Best Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates – Job Attraction

This is part six of a 12-part series.

Creating a successful and productive team starts with finding great employees who fit your organizational culture. And while you may receive hundreds of job applications and interested parties, narrowing down the talent pool to hire the right candidate for the job goes beyond what hiring managers can surmise by reading cover letters and applicants’ resumes, especially when studies show 85% of applicants lie on their resumes. This is where the art of the interview comes into play.

According to a study, although a typical interview averages 40 minutes, 33% of hiring managers decide whether they want to hire a job candidate within the first 90 seconds of an interview. To ensure you’re completely thorough and make the right decision, it’s important to ask the right questions to fully understand and evaluate a candidate. During this 12-part series, we will explore the best interview questions to ask job candidates and give a few “pro tips” along the way.

Part Six – Uncovering an Interviewee’s Motivation for Applying for the Role

Question: Why did you apply for this job?

Follow ups: What about the position excites you? Why do you want to work for this company?

There can be several reasons why a job seeker applies for a position. From simply testing the waters of new employment to looking for any job opening for which they qualify to a piqued interest in the role, uncovering what attracted the candidate to apply for an open position can be great foundationally.

To have a productive, engaged team, it’s important to fill your workplace with top talent who align with the values of the company and are eager build upon the mission of the company. And while there may be plenty of individuals who are qualified and have the necessary experience to do the job, it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff and hire a highly engaged, enthusiastic candidate.

As the professional conducting the interview, you want to discover if the candidate has researched the company and fully understands the job, as well as if the candidate has thoroughly considered their career goals when applying for the position.

Seek answers that pinpoint specific aspects of the job description the candidate likes and how it fits with their career. Follow up to see how the candidate feels about working for your company by asking what interests them specifically about the company’s history or culture.


If you uncover that the candidate seemed to have just applied blindly, it doesn’t necessarily mean they would be a bad fit. Employees can be motivated by multiple factors from job security to money to schedule flexibility. During the Great Resignation, workers are leaving current positions in record numbers to jump ship to greener pastures; however, what may be a more attractive position to some, won’t be the same for others. Dig deeper to uncover the candidate’s true motivation and determine if it aligns with what your organization is looking for.

What is your favorite question to ask a job candidate? How do you decide who the right candidate is? Let us know in the comments section below!

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