Sometimes the process of interviewing candidates to fill a role can be as exhausting as trying to land a job. Over time you find a rhythm and end up asking the same core set of questions. Henry Ford wisely said, “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” So, if we keep asking the same set of questions, we’re going to keep getting the same answers. Let’s shake things up a little bit. Here are some questions I think you should ask at your next round of interviewees.

What do you know about our company, and why do you want to work here?

In every workplace, there are two types of employees. The driven types that are hungry for success and those who are more comfortable with being a steady contributor. Both are equally valuable to the team, and you certainly need those dedicated team members that will come in, do their job and go home. This question will give you a hint as to which type of person is sitting across from you. This is also when you will begin to understand if they will mesh with your corporate culture- consider the mission, vision, and values of your organization. Sell them on your company and let them know why they should want to work with you.

Can you tell me about your current job?

This question is all about the subtext. Their job is something they know intimately, and the way they describe their position and their duties will give you a better understanding of their communication skills. It doesn’t matter what their current role is. They should be able to provide you with a general overview that you can easily comprehend.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on in a past position?

The answer you get from this will tell you two things. What kind of projects interest and inspire them, and how they work with others. If they choose to tell you about how they organized the storage closet, you know they work well independently. If they share that they lead a team of 30 individuals in a 6-month project, you know they may be interested in management roles.
What they deem to be an “interesting project” is also very telling. It could be building a spreadsheet system, solving a supply issue, developing a mental health support system for their team or anything between. This is a beneficial tool for learning about their passions and what drives them.

Tell me something about yourself that isn’t on your resume.

When you find a successful candidate, you’re not just filling a position; you’re inviting a person to join your team. Learning more about them can help you gain clarity on who they are as people and employees. Most people carefully curate their resume to be precisely what you want to see. This question cuts through all of that and lets you see past the preparation and buttoned-up demeanour.

Want to learn more about improving your interview skills? Check out the other articles in this interview series here.