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The Basics of Interview Questions

by Jessica Van Roekel


Interviewing isn’t always second nature - many things need to be considered before you host an interview with a candidate. Going into an interview without being prepared with the questions you want to ask can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make.


We all know that interviews are meant to find the right candidate for the job, but if you aren’t asking the right questions, you aren’t going to find the right candidate. The purpose of interview questions is to draw out the information you need to decide if a candidate will be successful in the role and a good fit for your team.




There are many best practices when it comes to creating the best questions for interviews:


Questions To Avoid


  • Leading the witness - these questions solicit the exact answer you are looking for and doesn’t tell you enough about the candidate because they will be inclined to tell you what you want to hear


  • Open-ended questions - instead, try to be very direct and specific, think quantitative information, numbers, goals, strategies

  • Personal information - never ask about things like if they are married, have kids, or any other personal information, this goes against EEOC


Questions to Ask


  • Their work history and job responsibilities - ask them about specific aspects of their career or job duties to determine if they align with the position you are hiring for

  • Why are they interested in this position - learn why this particular position interests them and what they are looking for in a role

  • Challenges they've faced - ask them about challenges they’ve had in past positions and what they did to overcome them

  • What they value in a company - try to determine if their values align with your work culture and team

  • Always ask for examples - when asking a question always ask to be given a specific example


Thoughtful, direct, and informative interviews go a long way in finding the right candidate for your company. Preparing detailed questions and using those questions to draw out the detailed information you need is the most important thing you can do in an interview. The questions you ask will lead you to the right person for the job, so take the time and invest in great interview questions!


Need support with your interview questions? The Talent Team at Behind the Design is a great resource. We have interview questions, templates and other amazing HR tools and resources available!


Reach out to us at gobehindthedesign@gmail.com to learn more or visit our website, gobehindthedesign.com.


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