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All About People

Career Staffing & Recruiting

Interview Questions That Get to the Heart of It

Tell me about yourself. Where do you see yourself in five years? What is your biggest flaw? These job interview questions are mainstays for a reason. This is important information — something you want to know before someone starts working for you. But often, you don’t get the answers you’re looking for, either because the applicant prepared a rote answer or because the candidate is being less than honest. How do you keep this from happening? Here is a list of five of All About People’s favorite interview questions, and why they work so well.



  1. Imagine it’s one year in the future, and you’re thinking that you’ve never been happier. What happened in the past year to make you say that?

    This is a great question for getting at what they are really looking for in a position. In the best answers, the applicant will completely embrace this reality, and consider the potential for long-term happiness. This can help get to the heart of whether they’re looking for the right job.

  2. What would your current or most recent boss say are your best and worst qualities?

    This is a great question, because it asks for a few things at once. First, it asks for an objective rating of candidates’ abilities and how they bring value to their current organization. But on a deeper level, it also asks them to be empathetic to their current boss, and think about what their job does for others.

  3. What do you think are the most important qualities of successful people, and how do you rate yourself in those areas?

    This will give you insight into what candidates value in a leader and how honest they’re being. Many of our favorite qualities are aspirational, so it could tell you how they hope to grow in the next few years.

  4. What would you do if a manager or coworker made a decision you didn’t agree with?

    Their answer to this question will reveal how candidates deal with interpersonal conflicts and cooperation, while also giving you insight into how seriously they consider their contributions to a company’s success. If their answer is either lukewarm or overly confrontational, that should raise concerns.

  5. Do you have any questions for me?

    If the answer to this question is no, that should be an immediate red flag. Not only does it indicate a lack of emotional investment in the interview, but it also shows a lack of creativity. Applicants can use the opportunity to ask questions to find out if you have any misgivings about hiring them, or see if there are concerns about work history that they can address. If the applicant doesn’t take the time to figure out whether this position is for them and whether you have any lingering concerns, that’s a big sign that they don’t care that much about getting the job.

This list of questions is certainly not all you’ll need, but they’re a great starting point for getting to the heart of what you need to know about the candidate sitting in front of you. As a hiring manager, it’s important to have a creative bank of questions to get genuine and revealing answers out of candidates. So try these out, and if you come up with more, share them on our social media channels!