100 Interview Questions to Screen for the Best Talent

6 min read
Jan 10, 2017

interview like a boss

All companies are only as strong as their employees. The more skilled and talented the workers are, the more effective the company will be.

Therefore, it is critical that organizations do their due diligence to hire the best candidates the first time around. Companies need to not only hire folks who are best qualified for the job, they also need to consider other factors like culture fit. Additionally, they need to try to extend job offers to the candidates that are most likely to stick around for the foreseeable future; not only is replacing employees expensive, it may take new hires as long as six months to become fully productive at work — which means your existing staffers, who are already overworked, will have to pick up some additional slack if you continually have to replace employees.

While there’s nothing you can do to fully ensure you’ll hire the best workers, you can increase your chances you’ll hire top talent by asking the right questions. Drawing a blank as to what those questions might look like? We’ve got you covered. Here are 100 interview questions that will help you hire the best talent:

  • Whats one professional accomplishment that isnt an experience youd want to repeat?
  • Whats your definition of hard working?
  • What do you like most about our company?
  • What do you hope to get out of this job?
  • Tell me about a time when you accomplished an impressive goal. How did you get it done?
  • What question didnt I ask that I shouldve?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • How do you keep up with industry trends?
  • What three adjectives would you use to describe yourself?
  • Tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it.
  • If I were to talk to your former or current boss, what would they say about you?
  • How do you form relationships with your coworkers?
  • What would you do during the first week on the job here?
  • In five minutes, explain something complicated that you know well.
  • Tell me about a time a deadline was approaching and you were far from ready. What did you do?
  • Whats one thing youd like to achieve in life?
  • How would your current coworkers describe you? Are there any of them that you just don’t get along with?
  • If you could hear any business leader speak, who would it be and why?
  • Whats your favorite book and why?
  • What was the biggest challenge you overcame at your previous job?
  • How do you ensure you meet your deadlines?
  • How would you bridge communication gaps with a team thats overseas?
  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
  • What were the top three things you disliked least about your previous job?
  • Tell me about a time you disagreed with a decision and the outcome of it.
  • Are you most productive when your day is thoroughly defined or if you get things done at your own pace?
  • Are you interviewing for jobs at other companies?
  • If you started your own company today, what would your top five values be?
  • Lets say we offer you the job. How do you show your new coworkers what kind of worker you are on day one?
  • Tell me about a time you faced a conflict while working as part of a team.
  • What convention do most companies hold that you think is ridiculous (e.g., “work starts at 9 a.m. every single day”)?
  • Describe your decision-making process.
  • Give an example of how you handled a situation where you needed information from a colleague who wasn't responsive.
  • Is it important to be honest — even if you could get in trouble?
  • Tell me about a time you took on a leadership role.
  • Who was the best boss you worked for? What made them extra special?
  • Tell me about a time when you were overwhelmed by the amount of work on your agenda. How did you handle it? 
  • How would you handle it if the priorities for a project you were working on were suddenly changed?
  • Describe a point in your career when management made a decision you disagreed with. How did you respond?
  • You realize that an early mistake in a project is going to put you behind deadline. What do you do?
  • How would you go about simplifying a complex issue in order to explain it to a colleague?
  • What would you do if you misunderstood an important communication on the job? 
  • What’s your philosophy on work-life balance?
  • Do you prefer leading or taking directions?
  • What would your ideal brainstorming session be like?
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and only had time to answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
  • What was the best or most favorite project youve ever worked on?
  • Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some change. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?
  • Give me an example of a time you managed numerous responsibilities. How did you handle that?
  • Describe a time when you saw some problem and took the initiative to correct it rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
  • What was the best job youve ever had?
  • Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.
  • If you could change anything about your career, what would it be?
  • Describe a project that required input from people at different levels in the organization.
  • Are you the type of worker who asks for feedback or does things on your own?
  • What’s your favorite color and why?
  • If you could be an animal, which one would you be?
  • Share a rewarding team experience.
  • Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem.
  • If you were a cartoon character, which one would you be?
  • If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
  • What was the best idea you came up with at your last job?
  • What was the most innovative thing youve accomplished at your previous job?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
  • Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
  • Tell me about a decision that you regret.
  • Tell me about a situation in which you had to adjust to changes that you had no control over. How did you handle it?
  • What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision?
  • If you don’t know the answer to something, how do you go about finding it?
  • Would you rather ask someone for help or have someone ask you for help?
  • When your boss tells you to do something that you don’t want to do, how do you respond?
  • Give me an example of a time you discovered an error that been overlooked by a colleague.
  • Tell me about a time you had to sell an idea to a coworker or manager?
  • When was the last time you thought “outside the box” and how did you do it?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information you needed.
  • What is your most memorable experience from a past job?
  • Give me an example of an important career goal that you set yourself and tell me how you reached it.
  • Tell me about a time when your initiative caused a change to occur.
  • What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients in guiding and maintaining successful work relationships?
  • Let’s say a client asks you to do something outside your job description. How do you respond?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or help others to compromise.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to settle a dispute between team members.
  • Tell me about a particular work-related setback youve faced.
  • Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something you had never done before. How did you react? What did you learn?
  • What are the three things that are most important to you in a job?
  • Tell me about one of your favorite experiences working with a team.
  • Give me an example of a time when you felt you led by example. 
  • When was the last occasion you asked for direct feedback from a colleague or manager?
  • How do you determine what amount of time is reasonable for a task?
  • What will you miss most about your current job?
  • When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Tell me about a project that you planned. How did you organize and schedule the tasks?
  • Tell me about the toughest decision you had to make in the last six months
  • Tell me about a time when you were communicating with someone and they didnt understand you. What did you do?
  • What’s the biggest misconception your coworkers have about you and why do they think that?
  • Tell me about a time in the last week when you’ve been satisfied, energized, and productive at work. What were you doing?
  • Tell me about a time when you were assigned a task outside of your job description. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?  
  • Heres a problem: [problem]. Can you come up with a win-win situation for it?



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