you consider to be the best idea you came up with at your last job? 26. Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and/or risks and developed preventive measures. 27. Describe a time when you had to analyze information and make a recommendation. 28. Describe a time when you had to think “outside the box” and how did you go about it? 29. Give me an example of when someone presented an innovative new idea to you that was a bit unusual. How did you react? What did you do? 30. Describe a time when you had to quickly solve a problem without managerial input. What was the issue? How did you solve it and what was the result? 31. Describe a situation where you faced serious challenges in doing your job efficiently. What were those challenges, and how did you overcome them? 32. How do you know when to solve a problem on your own or to ask for help? Interview Questions for Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
  9. 9. 9 “ Culture has become an increasingly important criteria when hiring new employees, as well as a key component to keeping businesses thriving. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, says that in this day and age, company culture is “more important than ever,” and Salesforce is doubling down. When new hires are engaged with a company’s culture, they’re more productive and stick with the company longer. Here are some interview questions that get to the heart of the type of work environment that your candidates are looking to join. 33. What type of work environment do you prefer? 34. What kind of direction or leadership do you prefer? 35. How would your previous boss and co-workers describe you? 36. How do you handle stress and pressure? 37. How would you create a work environment that employees find motivating? 38. Have you ever had a manager or peer who created a toxic workplace? What actions did you take to motivate yourself and others, despite the toxicity? 39. Describe the work environment that makes you most productive and/or happy. 40. What team bonding activities or out-of-work experiences do you think are necessary to keep employees motivated and excited? Interview Questions to Assess if the Candidate is a Culture-Add Company culture is more important than ever." Marc Benioff CEO, Salesforce
  10. 10. 10 41. What’s one idea you think we could implement today that would make employees more excited to come to work tomorrow? 42. Think back to the worst work environment you’ve been a part of. What about it made it a terrible place to work? How would you make it a better place to work? 43. What is your vision for our company? What has attracted you to taking this position? 44. Describe the biggest organizational change you’ve ever dealt with. How did you adapt? 45. Which three aspects of your last role gave you the most satisfaction? 46. What factors make you most effective at work? 47. Have you thought about leaving your present position before? If yes, what held you back? 48. What makes you think you’re a good addition to the team at our company? Why are you interested in joining our company? 49. Describe a time you had to confront an employee who was producing inadequate results. How did you do this? What was the outcome? 50. How do you prefer to communicate with your peers and team? 51. What was your strategy for building relationships with your team members and peers at your last company? Interview Questions to Assess if a Culture Add
  11. 11. 11 If you’re interviewing anyone from mid-level managers to directors and VPs, you’ll want to understand their management style and how they motivate the rest of their team. Because statistics don’t lie: employees today are likely to leave people, not places. 52. Tell me about a leader or manager that you’ve looked up to and has inspired you. 53. What have you done in past roles to inspire or motivate your direct reports? 54. What do you think is most important when it comes to leading a team? 55. How do you determine what goals and milestones you set with your team? 56. What does your ideal culture and work environment look like? How do you contribute to building that ideal environment? 57. What are your preferred tools for communication? How have you used these successfully in the past? 58. Tell me about a time when you had a project run into problems because of communication. What would you have done differently if given the chance? 59. We let employees work remotely X number of days/week/month. What do you think is necessary to ensure everyone is operating at a high-level? How do you help monitor progress or goal setting within your team? 60. Describe a time when your team had a “fire-drill” emergency situation occur. How did you manage the team effectively through that situation? Is there anything you would have done differently if given the chance? 1. Businesssolver, 2018 State of Workplace Empathy Interview Questions for Management and Leadership Skills 92% of employees said they would be more likely to stay with their job, if their bosses would show more empathy.1
  12. 12. 12 61. Tell me about a project or situation that involved input from multiple departments or stakeholders. What did you do and say to manage the situation? What was the outcome? 62. Describe a time that you had to deal with an employee that was toxic to the team or work environment. How did you communicate with the employee that his/her attitude or behavior was not ok? What was the outcome? 63. Tell me about a time when a senior member of your team had an issue with the work of one of your direct reports. How did you react or resolve this situation? Would you do anything differently if given the chance? 64. If hired, how would you evaluate past performance and set goals for the next 30, 60, 90 days? 65. What do you think is most important when it comes to setting goals and performance standards for your team? 66. If a member of your team is not hitting their performance marks, then what do you do? How do you communicate with them and help them improve? 67. What do you think are the most important metrics to measure in your department and team? 68. Do you collaborate with your team to set their individual and team goals? 69. How do you motivate your team to ensure they meet their goals? 70. Think back to the best manager you’ve ever had. What was great about their management style? How have you modeled yourself or learned from their example? 71. Explain a time when you had to promote an idea or project to a group. How did you go about persuading them? Interview Questions for Management and Leadership Skills
  13. 13. 13 Strong communication is critical in a great hire. It’s also an important skill to spot quickly when trying to make a hire. When communication breaks down, so does transparency and company culture. Not many think to screen for communication during the interview process, but it will pay dividends in the long run. 72. Tell me about a time when you were the expert in your field and needed to describe a project, situation, or challenge. How did you handle this and ensure all stakeholders understood your perspective and what you were describing? 73. Describe a time when you had to rely on written communication to initiate a project. How did you communicate to ensure your ideas came across to your team and they understood all deliverables? 74. Describe a time when you worked as part of a team spanning multiple departments. What forms of communication did you use to ensure the project ran smoothly? 75. Tell me about a time when you were a team leader for a project or task. What did you do to ensure everyone understood the deliverables and met the deadlines? 76. Give me an example of a successful presentation you gave. How did you prepare and explain everything to ensure it was successful? 77. Tell me about a time you had to make a good impression on a client. How did you ensure you made a significant, positive impression? 78. Give me an example of when you had to interact with a difficult client or customer. Were you able to change the experience from negative to positive? 79. Tell me about a time you had to persuade a co-worker or manager. What did you do to persuade them to see things your way? 80. Describe a time when you had to deal with a conflict with another person in your department or reporting directly to you. How did you handle it and what was the outcome? Interview Questions for Communication Skills
  14. 14. 14 Project management and planning are critical in understanding your candidates’ work ethic. Use these interview questions if planning and organization are important responsibilities for any open role. Cross-functional collaboration also relies on individuals to have strong project management skills to keep projects on track. 81. Describe a time when you had to be very organized and strategic with your responsibilities to meet all of your top priorities. How did you organize? 82. Give me an example of a long-term project that you managed. What did you do to maintain progress and meet the timeframe of the project without wasting time? 83. Give me an example of a long-term project you managed that had multiple stakeholders. How did you manage everyone’s time and tasks to ensure deliverables were consistently met? 84. Tell me about a time when you had to create a plan for a long-term project. What was your process for creating this strategy? What did and didn’t go as planned? 85. It’s not always possible to get everything on your task list complete in a single day. Describe a time when your responsibilities became overwhelming. What did you do? How did you prioritize? 86. Describe a time when you had multiple projects with conflicting deadlines. Were you able to juggle these projects to meet their deadlines? What sacrifices did you make to ensure you were successful? 87. Tell me about a time when you had to get a project completed with very little resources and team support. How did you plan around this? Interview Questions for Project Management
  15. 15. 15 How motivated and committed a candidate is will impact your ability to retain them as an employee. These questions will uncover how much your company resonates with your candidate, as well as their key motivators. 88. What other jobs are you looking at? 89. What motivates you to come to work everyday? 90. What about this position interests you the most? 91. What are your salary expectations? 92. What’s most important to you when considering a new company? 93. What about our company resonates most with you? 94. How would this position get you closer to where you want to be in 5-10 years? 95. What do you hope to learn or gain by taking this position? 96. What did you like and dislike about the culture at your last company? 97. What type of work environments do you prefer? 98. What makes you want to leave your current role? 99. What could your current company change about your job, your team or their culture to keep you on their team? 100. Would you take a job with a toxic work culture but a higher salary, or a lower salary with an ideal work culture? Why? 101. How would you define a healthy work/life balance? At what point do you think it’s necessary to blur the lines? 102. What would motivate you to stay at our company for the next 5 years? 103. When you’re able to make extra time in your role, do you ever do anything to make your job more efficient or easier? 104. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond your role and expectations. Why did you do this? What exactly did you do? Interview Questions for Motivation Interview Questions for Motivation
  16. 16. 16 When interviewing candidates, it’s important to be prepared. Coming to the interview with your questions ready is just the first step, though. You need to incorporate smart interview questions with a streamlined and standardized process. With interview kits, self-scheduling, and structured feedback forms, teams use Lever’s Talent Acquisition Suite to create a seamless, optimized interview experience for candidates and interviewers alike. Use these interview questions in conjunction with Lever to take you interviewing to the next level. To learn more, request a demo and speed up your hiring! Final Thoughts
  17. 17. 17 Lever’s mission is to help the world hire with more predictability. Recruiting today is more about numbers than ever before. But having the right numbers at your fingertips can help you uncover hidden sources of talent, create greater efficiency in your processes, and align everyone on your team with what’s needed to hire the right people. Lever offers the ability to streamline your process and keep track of the numbers, so that you can have greater success in bringing the right people on, at a lower cost. Lever is transforming the way companies hire through an approach that allows talent leaders to attract candidates like a marketing leader, forecast like a sales leader, and have the insights of a finance leader. Lever was founded in 2012 and supports the hiring needs of over 2,500 leading companies around the globe, including the teams at Netflix, KPMG NZ, Hot Topic, and Cirque du Soleil. With an overall gender ratio of 50:50, Lever is also fiercely committed to building a team culture that celebrates diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit lever.co LeverApp Lever @lever

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