Interview Questions — The Best and the Worst

Joseph Rios EdD
5 min readFeb 7, 2022

Our interview questions can sometimes thwart attempts in hiring the best candidates. Learn how to identify some clunkers and replace them with quality questions!

Photo by Maksim Chernyshev on Scopio

Let’s do some guided imagery to kick off this post. Imagine this: You and your team will need to hire a new person to round out your staff team. You’re the hiring manager or selected to be part of an interview team. Perhaps it’s an expected vacancy. Or it’s a vacancy you weren’t expecting. And perhaps funding for an entirely new position came through. In any of these cases, resumes will be reviewed and top candidates will be invited for an interview.

At this point in the imagery, you have to think about the process that follows, as it varies from industry to industry. Thinking about my husband’s field of biotech, new hire interviews can last up to five hours over several days of interviews. However, in my previous field of student affairs, final interviews could last between six to eight hours and even up to two days (True Story!). That’s either a little time to fill or hours and hours to fill with questions. But in each interview slot, you still need quality questions to determine if the candidate is the best for the position.

In your imagined job to fill, what are the questions you want to ask? Questions you need to ask? And questions you think would be fun to ask?

Now ask yourself: which ones will help you find the best candidate for the job?

Good Questions Matter

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how interviewers can and should shift to a culture-add mindset when bringing in candidates. I shared a few resources on how to add questions to your mix of questions to help with your selection.

But I am also reminded that not all questions and all resources are great to consider.

Below I will share some questions to consider adding and those you should think about taking out to help create the best interview environment.

The Worst

In doing some research for this post, I ran across a few questions that were suggested to add to your interviews. I won’t share the names of the sites that provided these questions, but if any version shows up on…

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Joseph Rios EdD

I believe leadership is the expression of values. Career Coach | Educator | Writer | Social Justice Advocate | Trainer. leadershipandvaluesinaction.com