Designing Interview Questions: How to Find the Perfect Candidate

As a hiring manager, it’s essential to take your time when finding candidates. Although the perfect candidate might walk through the door on the first interview you conduct, you won’t know who’s the best fit for the job until you ask all the right interview questions. Not only will you want to learn more about the candidate’s personality, but you’ll want to learn more about their qualifications and skills as well.

The type of questions you ask can give you some insight. Designing interview questions might seem overwhelming at first. How will you know which questions generate the type of answers you’re looking for?

In the guide below, you’ll find several useful tips for developing interview questions. Continue reading below to begin building your very own interview strategy. Here’s what you need to know!

Know What You’re Looking For

Each job position will require its own interview questions if you want to find an ideal candidate. Sure, there are general interview questions that all employers ask, but yours should be specific to the job position you’re interviewing for. For example, you wouldn’t ask chiropractic assistant interview questions to someone applying for a writing position.

Take the time to know what you’re looking for in an employee before developing your interview questions. These are a few things to consider.

What Are Your Needs/Wants?

Start by writing down what your needs and wants are. Think about the company’s values. What are you and the entire team looking for in a new hire?

What type of help or support is the team currently lacking, leading to the need for a new hire? Then, consider what the specific job’s description is as well. Use your own answers to these questions to determine what type of candidate you’re looking for.

What Are the Job Tasks and Qualifications?

Now it’s time to look further into the job description itself. What tasks does this job position entail? Can the candidate conduct these required tasks with ease?

What qualifications are needed for this job position? For example, employees might need a degree, specific experience, interpersonal skills, and more. Know what these are before conducting interviews.

What Type of Employee Do You Need?

You know what you need and want now, but you’ll also need to decide on who you want. What type of employee do you need? This will separate a person’s qualifications from their personality.

Having all the right qualifications is essential but having the right type of personality for the job is also important. For example, does the job position require someone who’s outgoing? Should the candidate be able to work well in a team setting or as an individual?

Is the work environment laid-back or quick-paced? Try to find someone who’ll do well in the position based on their personality and strengths.

Prepare Questions in Advance

It’s not beneficial to go into an interview winging it. This is true for both the candidate and yourself. Hiring candidates can be a lot of work, but when you prepare in advance, you reduce some of the stress.

Know about the job position and all its requirements before conducting interviews so you can prepare the most well-rounded questions. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to stick with the questions you prepared, but they work well as a foundation for your interview.

Reflect on Your Questions

After writing down each of your questions, don’t call it quits yet. Take the time to review and reflect on your questions. How might the candidate receive these questions?

What’s your reasoning behind these questions? Knowing the reasoning behind them will help ensure you get the answers you’re looking for. Remember to plan for proper timing also.

Most interviews are about 30 minutes long. Will you have enough time to ask all the questions, get all of the answers, and take notes as well? It’s never a bad idea to have a backup plan ready to go if needed.

Decide on Your Tone

When creating your questions, be sure to pay close attention to your tone. The type of questions you ask can really set the tone of the interview. It’s a good idea to think about the type of tone you want to have during the interview process and then create questions based on this.

Do you want the interview to be light and fun? Are you looking for a more inspiring result? Know what tone you’re looking for and then decide on how to word your questions.

Conduct Some Research

It’s not a bad idea to conduct some research. You can search online for questions used by other employers in the same field as you. Don’t hesitate to use question examples given online but be sure to put your own spin on them.

You can also take this time to conduct research on the job position too. The information you find will let you know what information is out there about the job position. This is the same information candidates will find when conducting their own research.

Now you have an idea of what information they might not already know about the job position.

Review Their Past Work

When hiring candidates for certain job positions, it could be beneficial to review their past work. This will depend on the type of job position you’re looking to fill. If applicable, take the time to read, watch, or listen to the candidate’s past work.

Reviewing their past work can give you a good idea about what they’d have to offer to your company. Does their past work seem to fit the company’s values, mission statement, brand, and so on? If the candidate doesn’t come with examples of their past work, then don’t hesitate to ask them to email or fax them over.

Ask Relevant Questions

As you create questions, do make sure they’re relevant to the job position the candidate is applying to. Will the questions you ask to generate the answers you need? For example, if a question you ask won’t lead to an answer that can help you determine if the candidate is a good fit or not, then it might not be worth taking the time to ask.

You should also try to stray away from asking questions that the candidate most likely won’t know the answer to. Try to be realistic when coming up with appropriate questions to ask.

Create Open-Ended Questions

Something else to keep in mind is open-ended questions. You want the candidate to be able to think about their answer and have a wide range of answers to choose from. The questions you ask should prompt the candidate to answer the question with a unique answer specific to them as an individual.

Avoid yes or no questions. These types of questions won’t encourage the candidate to think much about the question or their answer.

Ensure the Questions Are Clear

You also want to ensure the questions you ask are clear. Make sure there’s no confusion about what the question’s asking. To test your own questions for clarity, find someone in the office to give you a helping hand.

Ask them to practice with you by pretending to be a candidate. Ask them the questions and make sure they understand what’s being asked. If they’re confused, then sit down with them to determine how you might rephrase the questions for more clarity.

Allow Time to Answer Questions

An interview doesn’t only consist of the questions you want to ask candidates. An important part of all job interviews is the time given to candidates to ask their own questions. When developing your interview questions and creating your strategy, it’s essential you leave room at the end of the interview for them to ask you questions.

You may need to prompt them by asking if they have any of their own questions for you. Candidates might want to know more about the company culture, more specifics about the job position itself, and more. You should be prepared to answer any questions they throw at you.

You can practice with a co-worker by having them ask you some questions they might ask if applying for the job.

This Is Designing Interview Questions Made Simple

The role of a hiring manager is one of the most important aspects of a company. It’s up to you to hire ideal candidates for specific job positions within the company. When you take your time designing interview questions, you can ensure to find employees who’ll bring value to the company and the team.

Use all of the helpful information listed above to reduce stress and make the interview process a simple one.

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