8 insightful interview questions to ask candidates

Ask candidates why they want to join your company. You want only those who join for the right reasons. (Rawpixel.com pic)

There are many articles about the best interview questions. They might be helpful if you’re using an interview to determine whether the candidate can do the job.

However, some think about interviewing a little differently. It has already been proven that traditional interviews don’t predict performance so, an interview should only come after a candidate’s skills have been validated.

There are many ways to test skills, and the skills assessment method you choose should depend on the role and the circumstances.

But completing that stage before an on-site interview allows you to spend the precious interviewing time – your and your candidate’s – in a far more valuable way.


Ask candidates directly why they want to join your company. You want candidates who want to join for the right reasons, and there is no better reason than a strong affinity with your mission.

It doesn’t matter if they’re active or passive candidates because by the time they reach the interview stage they should be fully invested.

Interview question 1: Why are you excited about joining (name your company)?

Interview question 2: What does this opportunity mean to you?


You should take the time to understand what environment you need to create to make a new hire successful. There is no point hiring someone supremely talented with a great attitude only to set them up to fail.

Interview question 3: If you join, how can the company invest in you?

Interview question 4: What needs to happen for you to get the best out of yourself?


No, not cultural fit. You should make sure a prospective new hire has the same expectations as you and knows exactly what they’re getting into. It’s important they come in with open eyes and have good chemistry with the team.

Hearing them speak about their impression of your company can be very insightful and lead to further questions or discussion.

Interview question 5: What do you think of the people you’ve spoken to so far?

Interview question 6: Do you have any feedback on the company’s product?


Reference checks need to be taken with a grain of salt because candidates always suggest people who will speak highly of them.

They can nevertheless be helpful in filling gaps or getting suggestions about how to make new hires successful. But they can also be used – ahead of time – to assess self-awareness.

Interview question 7: When a call is made to your references, what are they going to say?


Asking people where they see themselves in five years is pointless. Very few people really know, and plans change. You’re just asking to be fed a pre-rehearsed answer.

Instead, ask about the new hire’s values. A constructive way to do that is to understand where they’ll draw the line.

Interview question 8: What will make you leave the company?

The answer will reveal what the candidate cares about, from career progression to money to stimulating work to working with a great team.

This can no doubt change over time, but it’s nevertheless helpful to discuss.

A new way of interviewing

You can see from the interview questions chosen that you have already assumed the candidate has been thoroughly evaluated with respect to the substantive elements of the role.

These interview questions are focused on generating rapport, understanding what makes your prospective new hire tick, and setting her up for success.

This article first appeared in vervoe.com. At Vervoe, our mission is to fundamentally transform the hiring process from mediocracy to meritocracy.