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Successful employment interview

10 Questions You Need to Ask Interviewees

You spend hours poring over employment applications and resumes, checking references and choosing the best of the lot to interview. Whether done in-person, online or over the phone, the interview tells you whether a candidate is a good employment match. Following, we share best practices for hosting a successful interview.   

Establish rapport with small talk before you describe the job. When you’re ready, launch into your questions: 

  • Why are you interested in this job and our store? 
  • Why do you believe you’re qualified for this job?
  • What are/were your duties in your latest job? 
  • How would your supervisor rate your job performance there?
  • What are/were some problems you encountered there?
  • What are/were your greatest strengths in that position? Weaknesses?
  • What did you like and dislike about other jobs you’ve held? 
  • How would you handle a dissatisfied or upset customer?
  • What’s your approach to working with other employees?
  • What’s most important to you in a job?

      Let the applicant do most of the talking and listen carefully. You want to hear yes to these questions: 

  • Does she respond easily? Great. She’s prepared and takes the job seriously.
  • Does he speak intelligently? He’ll speak that way with customers.
  • Does she listen well? You won’t have to repeat yourself.
  • Does he ask questions? He’s curious and interested.
  • Is she capable of the job even without experience? She’s got the character and mindset you need.
  • Is he enthusiastic, positive and flexible? He’ll fit right in with your store.

Use more than your eyes and ears. Some pre-employment screening tests may be appropriate for your hiring needs. However, ultimately, the decision comes down to your own observations and intuition. Listen to your head and trust your gut.

When you prepare for your interviews and conduct them using the right tools and techniques, you’ll make the clearest, most intelligent hiring decisions and be able to let that person fulfill your highest expectations.

About Carly Froderman

Carly joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor. Born and raised in Indiana, Carly earned a B.A. in English from Indiana University Bloomington. She enjoys reading, hiking, and cheering on the Indiana Hoosiers.

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