As you write an interview script for a business to use in the hiring process, you should always ask yourself: how does this question help the hiring manager better understand the candidate?

Hiring managers usually want to see questions that will assess the individual’s general ideals, experience, and behavior in the workplace. Yes, they are given a candidate’s resume and know what type of experience they have displayed on paper, but hiring managers also want to hear from candidates what impact this experience made and how they talk about themselves in the jobs they have had.

However, a great interview script writer will go beyond the basic and expected questions. Asking a combination of behavioral questions and tactical questions help to get an idea about the person’s skills and competence according to the position you are writing for. Here are some examples of the types of questions that will reveal this information and help uncover an individual’s true work ethic during the hiring process. Knowing what companies are looking for is key to writing compelling intervie scripts.

Warming Up

Find out what they like to do in their spare time.

Asking a question about the person’s hobbies will give a little more insight into the kind of person they are and helps them loosen up a bit and feel relaxed at the start of the interview.

Ask about past work experience.

Hiring managers always want to get a feel for how long the applicant has been employed, how often they have changed jobs in the past and why, how long they have stayed in one place, and what the responsibilities were they had while in their position.

Ask about their strengths and what they think makes them right for the position.

Give the applicant the opportunity to advocate for themselves and tell the hiring manager why they are a good fit for this position. You can also ask them to delve further into areas where they would like to improve and how this position would be a good learning opportunity for them.

Behavioral Questions

Ask how they work in a team environment and what “team environment’ means to them.

It is important to know if this individual is someone that works well with others. Ask them to give an example of when they had to work as a team with their fellow employees and why they value that experience and work ethic.

Have them talk about a time when they had to take a leadership role.

Leadership questions shouldn't only be reserved for management positions -- every employee should possess the ability to lead. It is also helpful to know if this person has growth potential when it comes to their future with the company.

Have them discuss an example of a conflict they came across in the workplace and how they handled it.

You must know how the person deals with stressful situations and what their problem solving skills are like. Does this individual seem confident or intimidated in the face of conflict? Do you they seem like they would handle it aggressively or with a calm and fair demeanor?

Ask them about a mistake that they made and what they did to fix it.

This question acknowledges that no one is perfect. You know that they will not always be perfect, but you do expect them to be able to fix their mistakes if they happen. Asking an individual to discuss their flaws puts them in an awkward position and they may fumble with their answer at first. The way they discuss this topic and how honest they are about it will reveal a lot about their character.

Ask what gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Asking this question will clue you into the candidate’s work ethic and how hard they are willing to work. You want to know that they are going to be the type to take initiative, that they are someone that you can rely on, and that they will go that extra mile for their team.

Tactical Questions

These types of questions are really role-specific, and so you should use your personal expertise with the role to dictate these questions. If the candidate has to know how to use specific types of software or solve specific kinds of problems, this is where you should get very specific in your questions. These questions are incredibly valuable to hiring managers who may not be experts in the role themselves.

Make Room for Improvisation

Sometimes the interview may deviate from the standard interview script, and that is okay. The real purpose of the interview script is to help the hiring manager get a full sense of the candidate. As long as they have all the questions, there is nothing wrong with them going off-script and learning a little bit more about a person.

Hiring managers have interview scripts so they are sure to cover all the bases and get a fair assessment from each candidate. If there are any extra questions that you want to throw into the mix that are optional, then do so. Customize the feel of the questions however you want to ensure that you are getting the types of responses that the business is looking for. At the end of the day, what matters most is that the company ends up hiring a person they are happy with, thanks to your script.

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