How To | Recruiting Strategy

Top 10 interview questions in 2021

Top 10 interview questions in 2021
Maelle De Francesco

Maelle De Francesco


Even with all of the technology intended to help narrow job candidates down to only the top choices, interviewing is still a key part of the process. While artificial intelligence can reduce the time a recruiter or hiring manager spends on the process, it doesn’t replace the real-life assessment present in interviews. Asking your finalists the top interview questions will always be the best way to determine if they’ll be a good long-term fit for the job and your company.

Though work from home jobs are on the rise, remote hiring also requires a determination of the candidate’s fit with the company culture as well as aspects of what it means to self-manage and work independently and on a remote team.

What are the top 10 job interview questions to ask candidates as you make your hiring decisions this year?top 10 interview questions for recruiters

Top 10 Interview Questions of 2021

With all of the changes in the marketplace over 2020, there are some tried-and-true questions as well as new ideas that you’ll need to convey in an interview. These questions may be about their experience, aptitude, productivity, diversity, and exposure to remote work. Here are the top 10 interview questions that will help you make smart hiring decisions in 2021.

1. Tell Me About a Time When

This is less a specific question and more of a type of question you should always be asking in interviews. It’s a category known as behavioral interviewing. They’re designed to encourage the candidate to think on their feet and give you an example of an experience they’ve had on the job.

For example, you can ask “Tell me about a time when you didn’t get along with your coworkers. How did you handle that?” Or, “Tell me about a time when a project didn’t go according to plan. How did you get back on track?”

2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

You’re not looking for a body in a chair. You’re looking for a skilled professional interested in working with your business specifically. So put the onus on them to communicate their interest level to you. There’s no right answer, but you will see how much work they’ve done ahead of their interview.

What you’re looking for here how well they understand what you do and, potentially, your work culture. You want to see how they convey that your company is the right company for this stage of their career.

3. Why Did You Leave Your Last Position?

Or, if they’re still working, “Why are you looking to leave your current position?” Their answer will give you a lot of background information that could help you decide if they’ll be a good fit for your organization.

For instance, if they communicate a negative reason such as an uncooperative boss, you may have questions about their ability to work well as a part of your team. Instead, look for candidates to provide positive reasons rather than negative ideas.

4. What Motivates You?

Every person has a different set of motivators. Nothing is specific right or wrong, but some may be more compatible with your specific office environment. It’s important to understand what drives a potential candidate to see if they match your company’s values.

Someone who is motivated by creativity, innovation, and problem-solving may not thrive in a traditionally professional environment where the following procedure is the primary motivating factor.

5. Tell Me How You Handle Collaboration While Working Remotely?

Adding a few questions specific to our current workplace climate will also be essential to determine the fit of an incoming candidate. If your company is working remotely, whether temporarily or permanently, you need to know that someone is comfortable in that environment.

Working from home can feel isolating to some candidates, so asking a question about how comfortable and familiar they are with remote collaboration will help you decide.

6. What’s Your Favorite Accomplishment?

Give candidates a chance to brag. So many people are afraid to talk about the things for which they are proud, but that will give you a key insight into who they are as professionals. Encourage them to tell you about their proudest moments on the job.

You also want to see how they handle this question. Is their answer based on the kinds of skills you’re looking for when you’re hiring? Or did they share something that may be completely irrelevant but can give you an idea that maybe their heart is not in this particular industry?

7. Tell Me Your Biggest Strength? Biggest Weakness?

While some hiring managers consider questions about strengths and weaknesses cliché, they’re classics for a reason. It’s important to understand how someone will answer this question. It’s pretty clear when someone is providing the information, they think you want to hear versus being sincere.

Another way to ask this question is to find out how they work on improving their biggest weakness. It prevents the candidate from attempting to turn a strength into a weakness in an attempt to be clever.

8. How Do You Handle Conflict in the Workplace?

Whether your workplace is remote or onsite, interpersonal conflict will always be an element to consider. When hiring a new employee, you want to know they’re willing to play well with others, collaborate when necessary, take on leadership roles when it makes sense, and not create drama.

You want to hear how they can constructively conduct themselves when they butt heads with someone who thinks differently than they do.

9. Why Should We Hire You?

Toward the end of the interview, a good question to ask is “Why should I hire you?” Let the candidate explain in their own words why they feel that they would be a good fit for your organization. This is a good question to save until later so you can already have insight into who they are as a professional.

Now you want to see how they believe they can take all of the parts of themselves, add their expertise to the team, and create a successful career path within your company.

10. Do You Have any Questions for Me?

Prepared candidates will always bring questions of their own to the table. But it’s also quite possible that your questions to them will dominate the conversation. This isn’t a flaw, but they may not have an opportunity to ask important questions.

Make sure they do before you declare an end to the interview. The final question of your meeting should also be “Do you have any questions for me?” If the conversation has been a give and take, they may have had all their questions answered, but if not, this allows them to ask without feeling like they’re interrupting.

Conclusion: Top Recruiter Questions and More

At its core, hiring will always be a human endeavor. No matter how much we begin to rely on artificial intelligence or virtual workplaces, interaction is key. Recruiters and hiring managers will need to ask the questions that get to the core of each person’s motivation, productivity, and interest in the job. Knowing the top 10 questions to ask in an interview is one very important step in the right direction.

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