You've reviewed a stack of resumes and are ready to start interviewing candidates.

How can you determine who is the right fit for the job?

Interviewing isn't an exact science, but choosing the right interview questions can give you insight to make the best hiring decision possible.

A hiring manager looks at a resume. When they put it down, a candidate appears and smiles.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Do you have experience with JavaScript?

This is an example of a closed question. It's easy to answer with a "yes" or "no" but it doesn't reveal much about a candidate that you can't find in their resume or LinkedIn profile.

Instead, ask open-ended questions like this:

Describe a workplace culture you'd struggle in.

  • This nudges the candidate to share more information and tell a story.

  • There really isn't a right answer. The real insight is in how the candidate formulates their response.

A woman scratches her head in front of a background with a moving question mark pattern.


Which of the following are a open-ended questions? Select al that apply:

Example 1: Probing For Weaknesses

Consider this example:

Tell me about a project you were working on that was overdue. How did you fix it and what did you learn from the experience?

Look for two things in the answer:

  • Is a candidate focused on something they need to get better at?

  • Do they have a plan for improvement?

Watch out for self-serving responses like this:

I'm too organized.

This response turns a strength into a weakness.

Michael Scott from The Office explains weaknesses like caring too much and working too hard.

Look for your candidate to admit an actual weakness, like this:

I need to work on building consensus in a team.

Example 2: Searching For Fit

To find out if your candidate is a good fit for your workplace, ask them:

What did you like least about your last job?

This will give you insight into their past behavior in the workplace.

Watch out for negativity!

A woman says,

Look for a constructive response where the candidate outlines:

  • what they want in a role

  • why the last role didn't satisfy them


Which answer is a constructive response to, "Why did you leave your last job?"

Take Action

Two men shaking hands before a job interview in a corporate office.

It's time for the interviews! Before you call in your candidates:


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