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San Antonio, TX

Advanced knowledge of programming language(s), software development tools and environment(s) and systems analysis and functional design

Top Interview Questions Every Employer Should Ask

October 9, 2012
Top Interview Questions Every Employer Should Ask

The primary goal of that final face-to-face interview is drilling into a candidate’s background and experience to determine if they are truly the right match for the job. At this point of the interview process, it is important for interviewers to learn as much as they can about their top candidates by asking questions relating to the following key areas:


Career Progression


Instead of asking ‘expected questions’, let a candidate discuss their professional experience on their own. Avoid short answer questions and ask questions that can reveal a candidate’s professional development and what they’re looking for in the future. Consider asking:


  • What personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of? Why?
  • In what areas have you improved the most? How?
  • Summarize your career to this point.
  • How does this opportunity align with your future goals?


Interest in Opportunity


While top candidates should research your company and position details, the interview is an employer’s chance to quiz how much that candidate actually knows about the opportunity. Additionally, employers should also narrow down if there is anything that may hinder an offer including conflicts concerning money, travel, family or their current job. Consider the following questions:


  • Why is this the right job for you?
  • What characteristics of our company and this opportunity are most attractive to you?
  • What, if anything, would prevent you from taking this offer?


Personality, Work Ethic and Environment


Motivation is a key trait of many top employees, so it is important to find out what encourages each candidate. While you may want a competitive employee who demonstrates a passion for excellence, it may also be important to find a candidate who is a team player. To find out if an interviewee is a cultural fit, consider covering the following topics:


  • What are your top three motivators?
  • How do your peers view you?
  • Describe a time where you excelled in an individual performance situation.
  • Describe a time where you excelled in a team environment.
  • What type of professional environment is ideal for you?
  • How do you respond to change? 
    • Tip:  Give an example of how you navigated a large change in your professional past, whether it was an organizational or critical process change.


Finally, when conducting an effective face to face interview, it’s important to listen first and talk second. Allowing the candidate to expand on a topic will enable you to learn more about what is valuable to that candidate and uncover red flags and narrow down which candidate fits best with your organization. The style of the interviewer is also important. People who ask short response questions won’t have the opportunity to really get to know a candidate.


Take the time to learn about each candidate you interview and find out which one stands out most. Your goal as an employer is to see who the person is, where they’re going in their career and how they align with your company.


About the author

Donnie Dewey, PMP has been with Kforce since June 2003 and is currently Market Vice President in Atlanta, GA. Before moving to Atlanta, he spent 9 years at Kforce's corporate headquarters working with multiple teams and reached the level of Sr. Director of Kforce's National Recruiting Center in 2011. Donnie also served in the United States Marine Corps from 1997 - 2003, reaching the rank of Sergeant.

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About this blog
Knowledge Employed is a career advice blog and job tips resource center, created and managed by Kforce’s staffing specialists. Whether you are a professional needing career advice or a hiring authority seeking business guidance, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and tools.