Graduates, including employers, are often encouraged to prepare for a job interview.

An interview aims to learn as much as possible about an individual to decide whether or not they are a good fit for a position. Given that you would have already read their graduate CV, as well as their LinkedIn profile or online portfolio, determining whether or not they are a good candidate should be pretty simple.

You’re about to interview some prospective recruits, so you’re not sure what questions to pose. Of course, you’d like to make the best of it by posing strategic and pointed questions. What are some of the questions? 

Candidates can be asked a variety of strategic interview questions, including behavioural, situational, and job growth questions. Behavioural questions probe the candidate’s previous conduct, situational questions probe their new problem-solving abilities, and career growth questions probe their long-term objectives.

This article will go through some general pointers for making the best of your interviews. It will then go on to some strategic behavioural, situational, and career growth questions that you should ask your applicants to get a complete picture of how they can do at your business.

Tips for General Interviews

Pose Specific Role-Related Questions:

While this post will address some general strategic interview questions you can ask your candidates, don’t be shy to have some more detailed questions that will help you decide whether or not they are a good fit for the job they are interviewing for. 

For example, if you need someone with exceptional people skills and they are applying for a high-level HR job, you might want to ask questions about their communication, how they collaborate with others, dispute resolution, and so on.

Ask the Same Questions from Each Candidate

The best way to ensure a rational decision is to ask the same strategic interview questions to and candidate.

If you ask different questions about different people, you may not get the same facts about any of the candidates. Furthermore, certain candidates might find it simpler to answer those questions than others, so you won’t get an impartial view of all of your interviewees.  

Select Open-Ended Questions:

Closed-ended questions are less useful than open-ended questions. During the brief interview time you have allocated, you hear more about the applicants. They also provide you with a much deeper understanding of the person.

Make sure the strategic interview questions for applicants are open-ended. Instead of asking, “Have you ever made a mistake at work?”

Have you ever made an error at work?” “Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work,” for example. What happened and how did you deal with it? 

Strategic Interview Questions Based on Behavior:

Behavioural interview questions are designed to elicit information about a candidate’s previous conduct.

They assist the interviewer in understanding the candidate’s approach to job-related situations, work style, and decision-making abilities.

You will predict how well they can treat similar scenarios in their new job by evaluating their previous encounter role

Top Strategic Behavioral Strategic Interview Questions

Tell me about a moment when you messed up at work. How did you deal with the situation?

Since everybody commits mistakes, this is a brilliant topic to ask candidates. People’s reactions to faults, on the other hand, vary from person to person.

Pay careful attention to the candidate’s response. Do they blame someone else for the error, or do they accept responsibility? Did they benefit something from their blunder? How did they make sure that didn’t happen again?

You’ll want to recruit someone who sees their failure as a learning opportunity and who puts what they’ve learned into action.

Describe a difficult situation that you’ve seen at work. How did you plan to do it:

We are also subjected to stress. Most jobs are stressful in some way, while others are highly stressful (nurses, brain surgeons, police officers, you get the idea). 

Regardless of the job your candidate is applying for, constructively handling stress is important. You want a candidate that can manage a moved-up deadline or the office being understaffed without completely deteriorating under pressure. 

If you are interviewing candidates for a high-stress job, then the way they answer this question is crucial. You want to hire someone that will be able to stick it out when the going gets tough. Pay close attention to determine if they have any concrete strategies that they use to help them get through stressful times. 

Tell me about a moment when you set a target for yourself and achieved it. How did you plan to do it?

This topic probes the candidate’s willingness to drive themselves and accomplish their goals.

The response to this question may indicate how committed and ambitious the nominee is. It will also give you an idea of their management abilities, which are essential since most priorities need a well-defined schedule.

The successful candidate will set targets for themselves and accomplish them with little oversight, which is particularly important when applying for a management position.

Situational Interview Questions

Situational questions assist you in assessing your candidate’s problem-solving abilities. You ask the applicant what they will do in a hypothetical case and observe how they react.

These types of questions force the interviewee to think on the spot, giving you an inside look at their intuition and decision-making abilities.

Top Strategic Situational Questions You Can Ask Your Candidates:

What would you do if you were almost finished with a project that you had worked hard on when suddenly the goals or priorities were changed?

The response you are looking for to this question depends on the role the candidate is interviewing for. 

For example, if this is for a lower-level position, you’ll mainly want the candidate to show that they are flexible and are willing to work hard to get the job done. 

If the candidate is interviewing for a higher-level position, you may want someone who can use their problem-solving skills to come up with a way that they can meet those priorities without redoing the entire project.

You want someone who can meet the expectations of the company while also being resourceful.

What would you do if you were assigned to work with a colleague on a project, but you two just couldn’t seem to agree on anything?

This question allows you to see your candidate’s conflict resolution skills working in real-time. 

You’ll want to hire someone that tries to see the situation from their colleague’s point of view and who would try to talk it out with them first.

Open communication is key, so you want the interviewee to demonstrate that they would be able to openly discuss the issues in a solution-oriented way, as opposed to getting defensive or emotional.  

How would you handle an instance of receiving criticism from a superior:

Criticism, while often difficult to take, is an important part of learning and helps us grow into more competent individuals. 

You’ll want your candidate to view criticism as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

A good candidate will acknowledge their mistake, learn from the criticism, and effectively implement the feedback. 

Be wary of candidates who view criticism as an attack on their character or who get defensive. 

Career Development Questions 

Career development questions let you know how ambitious your candidate is and tell you where they see themselves in the future.

These questions are important because you want someone who is proactive and who wants to keep growing instead of remaining stagnant. 

What are your long-term career goals:

This question is important because it gives you an idea of how ambitious the candidate is. 

While the candidate may mention that they eventually want to be a manager or a CEO, they should also provide you with steps on how they plan to slowly gain more responsibility in the company.

You want someone who knows that obtaining a higher position takes hard work and dedication. 

This question also lets you know whether or not your company will be able to offer the candidate the things they want in the long term.

You want their future goals to align well with the companies, so they will be happy staying with your company in the long run. 

These questions to ask an interviewee give you a look at different aspects of the candidate so that you get a well-rounded picture of what they have done in the past, their current judgment and problem-solving skills, and what their goals are for the future.

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