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Interviewing, and hiring employees is a tedious job and can bring you a lot of stress. Not only that you have to know the applicant’s work history in a short period of time, but you also have to prepare appropriate questions to be able to hire the right person. As a recruitment officer of a company or owner of a small business, it is your job to come up with good interview questions to ask, so that you’ll be able to squeeze as much information as you can from your applicants. Here’s a short list of questions you can ask to find out more about an applicant to showcase what they have to offer you.

 Why should we hire you?

This is a classic question asked to find out more what sets a candidate apart from their stiff competition. Any interviewee who will be able to clearly explain their work experience, educational background, personal interests, and great credentials that suits the vacant position, will be able to do the same work once hired.

If you can start your career once again, what would you have done differently?

This is to know how your potential employee will explain the pros and cons of the major decisions they have made before. Knowing this would also tell you their thought process to how they will be able to make calculated risks in the future.

What would your boss tell us about you if we contact them?

It’s like, “What is your major weakness,” phrased in a subtle way. No amount of preparation will be able to sugar coat the answer for this, so the interviewer knows the truth will always come out. You want the applicant to tell you what their previous boss thinks about them, and justify it in a positive way.

Describe the best boss you have reported to.

This is a great way to know more about your potential employee’s relationship with their past boss. Not only that, you would be able to gain more insights about their communication skills, cultural fit, and work styles.

What motivates you? ...irritates you?

These questions should be asked one after another, so that you can understand the applicant’s motivation better. If you hear that their motivations matches that of the company and its core values, then seriously consider this person as a contender for the position.

You would also see the candidate’s personality, and ability to handle situations in a diplomatic manner and work well with teams when they talk about their frustrations in the past. You will know you have a good candidate in front of you when he/she was able to resolve these conflicts in a positive manner.

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

The answer to this question is not what the most valuable thing you have to watch out for, but the manner of how they answer it. If their eye’s light up at the idea of themselves in the future, then you know that this person is clear with what they want and will do everything they can to achieve it.

Having good interview questions to askin an interview will help you narrow down the candidates. It helps you ask in detail some other things that you want to know from them that are not in their resume. Look approachable, and be friendly so that your interviewees will feel at ease when you interview them.  

If you have any more questions that should be asked in an interview that isn't in my short list please leave a comment below. 

Hiring the Best: Manager's Guide to Effective Interviewing and Recruiting, Fifth Edition
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If you want to hire the best, then this is the book to give you the best interview techniques and questions to hire the best candidate for the job.
96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire
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(price as of May 31, 2016)
More fantastic questions for every job interview.