While these general questions can be a good jumping off point, we find the best interview questions are specifically tailored for the position you are hiring.

If you would like assistance crafting questions to help assess a candidate’s fit for a specific role, give us a call!


The 10 best interview questions to uncover a candidate’s fit for your open role:

  1. “In this role, we’re looking for someone who can do XXX (ie. increase revenue/improve morale/create better systems and processes). Can you tell me your most related experience tackling this type of work?”
  • Listen for an understanding of the role you’re hiring for; clarify expectations.
  • Ask follow-up questions to understand context, challenges, and wins/losses of their related experience.


  1. “Thinking about your most recent position, what would you say your legacy is/was at that company?”
  • Listen for size and scope of how they have defined ‘legacy’. Would you consider that legacy worthy?
  • Does their example underscore growth and challenge, making things better than they found it?
  • Top performers always leave situations better than they found them. Always!


  1. “Tell me about a time where you had to overcome a significant challenge or obstacle at work; what was the result?”
  • Listen for true challenge and their ability to persevere.
  • Listen for a growth mind-set or negativity and victim mentality.
  • Would their experience (and result) be similar to what they would encounter at your organization?
  • Listen for risk-taking and match that up to your company’s culture.


  1. “Based upon what you’ve learned so far about our company and this role, what’s the first thing you’d want to work on?”
  • Listen for communication skills.
  • Observe their ability to tackle projects with little instruction; do you observe ease or resistance to this question?
  • Listen for a proclivity to action and/or contemplation.


  1. “Tell me about the last time you had to learn a lot of new information in a short amount of time?”
  • Listen for learning style – time to process versus action orientation.
  • Evaluate communication style – direct and to the point or long form storytelling.
  • Listen for size and scope of example; probe for resilience and resourcefulness.
  • Listen for independent decision-making.
  • Evaluate if your own on-boarding and/or expectation for learning is in alignment with their style and preferences.


  1. “What is something that is not on your resume that others would be surprised to learn about you?”
  • This is a good conversation starter; you will undoubtedly learn something about your candidate. Don’t waste the chance to go a bit deeper. Share something about yourself as well, to start building a relationship.
  • Some candidates might be more guarded. Give them a chance to think and process. Don’t judge too quickly, especially if you have a different style.


  1. “Through your career, is there any role that you wish you could go back to or that you felt was the best fit?”
  • Listen for relevance and alignment with your open role and your organization – Is this a fit?
  • Is the role they highlighted within the last 2 years or over a decade ago? Are they holding on to a past that won’t be coming back?


  1. “Tell me about a time you had a difficult working relationship with a colleague – what was the specific situation and what was the result?”
  • Listen for emotional intelligence.
  • Listen for ownership and empathy.
  • Observe anger or defensiveness.
  • Do they take accountability for their part to resolve or go directly to leadership for resolution?


  1. “What interests and excites you most about this position?”
  • Listen for engagement; this speaks to their purposefulness. Ideally, they’ll say that they’re passionate about the company’s mission. Maybe they are excited to hone a new skill or work at a different type of company. When they answer, make sure their sense of purpose aligns with your organization.


  1. “What questions do you have for me?”
  • If they say ‘you’ve answered all my questions’, the red flags should be waving. You want someone so engaged in this role that they continue to demonstrate curiosity and dig deeper.
  • Is this just another job for them or a true career move?
  • Their questions should be focused on learning more about how they will be measured: what success looks like, your culture, your expectations.
  • If they launch into pay, benefits, and PTO before it’s time, be forewarned.


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