4 Interview Questions You Must Ask

4 Interview Questions You Must Ask

An interview can be a nerve-racking experience for the applicant, but it’s not much better for the interviewer. You want to make sure the new hire will be a good fit with your team and share its purpose. What you are looking for is engagement and enthusiasm. You want to know that they’ve given some time to understanding the specifics of the role, the way that the role fits into their broader life and the contributions made by that role to the company and industry at large. Those elements will contribute to a positive, invested team culture filled with passionate staff who respect what they do and what their team members bring to the company as well.

A resume can only tell you so much, so here are the interview questions that you should ask to determine who will be the right fit.

1. What do you love about your profession?

Whether you’re hiring an administrative assistant or a technical engineer, you want them to be engaged and enthusiastic about what they do. Two people doing the same job may love very different aspects of that role: take the example of two librarians, one of whom enjoys customer service and the other who finds satisfaction in organising and categorising. Both people will tolerate the parts of their role that they relish less if they have an aspect they adore.


2. When were you last passionately involved in something and what was it?

People who are passionate about something, even if they don’t adore adding up numbers in a column, are likely to be engaged employees. Passionate employees believe in what they do. They believe in themselves and in their company, and they bring their best selves to work every day. They’re optimistic, and they inspire others, which is why one of your jobs as a manager should be to inspire passion in your team.



3. How do you see this industry in ten years?

Their answer might not turn out to be correct, but you’ll be able to tell if they’re forward looking and they understand the challenges of the job. A good employee is passionate about his or her role in the larger picture of the company and understands the industry’s goals and missions. Whether you’re interviewing a junior IT technician or somebody in HR, their role will change and shift over the years, so this question is designed to see that they understand that.



4. What motivates you on difficult days?

Anyone who has tools to self-motivate when they’re not at their best is also more likely to be able to innovate and deal with change when it comes down the line. Those tools should be intrinsic motivators rather than external, so that they can summon their aids no matter the circumstances; an employee who is only boosted by a pay-rise is no good to a company going through lean times, for example. And depending on your office culture, you probably want to steer clear of anyone answering ‘drinks on Fridays’. Generally, though, the more tools in your employee’s toolkit, the more consistent and stable their work will be, because we all have bad days – it’s how you get through them that counts.



What do you think?

What’s the most memorable question you’ve been asked in an interview? If you have been an interviewer, what is the most memorable answer you’ve been given?

This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. 


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