Questions to Ask When Hiring New Talent

by Susan Mullin

Ever struggled with knowing what interview questions to ask?

A bad hire can cost you thousands of dollars on training, salaries, and more. The hiring process can be quite stressful as you narrow down several candidates to just a handful who can fit into your company. A mix of intuition, knowledge, and evaluation is needed to figure out which candidate meets your needs. Therefore, you want to make sure you get the most helpful information out of the interview within the small time frame you have available. That leads us to a crucial part of the process: formulating interview questions. What are the best interview questions to ask?

interview questions to ask

Interview Goals

Leading up to the interview, you want to make sure you have a clear idea of what you are looking for. Make a list beforehand of three absolute non-negotiables that you want in your candidate. This will help you figure out what interview questions to ask. A candidate may have the perfect resume on paper, but non-negotiables like unwillingness to adapt or lack of flexibility will do you no good a couple of months down the line. 

It’s important to set interview goals so that you get the key information you need to make a decision. For example, you need to get a good grasp of both their hard and soft skills. They are equally important and will influence their performance on the job in different ways. 

While technical or hard skills are requirements for the job, (like proficiency at certain software programs, certifications, etc.), soft skills refer to qualities that cannot necessarily be taught. Think of oral communication skills, team-building and motivation when pondering what interview questions to ask. These important attributes can be the deal breaker when choosing one candidate over the other.  

Lastly, it’s important to get a sense of who they are as a person in order for you to decide whether they will fit into your company culture or not. Your company’s values should be reflected in every single one of your employees and new hires are no exception!  That being said, the following are some good places to start when figuring out what interview questions to ask when hiring.

Possible interview questions

Technical skills

To assess technical skills, here are some suggested questions to include when interviewing for a Marketing Manager role:

  • How would you rate your analytical skills? How did you use them in previous job? What kind of reports, analysis, and other insights did you provide?
  • Are you familiar with the following tools: Moz, Google Analytics, Neil Patel, UberSuggests, HootSuite?
  • What metrics do you think are important in assessing social media success?
  • What is your experience with audience research and auditing?
  • Are you familiar with SEO best practices? What are the top 3 practices in your opinion?
  • Do you have experience with paid advertising? 
  • Tell me about a marketing campaign you pioneered that was successful and how did you measure success?
  • Do you feel comfortable using a CRM? Give an example of one time you used a CRM effectively.

Soft skills

To assess a candidate’s soft skills, here are a few interview questions to ask to help you get a sense of how they work and interact with others:  

  • How do you work in teams? Do you feel confident in your collaboration skills?
  • How do you overcome stress in the workplace? 
  • For management positions:  What is your leadership style? What is an example of how you effectively led a group or department on a project or initiative? 
  • Can you tell us about a time when you had to handle a difficult client?
  • What are the most important things you look for in a job? 
  • What can you tell me about our company values?
    • What about our values appeals to you as a potential employee?
  • What motivates you?
  • What is your biggest professional achievement? 

While the hard skill questions help you tick off items of your “requirements,” the soft skill questions give you a broader picture of their personality and their work style. Blend these together to come up with their overall profile and decide if they’re hit or a miss. 

At the end of the day, you want to select the person who best fits the role and the culture of your organization. Formulating the right interview questions to ask gets you the information you need is critical to achieving this. Good luck hiring!

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Posted in , Hiring Managers