How to Interview a Candidate for Your Team: 6 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Team Member

One of the first steps in the hiring process is to really nail down your interview questions.


Asking the right questions can help you weed out those who aren’t a good fit for your company, as well as identify those who are likely to be valuable additions to your team.

While some of this process will come down to trial and error, there are definitely certain questions that will get you off to a good start.

Following are 6 questions to ask before hiring a team member. These will help you identify both the hard and soft skills that you’re looking for in a team member, giving you the best chance of finding the perfect candidate!

6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Team Member


1. Why do you think you’d be a good fit at this company, in particular?

There are two things I love about this question: First, it gives you some insight into the candidate’s views about their own skillset. And second, it gives them the chance to share what they know about your company…or don’t know. For instance, if their response is something really generic like, “I’m a hard worker and always meet deadlines”, this may indicate their lack of knowledge about your business. While this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, it will help you identify candidates who have gone above and beyond to learn about your business.

2. What do you do when you don’t know how to complete a task?

Resourcefulness is a key trait to have in a team member. You don’t want someone who gets easily overwhelmed or who just gives up when they don’t know something, but rather someone who knows exactly how to get the answers they need. Ask for the specific steps the person takes when they don’t know how to do something, so you can weed out the self-starters from the rest!

3. Why are you leaving your current job or position?

How someone talks about their current job or boss says a lot about them. For instance, if a candidate speaks really negatively about their boss, or goes on and on about how much they hated the work, this could be an indication that they’ll be a toxic employee. Look for people who speak respectfully (though truthfully) about current or past employers, and who are able to identify how their past position(s) helped them grow…even if they didn’t love the work.

If a candidate speaks really negatively about their boss, or goes on and on about how much they hated the work, this could be an indication that they’ll be a toxic employee.Click To Tweet

4. What are your salary expectations?

While it’s natural to want to shy away from talking about money, it’s super important to make sure salary expectations are clear right from the start. I know of one interviewer, for instance, who went through an entire 3-interview process with a candidate, thinking this was definitely the right person for the job. But when the candidate was offered the job, he stated his salary expectation…which was much more than the employer could afford. While it may be awkward to have this conversation in your first interview, it’s better to be transparent rather than waste everyone’s time. Not sure how much you should be paying for a certain job? Here is a great tool from that can help!

5. What is your ultimate career goal?

Ideally, you’ll want to hire people who are going to stick around for a while. There’s nothing worse than investing time and money into hiring and training someone, only to have them bail on you 6-12 months later. One way to avoid this is to find out what your potential hires are hoping for over the long term. Are they looking at this job as a stepping stone to something bigger and better? Or is this a job they can see themselves enjoying for many years? Better to know sooner rather than later.

6. What do you see as your biggest strengths and weaknesses?

This is a good question for seeing how honest and self-aware a candidate is. If you get the old, “My greatest weakness is that I work too hard” answer, you may be dealing with someone who isn’t interested in being transparent with you…or who truly doesn’t think they have any real weaknesses. In either case, this is very likely not the right person for your team!

Final Thoughts

As a small business owner, building a team will be one of your most important tasks.

Knowing exactly which questions to ask before hiring a team member is key…and I trust this post has helped.

I’d love to hear from you: Are you looking to hire someone for your team? Which questions above do you feel are most important? Let me know in the comments below!

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