Uncover the Best Interview Questions: Insights from Top Recruiters

When it comes to conducting successful interviews, asking the right questions is paramount. The questions you pose can reveal a candidate’s qualifications, work ethic, and overall fit for the role and company culture. As a hiring manager or recruiter, you want to ensure that you’re gathering valuable insights to make informed hiring decisions.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the collective wisdom of experienced recruiters who have shared their go-to interview questions. These questions have been carefully curated to help you identify the best candidates and ensure a seamless hiring process.

The Art of Open-Ended Questions

One of the most effective techniques for gaining valuable insights during an interview is to ask open-ended questions. These questions encourage candidates to provide detailed responses, allowing you to assess their communication skills, thought processes, and problem-solving abilities.

Amy Caston, a seasoned recruiter with 16 years of experience, recommends starting with open-ended questions that begin with “Tell me about…” For example:

  • “Tell me about the top sales awards/accolades that you received for your sales performance.”
  • “Tell me about a time when you had to calm an unhappy customer.”

By asking candidates to provide specific examples, you can gauge their level of experience and expertise in handling real-world situations. Candidates who can articulate their experiences with rich details are likely to have the relevant background you’re seeking.

Assessing Past Employment

Before diving into role-specific questions, it’s crucial to understand a candidate’s previous employment history. This information can reveal potential red flags or areas of concern that may impact their suitability for the role.

Lynn Brothers, a recruiter with 16 years of experience, suggests asking, “Have you worked for our company in the past?” If the answer is yes, it’s essential to check the candidate’s rehire eligibility to ensure a smooth hiring process.

Conflict Resolution and Interpersonal Skills

Effective communication and conflict resolution skills are essential in any workplace. Leslie Lockhart, a recruiter with 10 years of experience, recommends asking, “Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement at work and how you handled it.”

This question provides insight into a candidate’s ability to handle conflicts professionally and their approach to resolving disagreements. Additionally, you can expand this question to gauge their response when dealing with disagreements involving superiors or colleagues.

Shannon Williams, an 8-year recruiting veteran, suggests asking, “Tell me about a time when you had to use your interpersonal skills to build a network of contacts to reach goals?” This question allows you to assess a candidate’s communication skills, their ability to build rapport, and their networking abilities, which are essential for many roles.

Cultural Fit and Career Aspirations

Assessing a candidate’s cultural fit and career aspirations is crucial for ensuring a successful hire. Lila Holst Gaylor, a recruiter with over 10 years of experience, recommends asking two insightful questions:

  • “What was the best job you’ve had and why?”
  • “How do you like to be managed?”

The responses to these questions can provide valuable insights into the type of work environment and management style that resonates with the candidate, helping you determine if they align with your company’s culture and management approach.

Compensation Expectations and Career Opportunities

Discussing compensation expectations and career opportunities early in the interview process can help streamline the hiring process and ensure a mutually beneficial outcome.

Tony Lewis, an 8-year recruiting veteran, suggests asking, “What are your minimum salary requirements?” This question can help you identify if a candidate’s expectations align with your budget, preventing potential misunderstandings or wasted time later in the process.

Michael Deeb, a recruiter with over 4 years of experience, recommends asking, “Understanding that you’re happy in your current position, what factors would you consider if you were to make a career change at this time?” This open-ended question allows candidates to articulate their motivations for seeking a new role, whether it’s related to compensation, work-life balance, professional growth, or other factors.

Commitment and Follow-Through

Assessing a candidate’s commitment and ability to follow through on responsibilities is essential for any role. One effective question to gauge this is, “What steps or techniques do you take to ensure you meet the commitments of your role?”

As Kimberly Russell, a recruiter with over 5 years of experience, explains, “Dedicated, committed employees will be able to speak to their efforts to ensure they do a good job in their roles. They will speak to prioritizing tasks and managing their time.”

Legal Eligibility and Visa Requirements

For certain roles or industries, it’s crucial to ensure that candidates are legally eligible to work without the need for sponsorship. Kimberly Russell recommends asking, “Upon hire, can you provide proof of your legal right to work in the U.S. without the current or future need for sponsorship?”

This question can help you identify potential roadblocks early in the process and streamline the hiring of candidates who meet the necessary legal requirements.


Conducting effective interviews is an art form that requires careful preparation and a strategic approach to questioning. By incorporating the insights and best practices shared by experienced recruiters, you can craft a comprehensive set of interview questions tailored to your specific hiring needs.

Remember, every interview and every hire is an opportunity to strengthen your team and drive your organization’s success. By asking the right questions and actively listening to candidates’ responses, you can make informed decisions and attract top talent that aligns with your company’s values and goals.

How to Hire Only the Best People – 7 Questions to ask candidates


What is a good number of questions to ask in an interview?

Asking 2-3 questions will let the interviewer know that you are interested in the company and the position. Below are some questions to consider asking.

What do recruiters ask when they call you?

If they are looking to hire someone to work a certain shift, they will likely be asking if that shift would work for you. They might ask about other things like licenses as well, confirm your education, maybe see if you have the skills the manager has said are required but not always.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *