Having a list of good interview questions can greatly improve your ability to select the best candidate when interviewing a pool of candidates. Here are some steps that can help you build out that list.

1. Break down your questions into categories
An interview is kind of like a sales meeting in that you have a certain amount of time with the other person and how well you use the time together will greatly impact your results.

One way that many interviewers handle this is to simply have an improvised conversation with the candidate during the time together. One main problem with this casual approach is that you might not get all of the interview questions in that you need to ask to really vet the applicant.

Another way to go is to add more structure to your conversation and do this by breaking down your questions into categories. For example, below are some main categories to organize around:

  • Work experience
  • Educational background
  • Skills
  • Personality traits
  • Financial details
  • Availability

When you break down your interview questions into categories, this will help you to build out a more comprehensive list of questions in terms of asking the things you really need to know in order to make the best decision.

This will also help you to manage the interview better as you can then structure the time so that you spend time on each category and this will help you to improve your consistency with asking all of the questions that you need to ask.

2. Identify the ideal candidate attributes
Once you have broken down the main categories of interview questions that you want to ask, you can then list out attributes for the ideal candidate for each category. Attributes are the traits, qualities, or characteristics of the perfect person for the position you are looking to fill.

For example, there are a number of personality traits that you might look for in someone that would fit well. Here are a few:

  • Self-starter
  • Organized
  • Good work ethic
  • Works well with others
  • Able to adapt to change
  • Works well in a fast pace environment

Some of those might sound like a attribute but this list could actually be different when building interview questions for one job from another. One position may require the person to work well in a team structure where as another might require an individual to work independently.

3. Build an interview question for each attribute
The next step here to build a good list of questions is to build one to three questions for each attribute that you are looking for. This will give you an optimum list of questions that will position you to do your best job at screening candidates.

Here is an example. If you need someone that works well independently, you may want to ask them the question below:

Do you prefer to work in a team environment working closely with others or would you rather work independently?

Their answer to this will tell you have they align with that particular attribute. And if you follow that process in terms of having a question for each attribute and then ask all of the applicants the same list of questions, at the end of the interviewing you will have a clear picture of the applicants that fit best.


InterviewScripter helps you to build good interview questions helping you to screen for the perfect candidate.