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In today’s business world, it is important to understand what appropriate behavior is during the interview process. Having the right questions prepared can help you better uncover the qualities and skills you are seeking in your next hire.

The interview process is a vital factor in identifying high-caliber candidates who, in addition to the required job skills, have the best potential to fit within your company’s culture.

Here are some questions to keep in mind during an interview - using an open-ended approach helps you gain more insight into the candidate’s personality and communication skills:

  • In a brief statement, would you summarize your work history and education for me?
  • Can you describe a typical work week for me?
  • Why are you leaving your present (or last) job?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your last (present) supervisor?
  • What made you apply for this position?
  • How does this job fit in with your overall career plan?
  • In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
  • What kind of challenge are you looking for?
  • How would you evaluate your ability to deal with conflict?
  • Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor? How did you resolve the conflict?
  • What is the worst situation you have faced in your professional life? How did you deal with it? What was the outcome?
  • What has been your most important accomplishment (or rewarding position) in your professional life so far?
  • What motivates you to go the extra mile on a project?
  • How do your strong points relate to this job?
  • Is there anything I haven't told you about the job or company that you would like to know?

Here are some areas to avoid during an interview as these are personal questions that should not influence a hiring decision:

  • How old are you?
  • When did you graduate?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you plan to have children?
  • What is your child care situation?
  • What does your spouse (or parents) do for a living?
  • Where do you go to church?
  • Where were you born?