6 Great Interview Questions Employers Should Ask

The average interview last 40 minutes, according to a Forbes article. Do you really want to spend that time on useless, trivial or misleading information? Here are six great interview questions to keep in your holster for your next interview.

1. If you could restart your career knowing now what you didn’t know then, would you do anything differently?

While this question may be challenging for job hunters, it has huge potential for hiring managers in search of meaningful insights. Not only does it offer a glimpse into a candidate’s critical thinking skills and decision-making process, but it also indicates the capacity to self-assess.

SEE ALSO: How You Can Really Pull Off a Preparation-Free Interview

2. What can I expect your supervisor to tell me about your weaknesses when I call to check your references?

This question demonstrates that the question isn’t always as important as how you ask it. If you ask a candidate to confess his weaknesses, you’re likely to encounter inauthentic “spin.” Most candidates come prepared with a formulaic stock answer that reveals nothing more than the ability to stonewall.

By bringing a boss into the conversation, you are far more likely to get an honest answer. Why? When put on the spot, most candidates conclude you’d be best to hear the truth directly from them since it will eventually come out anyway.

3. What are your biggest motivations and frustrations?

There may not be a right or wrong answer to these questions, but there are clear indications of whether a candidate will be a good fit for your company culture.

The second half of the question is particularly revealing: candidates who quibble over the negative behaviors of others may not be a good fit in a collaborative setting. Instead, look for candidates who parlay the question into an opportunity to showcase their ability to overcome obstacles and/or resolve conflicts.

4. What are the first three things you’ll do if you get this job?

The days of the corporate “yes man” are over. Today, innovation and initiative are the prize. While most candidates can talk in broad overviews, initiating change in a real world situation is a different story. This question can help hiring managers determine whether a candidate can strategize, prioritize and implement.

5. Where do you expect to be in five years?

More likely than not, a candidate will be prepared for this one. However, your concern is not so much the answer as the candidate’s demeanor when answering it. Candidates who show excitement when talking about the future are eager, ambition, and most likely to reach their goals.

6. Based on what you’ve learned so far about the company, me and this role, how can you best contribute?

This question is a low and slow pitch right in the strike zone: prepared candidates can hit it right out of the park. Thanks to the internet, tons of information is immediately available today for candidate who do their research: savvy job seekers will come ready to show off their hard work. Conversely, while unprepared candidates might cobble something generic together, their lack of research and knowledge will show through.

Hiring logistics are complex and nebulous when you compare the disparate interests of interviewer interviewee. After all, while hiring managers are attempting to determine candidates’ most authentic selves, candidates are maneuvering to reveal only their best, most hirable selves. These six questions can help bridge the gap between the two points of view.

What additional questions can employers ask in order to better gauge how qualified a candidate is?

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