Key Interview Questions for an Interviewer to Ask

Below is our list of top interview questions to ask. To best understand this list, use the written section below alongside the video insights from our co-founders Geoff Balmer and David Landau.

​When you conduct an interview, what are the best questions to ask?

To get good, accurate answers from a candidate you don’t need a long list of questions. Simply put, it's best to ask concise questions that reflect on the skills that you want that candidate to have, and how they’ll contribute to your organisation. These questions should cover work capabilities, behaviour, and personality traits.


We’ve listed our top six questions that you should be asking in your next interview.

  1. “What was the last negative piece of feedback you received?”: This can give you an idea of how the candidate reacts to negative feedback; something that is often difficult to gauge in people until it's too late.
  2. “What did your manager say about you in your last performance review?”: Asking this can help you see where the candidate is at in regards to their performance, how they’re developing, and what they might still be working on at present. Often, this can give you a better indication than just asking a more generic question around strengths and weaknesses.
  3. “What was the most significant challenge in your current job?”: Ultimately, by asking this question, you’ll get a good look at what challenges that candidate has faced, how they reacted, and how they’ve handled certain obstacles. 
  4. “When was the last time you didn’t hit an important goal?”: Generally, if a candidate can reflect on their mistakes and learn from them it shows a good sense of character; especially if they can listen to feedback and change their approach the next time around so they can reach that important goal. 
  5. “What would your best friend want to change about you?”: A question based on the candidate’s character can give you an understanding of what that person is like, and can also tell you about the candidate's own self-awareness, and how they reflect on themselves. Plus, you’ll be able to see if their personality matches your company’s culture and how they might fit into your team. 
  6. "Can you tell me about a specific time when you over-achieved in your job?": When evaluating the answer look for examples of the candidate using the word ‘I’ over ‘we’ and also ask how they knew they’d over-achieved. 


Asking these questions can help you see how a candidate interacts with people, and how they might behave in a work environment. The ability to learn and change is crucial in today’s market, so if your candidate display’s these traits in the interview they might just be the right person for your company.

Looking for more interview advice? You can take a look at our other resources for Hiring Managers here.

If you'd like more hiring advice and resources, take a look at our toolkit, or the other topics below:


Hear advice from the Richard Lloyd Directors, Geoff Balmer and David Landau

How to Structure Your First Interview
Key Interview Questions for an Interviewer to Ask
Avoiding Common Hiring Mistakes
How to Get to the Truth in Interviews
Low Cost, High Impact Staff Retention Tools