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Our 18 Best Base Interview Questions To Ask

The best interview questions focus on the skills that you want candidates to have and the contributions that you most want the candidate to make—if you decide to hire them. They help you assess the prospective employee’s work experience and their approach to problem solving and conflict resolution. They help you understand how the candidate interacts with people and the work environment.

These questions will give you a base that will help you select people who will hopefully become successful future employees. These are some of our best interview questions to ask a prospective employee in order to get a clear baseline of that candidates fit for your role: 


Download And Print Our Interview Question Checklist


1. Why do you think you are suitable for this role?


This person wants to work for your company; they should be ready to tell you why they would be suitable for this role without hesistation. You want someone who has a clear idea of what the role encompasses and why they would be good at it. 


2. Present salary

This can be a difficult one in interviews, what you may prefer to do is frame out the salary range that you're planning on paying and see if the candidate is happy to continue  - be aware that it's difficult for a candidate to name a number when they are yet to get the full context of the role in the interview. 


3. Detail your benefits: 

Ultimately you want to establish what level of remuneration the candidate currently has and see how that compares to the package your organisation is planning to offer, maybe the salary isn't as high as the candidates expectations but you could offer something with regards to additional benefits

  • Educational Assistance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Stock Options
  • Employees Share Purchase Plan
  • Pension
  • Leave Days
  • Bonus
  • Car (if travelling is involved in the role)


4. Why do you want to change jobs?

This question will tell you about their values, outlook, goals, and needs from an employer. You can determine what prompted the job search. Is the candidate looking to move forward to a more successful future,  or are they running away from an unsuccessful employment experience?


5. What is your location preference?

If a candidate is interviewing for a position and their location preference to live is an excessive drive to the company this may play a factor in the longevity of the candidate with regards to commuting. Conduct your own statistical analysis to identify if, and how much of an impact that commute time has on employee retention in each area of the business, you may find this a good tool in the long run to ensure higher employee retention.


6. Tell me about some of your achievements at work

This answer will tell you about their prior success and sense of ownership. A great answer will show they are confident in their work and professional choices while also showing the ability to humble and giving credit to others. There is always a red flag here if the candidate makes no reference to colleagues or degrades colleagues as part of their achievement story.  


7. Tell me about some of your achievements outside work

This question will help you find out if the candidates mindset will work well with your company culture, policies and their potential co-workers. 


8. What do you consider your strengths?

You want to find out if the candidates strengths are in line with the needs of the company and job they are applying for. This will help you decide if this candidate is the strongest fit for the position. 


9. Describe your present company

This question interlinks with the question for changing jobs. What you want to listen for here is the candidates relationship with the current employer and insight in to the motivations for the candidate wanting to leave. 


10. Describe your main responsibilities in your current job

This question will help you put the candidate at ease as they should be comfortable answering this question, and open up some further areas of questioning to delve in to.  It can also allow you to ascertain is the resume is valid, and contextualise their role allowing you to get a better overall picture as to whether they will be the best person for the job. 


11. What have been your main contributions at work in the last 12 months?

You will gain insight in to who this person is as a professional, how successful they have been and how they work. What drives them.


12. Tell me about your PC/ERP/System Skills

Core competencies are always the cornerstone of any role, so be sure to touch base with these skills.  If the role entails extensive use of excel, take a couple of minutes to ask a couple of probing or competency questions with regards to this to ensure their level of competent is in line with what your expectations of competency would be. 


13. Have you been promoted?

If you are interviewing for a leadership position or a position with leadership potential then it is an important question to cover. You want to see if they are ready to take on greater responsibility, do they have the leadership skills required. 


14. Any additional Languages?

If the candidate mentions fluency in other languages, it shows ability to learn new dialects and some understanding of world culture beyond the local level, but that said even if a candidate doesn't have fluency in another language (and it's not a requirement for the role) If the candidate relates some willingness to learn new skills then this also gives you insight in to the candidates fit within the company and role you are hiring for. 


15. Any holiday plans in the next six months?

This question allows you to get an idea of the candidates plans over the next six months. They may have holidays planned, but the way in which they approach this discussion with you can also tell you a lot about the candidate - If they are up front and also willing to discuss options with regards to this leave then this shows you that they candidate is an open communicator. 


16. Academic qualifications (& current studies) with results obtained

If academic qualifications and certifications are a requirement of the role then take a few minutes to go over the dates, grades and main points of these qualifications to ensure the validity of them. 


17. Are you doing any other interviews?

You will want to determine how marketable this candidate is, and how you stack up against the competition; and how far along they are in other negotiations. If you are interested in this candidate then this can be a factor in how long it takes your company to make a decision and turnaround time to contact the candidate. 


18. Notice Period?

Dependant on how urgently you need to fill your open role, the candidates answer to this interview question will allow you to plan when, if you offer them the job they will be able to start work. 


Download And Print Our Interview Question Checklist



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