The best interview questions tell you about the person behind the resume, revealing their true personality and passions, strengths and shortfalls. By asking the right things, you can hire superstars who will get behind you in your business vision and help make it a reality.

Here are some unique questions to help you set the hiring bar higher and create a pool of top talent for today and the future:


If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Asking a candidate to explain major decisions they have made, highlighting both the positive and the negative, reveals their ability to do just that: make decisions and own the results.

  • This question also provides an opening for a candidate to share their ambitions and ideas about the future.
  • An individual should be able to describe how they have learned from past mistakes. If they deny ever having made any, take it as a blazing red flag.


Describe the best boss you’ve ever reported to.

The average candidate doesn’t expect this question – but it’s an excellent one because it provides insight into their past relationships. It highlights their personality and which work types they best mesh with. You also get a better picture of their communication skills, work style and potential cultural fit.

  • Follow up by asking what made the relationship succeed. Was it personality? Or perhaps, the former boss’s style? Does the candidate prefer autonomy or hand holding … or are they inspired by a mutual drive to exceed goals?


What motivates you?

If what drives a person matches the job description and your company culture, then you’re on the right track.


What frustrates you?

When a job candidate talks about their frustrations, they reveal details about not only their personality, but also their diplomacy skills and teamwork ability.

  • Look for a response that demonstrates how an individual successfully addressed confrontation or resolved conflict in a serious business situation. They shouldn’t be dwelling on minor irritations.

What do you do for fun?

Balance is a critical component to success. Superstars generally do well in all areas of their lives including physical fitness, relationships, community contributions and learning. For instance, if a candidate makes time for yoga classes or their bowling league, volunteers at the local hospital once a week, or takes art class at night “just for fun,” then it’s likely they value achievement and goal setting – and are looking to continually improve themselves. This will carry over into their work.

There are numerous other questions you can add to your repertoire which are highly valuable, if not quite unique, among them:

  • Why should we hire you?
  • Which area of your work needs the most improvement?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

Adding a few curve ball questions enables you to really dig deep as you consider hiring someone. It also displays their ability to think on their feet and remain poised, even when the unexpected occurs.

For additional guidance as you design the best hiring strategy for your company, including the ins and outs of successful interviewing, consider a partnership with PrideStaff Modesto. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.


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