3 Types of Interview Questions To Ask When Hiring
We often get asked about what type of interview questions to ask candidates. Our answer is always, it depends on the position. Every position should have a set of interview questions that are crafted to evaluate the qualities, attributes, skills, and even education needed for that position.
These questions should be asked of all candidates for the same position so there’s an even playing field. What we see is that too many business owners get stuck and ask pretty routine questions. This means it’s difficult to figure out which candidates really have what it takes to fill the position.
Here are three types of interview questions that you should have in your toolbox. If you want more help crafting interview questions our business coaches can assist:
- Behavioral-Based Questions - asking questions about past situations is a great way to understand how a candidate might handle future situations. Behavioral-based questions tend to be questions such as:
- Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with a coworker, how did you handle that?
- Tell me about a time where you were able to solve a problem for a client?
You’ll want to be aware of “canned” answers. If you take the first question and google it there are articles written telling employees how to answer this question. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ask it, just be aware of what a canned answer sounds like.
Asking behavioral-based questions can help highlight experiences a candidate has had and give you insight into how they might handle future situations.
- Tests/Assessments - you’ll always want to check your state laws, but adding tests and assessments to your interview is a good way to check for specific skills such as:
- Microsoft Word or Excel skills,
- basic math skills,
- data entry/spelling,
- writing/proofreading, etc.
There are many services that provide assessments for skills, or you can build your own to use based upon the position. Tests and assessments provide clear-cut answers on whether a candidate has the skills they say they have. In addition, personality assessments can also be used (again, check your state laws). While many assessments are available, our preference is DiSC.
- Situational Questions - another great way to create interview questions is to create a list of situations that they would likely encounter in their day-to-day work. These could be:
- Client questions they’ll need to ask
- Confirming appointments
- Sending emails about late bills
For each of these situations, you’ll then create interview questions such as:
- How would you handle it if a client asks to refund their last payment?
- Here’s the script we use to confirm an appointment. I’ll give you five minutes to read it over and ask any questions you have, and then we’ll role play it.
- Here’s a paper outlining details of a bill a client is late sending in, can you draft an email you’d send to the client?
For some situational questions you may need to give the candidate information such as what your policy is for refunds; or information to use to create the email. If it’s information you would expect a qualified candidate to know then you can just ask the question. These questions often give you the ability to evaluate multiple traits at once.
To avoid costly hiring mistakes, take the time to build the questions to ensure you will hire the right people to join your team.