Make Them Think: 8 Thought-Provoking Job Interview Questions to Ask


Your staffing partner has sourced and vetted a handful of high-quality candidates. Now it’s up to you to interview them and make a final decision. But how can you get behind the candidate mask and gain real insight into each candidate? Beyond the typical “tell me about yourself” inquiries, here are 8 thought-provoking job interview questions to ask:

1. How did you end up in your current role?

This question is in the same vein as the “tell me about yourself” question, but it has more focus. When you ask this question, you’ll get a better sense of a candidate’s career trajectory, as well as what motivates them. It’s also a good ice-breaker to ask at the start of an interview.

2. What industry trends do you see impacting our company?

You want to ensure each candidate is not only knowledgeable about your industry but well-prepared. Asking this question will help you achieve both.

3. What do you think is important for an employer to offer their employees?

Asking this question will give you a sense of what’s important to the employee, as well as what types of rewards and benefits they most value. As a result, you can better assess if what your company is offering is aligned with what they’re looking for. For instance, if career growth and learning opportunities are important to a candidate, but they’re limited at your company, then there could be a potential mismatch.

4. Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult manager or client?

You want people who are level-headed and problem solvers. Asking this question helps you assess whether a candidate fits the bill. It will also give you more clear insight into their interpersonal skills and whether they’re a good match for the position and the company.

5. What’s the biggest career risk you’ve taken?

Competition is fierce in today’s world. And you want to hire people who are comfortable taking a certain amount of calculated risk. However, when a candidate is averse to risk, they’re not going to bring much to the table in terms of innovation.

6. What’s the most valuable feedback you’ve ever gotten from a boss?

There are multiple reasons for asking this question. First, it’s a better version of the “what are your weaknesses?” question and it can also give you additional insight into their strengths at the same time. In addition, it can demonstrate how much self-awareness a candidate has.

7. What’s your biggest career accomplishment?

Asking this question will not only help you verify that a candidate has a track record of accomplishments, but it will give you a sense of what’s important to them.

8. Describe a past work environment you worked best in.

This question will help you get a sense of whether a candidate will be a fit in terms of the culture. If they describe a small, informal culture – and yours is a big corporate one – then they might not thrive in your environment.

The interview questions you do end up asking are key to a successful hire. The best ones will reveal a candidate’s personality, strengths, knowledge, and abilities (or lack of). So before your next interview, be sure to carefully consider what questions you want to ask – so you can separate top contenders from the rest.

Looking for your next staffing partner?

If you’re not currently working with a staffing vendor, or are looking for a new one, put Morgan Hunter on your list. As one of Kansas City’s top staffing service firms, we will take the time to assess your unique needs in order to provide you with the staffing strategies and candidates who can help you achieve your goals…today and tomorrow. Contact us today to get started.