101 Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring Almost Anyone

  1. How would you describe a work environment that fits your personality best?
  2. What are the signs that an employer is good to work for?
  3. What do you consider your pet peeves in the workplace?
  4. How do you learn best? Seeing? Doing? Hearing? Taking Notes? One-on-one? In groups?
  5. Do you have a computer at home? What do you use it for?
  6. What computer programs have you used most?
  7. What might make you angry at work?
  8. Do you prefer to have a window visible from your workstation?
  9. What’s the best vacation you ever took in your life?
  10. What’s the worst vacation you ever took in your life?
  11. What do you know about our practice?
  12. What do you think the responsibilities of this job are?
  13. What do you think compassion is?
  14. How do you have compassion for a patient who is yelling at you?
  15. Have you ever been asked to do something at work that made you uncomfortable? What was it and how did you handle it?
  16. What’s the best present you ever received?
  17. What’s the worst present you ever received?
  18. What was the very first job you had as a young person where you got paid?
  19. Is it difficult for you to see people in pain?
  20. If you were asked to bring a home-cooked dish to a work gathering, what would you make?
  21. How would you describe appreciation in the workplace?
  22. What are some ways you like to be appreciated?
  23. Give me an example of a project that you made a significant contribution to (at work or any other environment.)
  24. Tell me something about yourself that would surprise me.
  25. What was your favorite task at your (present or last) job?
  26. What was your least favorite task at your (present or last) job?
  27. What skill that you learned at another job do you think you could use in this job?
  28. What interests you about this practice?
  29. How do you define compassion?
  30. If you consider yourself a compassionate person, describe how you display it.
  31. Do you enjoy movies? What kind?
  32. Do you enjoy books? What kind do you like?
  33. What is your best mechanism for relieving stress?
  34. Have you ever collected money from people as a part of a job?
  35. What do you wish you could learn to do if you had the chance?
  36. What do you think your current/last boss would say about your job performance?
  37. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
  38. Describe a failure that taught you something.
  39. What is your response to someone who is verbally threatening you?
  40. Who (outside of a family member) has taught you the most?
  41. Have there been tasks at previous jobs that you enjoyed that others didn’t? What were they?
  42. What’s the best team you’ve been on and why?
  43. What would you do about a close co-worker who isn’t pulling her weight and is making you work harder?
  44. Based on your work experiences, what is one thing most employers could do better?
  45. What do you hope to gain from this job?
  46. What in your life are you passionate about?
  47. What is offensive to you in the workplace?
  48. What do you think “being to work on time” means?
  49. Tell me about a special pet you’ve had or have now.
  50. Why do you/do you want to work in healthcare?
  51. What have you heard about us as a company?
  52. Name 5 things you could do with a cantaloupe besides eat it.
  53. What is the best employment benefit you’ve ever received at a job?
  54. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever been asked to do at work?
  55. What makes you laugh?
  56. What accomplishment are you proudest of?
  57. What do you think the expression “rolling with the punches” means?
  58. Describe a situation (work or non-work) when you were the team leader.
  59. What would you do in a situation where a problem occurs over and over again without anyone taking steps to fix it?
  60. Describe your current boss/last boss using three words.
  61. What do you think it means to give someone “the benefits of the doubt”?
  62. What is the best conference or seminar you’ve ever attended, either for work or outside of work?
  63. How would you handle a co-worker who uses language that you feel is inappropriate in the workplace?
  64. Do you consider yourself a detail person? If so, give an example of your attention to detail.
  65. What motivates you to go the extra mile in the workplace?
  66. When was the last time that you felt you really made a difference at your job? Please describe.
  67. What’s your favorite sports team?
  68. What do you think the expression “It is what it is” means?
  69. What kind of music do you like?
  70. Do you play any musical instruments?
  71. What would you do if your boss had really horrible bad breath?
  72. How do you define professionalism?
  73. Do you think you are good with money? if so, why?
  74. How do you know when it’s time to schedule a mental health day?
  75. If you were asked to choose between writing a report by yourself, giving a report at a staff meeting or being part of a team writing a report, which would you prefer to do?
  76. What’s your favorite soft drink and why?
  77. If you were in charge of collecting money for an office function and one person never paid up, how would resolve this?
  78. Do you consider yourself good with technology?
  79. Describe the last time you had to ask your supervisor for help.
  80. What do you think irritates others about you?
  81. Do you have any problems remembering to clock in and out daily?
  82. Do you any trips or time off already scheduled going forward?
  83. What’s the favorite city or house you’ve ever lived in?
  84. Would you be available to work overtime if needed?
  85. What type of co-worker is the hardest for you to deal with?
  86. What do think are the signs of a well-run office?
  87. Have you ever made a suggestion at work that you thought was “out of the box”?
  88. Are you a good speller?
  89. What is the dress code at your current/former employer?  What do or don’t you like about it?
  90. What do you think “casual day or dress down day” means?
  91. What questions do you have for me?

Questions for Supervisors:

  1. What do you find hardest about supervising people?
  2. Give me an example of a situation where you made an exception to an office policy and why.
  3. What is the best way to handle a face-to-face patient complaint?
  4. What do you think should be the first priority for the person in this position?
  5. How do you stop people from gossiping in the office?
  6. What is your personal philosophy on customer service?
  7. What do you do when you find your stress level increasing?
  8. What’s your favorite trick for staying organized?
  9. Is there ever any situation when you think it is appropriate to share something an employee said to you in confidence?
  10. What’s your favorite technique for achieving a win/win outcome to a problem?

Let me know about any great questions you think should be added to the list!

Posted in: Human Resources

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2 Comments

  1. Heinz May 15, 2010

    These are all niave questions Pat. What are you trying to gain asking people about their best,worst, most and greatest. Are you testing their memory? I want to know if they can do the job, letting them show me during the interview.

  2. Mary Pat Whaley May 15, 2010

    Hi Heinz,

    By asking non-traditional questions, I’m looking for attitudes that might not show up during a typical Q & A interview. I have always said that I would rather have an employee with a great attitude and less than perfect skills than I would an employee with a rotten attitude and stellar skills. Most employees are somewhere in between the two. If I have a less formal interview and ask them some questions about their likes and dislikes, I not only hear the answer, I hear what else they have to say about themselves and their work experiences. Most employees will rehearse the traditional questions and answers, but might be more genuine when answering a question they haven’t rehearsed.

    I agree with you that a very good test is to have someone in the workplace seeing the actual job and asking questions, but I would be interested to know how they can show you if they can do the job during the interview. I believe in pre-employment testing, but somehow I don’t think that’s what you’re hinting at.

    Share your technique, Heinz!

    Best wishes,

    Mary Pat

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