5 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Potential Employees

You need to find excellent employees for your team. Here are 5 questions you need to ask when interviewing potential employees.

Rock star employees don’t just pop up out of nowhere…If you want to hire rock stars for your business consistently, you need to know how to filter them with the right questions.That way, you have the best chance of finding the best candidate for the job.But, exactly what questions should you be asking?Sure, there are the basic ones like, “Tell me about yourself,” and “What qualifies you for this position?” and you should definitely ask those.But, you should also dive a little deeper. That’s how you find out what your job candidates are made of.With this in mind, here are 5 questions you need to ask when interviewing potential employee.

1. What Made You Apply for this Job?

You can tell a lot about a candidate (and anybody, for that matter) by assessing their motivations.This question helps you get to the root of their motivations. From there, you can consider whether or not their motivations match up with that of somebody who will succeed in your company.

2. Tell Me About a Time When You’ve Failed

Accountability is important. If your employees screw up, you want them to take responsibility for it and be self-sufficient. The problem is, many people have a habit of blaming other people for their screw-ups.The way the candidate answers this question will tell you a lot about them. You’ll learn whether or not they’re accountable for their actions, as well as if they are self-aware.If they try to spin it to make themselves look a little too good, then this is a red flag. For example, “I turned in a project late because I worked too hard to perfect it.”

3. Why Should We Hire You?

The sale is an important skill no matter what your position is. And the biggest test of sales skills is whether or not the candidate can sell himself or herself.If the candidate can explain why they’re uniquely qualified (i.e. explain their own unique experience, education, credentials, what they can contribute, etc.) in a coherent and easy to understand way, it’s a great sign. It shows that they’ve prepared for the interview, are well-spoken, and can communicate well – all important skills.

4. If You Could Start Your Career Over Again, What Would You Do Differently?

This question tells you how well your employee can assess their own mistakes, learn from them, and make improvements. It also gives you a glimpse into their own vision and ambition.The ability to learn from mistakes is crucial – as is their level of ambition. You’ll learn whether or not the candidate is in it just to make some money and go through the motions, or to put in the best work possible and drive themselves and your business forward.

5. What Was a Big Decision You Had to Make in the Past Year, and How Did You Make It?

Every employee will have to make a decision on a daily basis. Decision-making is an essential skill, and it tells you a lot about how well a candidate can fit into your business.This question assesses that decision-making skill. You can tell how these potential employees made an important decision. Did they consider their values? If so, did they make it quickly without much thought for the future? Did they consult with other people who they respect? Did they rationalize their decision based on weak assumptions?


Questions are powerful. By asking questions like these when you interview candidates, you’re more likely to find candidates who fit the role you need. And in the process, you just might hire some rock stars too!What other interview questions do you think are important to ask? Let us know in the comments below!


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