Top seven questions to ask an interviewee for any job

New spin on old interview questions

1. What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? This is an important question for several reasons. The first and most obvious reason is that this question gives the interviewee the opportunity to expand on the qualifications they possess that make them best suited for the job. It also allows candidates to identify any qualifications that weren’t listed on their resume that may be important for the position. Additionally, this question ensures that the candidate has a good understanding of what the job entails and the skills they need to be successful in the position. Example: I truly believe I would be a great fit for this position for several reasons, with my extensive experience in the marketing field being number one. I have a track record of success when it comes to marketing projects and have managed marketing teams of 10 or more people at a time. I have honed my communication skills to ensure that no matter with whom I am working, we are all on the same page. My experience and expertise mean that I’ll start contributing to this position from day one and I can’t wait to bring everything I have to offer to the table.”

2. Do you work better independently or as part of a team? This question is especially important if the position requires the candidate to work more on their own or more as a team. Depending on the job requirements, the answer the candidate gives can help you determine if they will be a good addition to your team. Example: “I have experience with both independent and team-based work and am comfortable working in either setting. It seems like this position requires a lot of independent work, which I am confident I can complete in a successful manner.”

3. How would your friends and/or coworkers describe you in three words? This question gives the interviewee the chance to highlight their best attributes as well as whether they will be a positive addition to your company’s culture. You can get an idea of the candidate’s personality, as well as how they interact with others, based on their answer. Example: “My previous coworkers told me they believed I am exceptionally organized both with my projects and my time. I also have been told that I am a highly motivated individual who gets things done at all costs. My friends would definitely say that I am easy to communicate with, as many of them come to me in confidence to discuss various issues.”

4. What’s one skill you have that sets you apart from other candidates for this job? This is a great way to measure how well the candidate understands the position and what it requires. By asking them to choose only one skill, the candidate must decide which skill is most important for the job. Example: “The one skill that sets me apart is my strong communication skills. Whether it’s through email, on the phone or in person, I am an incredibly effective communicator. This position requires effective communication and I believe that this skill is what makes me the ideal candidate.”

5. What professional accomplishment are you most proud? This is a great way to allow the candidate to expand on their strengths as well as to talk about something they’re proud of in their work history. This question can help ease tension and boost the candidate’s confidence. Example: “I am most proud of my contribution to the new employee handbook in my previous HR position. Prior to my revisions, the handbook was confusing and caused several issues among employees. The edits and changes I made created a streamlined approach to the handbook and greatly improved overall employee understanding and adherence to workplace expectations and regulations.” 

6. Why are you leaving (or why did you leave) your current position? This question gives you a chance to better understand what the candidate is looking for in a job. Most candidates will list a few negative aspects of their current position that have led them to seek other employment, and these aspects can inform you as to what the person wants in a new job. It also can uncover any red flags such as excess complaining or negativity that you may not want in a potential employee. Example: “The company I currently work for has given me the opportunity to really hone my craft in technical writing and I have enjoyed my time there. However, the company is currently going through several infrastructure changes that are negatively affecting many employees’ positions, including my own. I am looking for a new position to continue to grow as a technical writer in a more stable environment.”

7. How do you feel your current (or most recent) company could improve its overall operations to be more successful? This question is a great way to get an idea of an interviewee’s ability to assess an organization’s productivity in a big-picture sense. It also can give you more insight as to why they are unhappy or want to leave their position at their current place of work. Example: “I feel that if my current company were more proactive about ensuring all employees understood their job expectations, the company would see a higher rate of productivity. I would suggest weekly team meetings to my current company to help employees stay up to date on projects and goals and promote communication between management and employees.”



Indeed.com is the highest-traffic job site in the country, so they know a thing or two about recruiting. According to the experts at indeed.com, these are seven questions you can ask your interviewee to better understand their qualifications, skills and if they’ll be a good cultural fit.

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