Killer Interview Questions to Help You Hire the Right Person

Killer interview questions help you hire great team members  Start using these questions now.

I also suggest that you ask applicants to write a cover letter explaining their special talents or abilities. Applicants who do not include a cover letter should not be considered because they failed to do their very first assignment. You can learn so much from cover letters—including the applicant’s level of sophistication, their command of English, and the strengths they choose to emphasize.

Here are the questions:


Why are you applying for this position?


What special aspects of your work experience have prepared you for this job?
Describe one or two of your most important accomplishments.
How much supervision have you typically received in your previous job?
Why are you leaving your present job? (or, Why did you leave your last job?)


Everyone has strengths and weaknesses as workers. What are your strengths?
What would you say are areas needing improvement?
When you have been told, or discovered for yourself, a problem in your job performance, what have you typically done? Can you give me an example?
Do you prefer working alone or in groups?
What kind of people do you find it most difficult to work with? Why?
What are some things you would like to avoid in a job? Why?
In your previous/current job, what kind of pressures did you encounter?
What would you say is the most important thing you are looking for in a job?
What were some of the things about your last job that you found most difficult to do?
What are some of the problems you encounter in doing your job? Which one frustrates you the most? What do you usually do about it?
What are some things you particularly liked about your last job?


What special aspects of your education or training have prepared you for this job?
What courses in school have been of most help in doing your job?


What is your long-term employment or career objective?
Who or what in your life would you say influenced you most with your career objectives?

What would you most like to accomplish if you had this job?
What might make you leave this job?


What kind of things do you feel most confident in doing?
Describe a difficult obstacle you have had to overcome? How did you
handle it?
How would you describe yourself as a person?
What do you think are the most important characteristics and abilities a person must
possess to become successful in this position? How do you rate yourself in these areas?
Do you consider yourself a self-starter? If so, explain why ( and give examples).
What things give you the greatest satisfaction at work?
What things frustrate you the most? How do you usually cope with them?
What qualities are you looking for in a boss/supervisor?
What have been the sources of stress in your work history?
How so you deal with work related stress?
What was the last major problem at work that you were confronted with? What action did you take on it?
What have you done to further your professional development?


What motivates you to do your best work?
Can you give me examples of experiences on the job that you felt were satisfying?

Describe how you determine what constitutes top priorities in the performance of your job.


What are your standards of success in your job?
In your position, how would you define doing a good job?


Do others view you as a leader? Why or why not?
What approach do you take in getting others to accept your ideas?
What specifically do you do to set an example for your co-workers?


While these questions will certainly help you elicit insights from applications, please remember to consult with your attorney to be sure that all your human resources policies, including hiring, are in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

David Schwab, Ph.D.