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50 Top Interview Questions to Ask Your Next Hire

By Mathieu Allaire July 25 2019

You have received a waitress, an engineer, a sale representative or a cook resume that sparks your interest, but have no idea how you are going to interview them?


That’s OK, because managers have many responsibilities, and hiring is not something you necessarily do every day. That’s why it’s important to have a list of questions that will give you an accurate portrait of who the person really is.

Note that it’s also essential to look for passion and personality rather than only looking for skills when you’re hiring someone. You can train almost anyone how to operate a POS system, open a wine bottle, work with a specific software, etc., but you cannot teach someone how to be happy or passionate about his job.

Below is a compilation of the top 50 interview questions that you can use for your next hire in your small-medium business, no matter if you operate a restaurant, retail store, digital firm, hotel, etc. Some of them are true classics, some are more original and creative. Feel free to adjust any of them to your business.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your strengths?
  3. What are your weaknesses?
  4. Why should I hire you?
  5. Where would you like to be in your career 5 years from now?
  6. Tell me about your proudest achievement.
  7. Why are you interested in working for us?
  8. How has your education prepared you for your career?
  9. Why did you leave your last job?
  10. How did you hear about this position?
  11. What motivates you?
  12. How old were you when you had your first paying job?
  13. Tell me about a time that you were confused by a customer’s request. What steps did you take to clarify things?
  14. What has disappointed you about a job?
  15. What experience do you have in this field?
  16. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
  17. What are your salary requirements?
  18. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
  19. How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
  20. Can you tell me one of your proudest moments at work?
  21. What was your biggest failure?
  22. In 5 minutes, could you explain something to me that is complicated but you know well?
  23. Are you applying for other jobs?
  24. How do you evaluate success
  25. What are your hobbies?
  26. What was the last film you saw or the last book you read?
  27. What do co-workers say about you?
  28. If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something how would you handle it?
  29. If you could re-live the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  30. What do you know about this organization?
  31. Tell me about your dream job.
  32. What's your definition of hard work?
  33. Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
  35. When I contact your last supervisor and ask which area of your work needs the most improvement, what will I learn?
  36. Tell me about the toughest negotiation you’ve ever been in.
  37. Who is the smartest person you know personally? Why?
  38. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
  39. Tell me about a work incident in which you were totally honest, despite a potential risk or downside.
  40. Describe a busy day at your previous job.
  41. Do you have a role model and how have they helped you become the person that you are today?
  42. What challenges are you looking for in this position?
  43. What's your greatest fear about this opportunity?
  44. Give a specific example of a policy you conformed to with which you did not agree. Why?
  45. What is something you'd be happy to do every single day for the rest of your career?
  46. What is great customer service in your opinion?
  47. What college subjects did you like best and the least? Why?
  48. What will make you love coming to work here every day?
  49. Is there any question I haven't asked you that I should?
  50. What questions do you have for me?

Did I miss one question you always ask during interviews? If so, feel free to share it in the comments below! Also, if you think your friends/network would find this useful, please share it with them – I’d really appreciate it!


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