17 Jan 6 Tough Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates
Implementing scrupulous hiring practices now can help protect your business from lost productivity, workplace disputes, and legal entanglement down the road. Employee background checks are certainly an important part of this — but for those with a good sense of intuition, interviews may very well be the best resource available.
Conducting an insightful interview oftentimes involves making job candidates just a little bit uncomfortable. Those who can rise to the occasion and provide smart, comprehensive answers to tough questions are likely to show equally impressive resilience when they are working for you, after all!
Here are a few challenging questions that you may wish to consider asking potential employees:
- “Tell me about yourself.” This question will, obviously, provide some important biographical information regarding your job candidates. It will also give them a chance to show they know how to select and filter information. A candidate who spends 2 minutes providing a clear, concise, and insightful overview of her education, interests, and career track is probably more focused and adept than the candidate who spends 8 minutes talking about his obscure hobbies, after all.
- “Why should I hire you?” Similarly, this question tests an employee’s self-awareness and gives them a chance to highlight any experiences that make them unique. Most candidates for an IT position probably have an IT-related degree, for example — but only a select few candidates will be able to highlight relevant internships, prizes, postgraduate classes taken, etc.
- “What is your long-term plan?” Hiring ambitious employees at an organization without much room for growth is a recipe for high turnover rates. Similarly, hiring employees content with their current pay grade and workload at a rapidly-growing startup means you will have to promote externally. Learning about candidates` life plans can help you chose someone who is ideally suited for your business plan.
- “Have you ever had a conflict with a former boss/supervisor?” Let’s be real — anyone who answers this question with a no is probably lying! The ideal answer to this question will show a healthy mix of independent thinking and deference to authority, while also demonstrating strong conflict-resolution skills.
- “What is your greatest weakness?” This is perhaps the most stereotypical “tough interview question,” however this question is famous for a reason! It requires future employees to show self-awareness, for example, while also asking them to turn a positive into a negative. Anyone who has mastered these two skills will likely offer value to your organization.
- “I see you have a gap in your employment history, would you mind telling me a bit about that?” If this question applies to any candidate, it is probably the most important question you can ask him/her. A positive break with their old employer and personal/professional growth during the gap are two very important signs to look for. Conversely, a negative departure from their old employer and complete stagnation may be warning signs. Obviously, however, every personal situation is distinct, and you should take this into account when weighing gaps in work history.
Smart hiring is one of the most important components of quality HR management. If you feel that your HR needs are not currently being met, consider working with Jadestone Solutions!