There’s all this talk about answering interview questions: What are the toughest ones, how should you prepare? But what if you’re the one asking the questions? When you still feel like a college student yet you’re interviewing potential interns, or if you’re a new manager hiring an assistant for the first time, how can you get over that fear of looking like a fraud? Sometimes, we need just as much help as those sitting across from us.
So, we turned to Quora to get some advice from people who’ve been in our shoes before. Next time you need a few talking points — ones that ensure you’re asking smart, insightful questions to help you hire the best candidate — consider these seven gems:
1. “What’s your preferred working style?”— Joel Hynoski, Senior Engineering Manager at Twitter
This can tell you a whole lot about a candidate’s personality. Do they like to work alone and listen to music? Or do they work best in a collaborative environment? The answer will give you some serious insight into whether or not they’ll fit into the culture of your company.
2. “How would your last boss describe you?”— Daria Beknazariants
If you want to test the candidate’s credibility, this should be your go-to question. And the best part? You can call up their former boss to see how well the answer matches up. It’s tricky, but hey, that’s interviewing!
3. “List some of your accomplishments during your last job.”— Russ Conte
Whatever the candidate valued most at their last job, you’ll know by how they answer this question. It will also give you a sense of their strengths and what skills they can bring to the position.
4. “How many golf balls fit in a 747?” — Quora User
In certain industries, you know you have to throw a weird one in there, just to see how they react. Will they laugh? Will they think really hard and blurt out some math equation they used to figure it out in their head? With this one, it’s not about the answer, but how they get there.
5. “Tell me about a time in your life when you actually failed at something.” — James Hritz
If they’ve never failed at anything (or can’t admit it), it means that they haven’t challenged themselves enough. You want someone who can own up to a mistake, analyze what went wrong, and understand how to fix it moving forward. A follow up could be, “How did you move on?”
6. “What motivates you to do your best on the job?”— Irfan Ahmad, Blogger, Social Media Marketer, Infographic Designer
Asking this question will really help you learn the driving force behind a candidate’s work ethic. Is it a goal? A promotion? Team morale? If they end up getting hired, you’ll already know what to do to push them further. #Bonus
7. “What can you teach us?”— Divya Prabhakar, UPenn CS and Design
If you want to hire a candidate, it means that they have skills and expertise that will provide value to your team. Here’s your chance to let them tell you what exactly those skills are.
What are your interview tips? Share any pointers + helpful experiences you’ve had in the comment section below.
This post was originally published on Levo League by Erica Murphy.