An interview is a method to sort the wheat from the chaff. It is a hiring manager’s chance to determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the role and the company. Hence, the manager has to plan and conduct an interview smartly. The process doesn’t necessarily involve tough questions. The aim is to measure the skills, ability to fit in and strengths/weaknesses of the candidate.

An interview should be a professional conversation rather than a question answer session. Evidently, questions and answers become part of the conversation amongst other things. While conversing, the interviewer can assess the modulation, eye-contact, body language, etc. to make sure if they are honest, confident and transparent.

The questions asked during the interview should be open-ended and not very specific (of course, relevant technical question are welcome). The idea is to understand the candidate’s approach to a problem and the ability to solve it. Let us explore a few questions that could be used to evaluate the personality and traits of the candidate.

Why shouldn’t we hire you?

This could be one of the deciding questions to be asked. The question could be answered both in a positive and negative manner. The approach determines how the candidates introspect themselves regarding their professional and personal development. This question also lets the manager determine as to what sets the candidate apart from others in the competitive market.
Walk me through one of your accomplishments, which you consider significant in your career.

If you want to start a conversation regarding the candidate’s professional achievements, then this could be the right question. The candidate gets an opportunity to highlight themselves in a precise and detailed manner. This conversation can continue with further questions that would give an insight into the candidate’s work habits, problem-solving style and sense of ownership.

How would you define hard work?

Well, this question seems to be a cliché. But I feel, in today’s competitive world, it is important to know what a person thinks about hard work. Some people may feel smart work is the key rather than hard work. And hard work might not necessarily mean slogging in the office for long hours. It could be constantly striving for a goal or making sure that each milestone is met incessantly. You can judge the candidate with his perspective and idea about hard work.

How do you handle disagreements or differences of opinion at the workplace?

Office space is no different from other spheres of life. There are different people with diverse perspectives and ideas. Hence, having a difference of opinion is very much probable. But how an employee handles the situation and how well he gels with the team after a difference of opinion needs to be analysed.

What motivates you to achieve more?

This question gives you a perspective on the motivating factors that can influence the candidate. If your company culture, team ethos and job role are in sync with that of the candidate, you have a good fit for the company and the team.

Certain questions will not have a right or wrong answer. Such questions are meant to evaluate the creativity and analytical skills of the candidate. For certain roles, such out of the box questions sound more sensible than the candidate’s past experiences or accomplishments. The candidates cannot come prepared for these kinds of questions. Hence, you get to know how the candidate’s thought process works and how he reacts to a situation dynamically.

Even when the questions asked are very technical, there are chances that the candidate’s approach to the problem is different from that of the interviewer. This is a typical scenario. Either provide the hints so as to lead the candidate to your version; otherwise, give a patient ear to the candidate’s version and evaluate if his perspective could also be a solution to your question. Many a time, the hiring manager has a set of answers in his mind and expects the candidate to answer exactly in the same manner. This doesn’t work as people have different perceptions, and they don’t necessarily match with each other.

A manager needs to carry out the interview in such a way that the candidate feels comfortable opening up and provides a thoughtful response to the interviewer’s questions. If your body language and questions are intimidating in nature, the candidate will never be able to give his best shot, and you end up losing a good employee.

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