The 7 Best Open Ended Interview Questions

During a job interview, open ended questions provide valuable opportunities to peek behind the veil of prepared answers and find out what a job candidate is really like. The following are interview questions designed to get applicants to reveal more about themselves.

1. “Well…why don’t you start with telling me about yourself?”

As an hiring manager, pay attention to not only how impressive well the candidate can speak of themself, but also to how the candidate demonstrates her willingness to take the initiative in answering the question. Self motivated employees can do their jobs without constant supervision or motivational tricks.

2. “How would you go about handling _______?”

This question is designed to test technical knowledge. While candidates may claim to have experience in your industry, a question like this will test whether or not they actually know what they are doing.

3. “So, tell me about some of your biggest failures or regrets.”

This question tests honesty and sense of personal responsibility. Does the candidate take responsibility for their failures or do they blame others? Do they learn from their mistakes? Can they answer the question without going into personal details?

4. “If I were to call one of your co-workers, what would they say about you?”

This is a great way to indirectly find out whether or not a candidate can put their self in the shoes of another co-worker and to find out how well they can work with others, and also empathize with others.

5. “How have you handled conflict with coworkers in the past?”

We all have had at least one conflict with a coworker in the past. If the applicant denies ever having a conflict, dig a little deeper. This question is valuable for helping you determine whether or not a candidate is a good team player.

6. “Give me an example of a stressful situation at work and how you handled it. What did you do well? What could you have done better?”

The ability to work under pressure demonstrates that an employee is committed and can handle stress. For this question, look for specific answers that illustrate strength under pressure.

7. “Tell me about the strengths and weaknesses of your last boss.”

This can reveal how your applicant works with superiors and whether he will fit well under the new management style. Does the applicant have plenty of bad things to say about her last boss? Does she respond well to professional criticism? Ask for specific examples to back up her evaluation.

I came up with 7 — would love for you to share more in the comments!

Also, if you’re recruiting new employees, you may want to include an employee benefit statement during the interview to showcase how much your company spends on salary and benefits for your employees.


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