"What can you tell me about yourself?" and "What are some qualities you want to work on?" are standard interview questions because they work. They get some vital information out of a job candidate, and that can certainly inform hiring decisions, but they may not go far enough to really help determine whether this is a talent or culture fit.
With that in mind, hiring managers likely have to do more to coax the best answers to their most important concerns out of candidates, and the following five questions will likely help them do so:
1) "Why should we hire you?"
Sometimes it pays to just lay it out on the table, according to Monster. Just asking this straightforward question could produce some surprising answers, because it might not be something candidates expect to be asked. The answers here may be particularly illuminating because people may be equally straightforward in highlighting why they think they're ideal for the position. If their answers align with what you're looking for, that's probably a good sign that they're the right one for the job.
2) "What was the last project you led, and what was its outcome?"
Getting people to talk at length about something they headed up is often effective when it comes to finding out their roles in projects that might line up nicely with what your company would want from a new hire, Monster added. And even if there's not a one-to-one correlation here, you might still find some new and interesting paths to take the conversation as it relates to leadership, meeting goals and other considerations.
3) "What are you passionate about?"
It's sad but true: Not everyone is passionate about what they do for a living, according to Indeed. And it's not that every candidate has to absolutely live for what the company does to be effective in an open role, but those who are both experienced and passionate likely bring a package to the table that few can match. This, too, can lead to better discussions about the things that drive a candidate to perform as well in their jobs as possible, and help hiring managers determine just how good of a fit this is.
4) "Can you tell me about a time you overcame a difficult work situation?"
Similarly, getting people to reflect on some professional struggles they've experienced in an honest way is often a good idea, Indeed noted. While candidates will certainly try to paint themselves in a good light, the fact remains that getting people talking about negative experiences is often just as helpful as when they talk about all their positives.
5) "How do you define hard work?"
Because culture fit is becoming such a critical part of team building, getting an understanding of what people are willing to do to stand out from the crowd can be quite helpful, according to Hubspot. People who are willing to roll up their sleeves and put in some extra effort are always welcome, but a company and candidate might have different definitions of what that entails. If a job seeker's answers line up with what you're looking for, you might have found your ideal candidate.