Are Your Interview Questions Getting Stale?

By Megan McQuade On March 20, 2019

Have you ever fallen into the robotic routine of interviewing? You find yourself going through the motions, recording notes, and looking forward to minute 29 of 30 on the interview clock. If so, SNAP OUT OF IT!

Stale Interview Questions

Are Your Interview Questions Getting Stale?

Gone are the days of YES/NO interview questions. Today, interviewers fill their notepads and tablets with the answers to open-ended and behavioral-based questions. However, if your questions have become too scripted, too mundane, too boring.... It's time to spice your list of interview questions up! 

After all, you're assessing a person, not just his/her answers to questions. And, don't forget, that same person is assessing you too! If your energy is low or your vibe is sour, the person on the other end of the table can feel it. Not only are you representation of your department during an interview. You're also an ambassador for your company's brand.

If your interview questions are getting stale, a quick call to a peer or a simple "behavioral-based interview questions" google search will help you out. However, it's best to be thoughtful about the questions you're asking. Time is precious during an interview and the stakes are high. How can you get the most from your candidate during these precious minutes? And, how can you give back too?

TruPath recruiters compiled some of their favorite interview questions to ask candidates. These questions allow candidates to open up, showcase personality, express opinions, and paint vivid pictures of past experiences.

1. Tell me about yourself....

Sounds way too simple, right? Wrong! Don't skip niceties before you dive into the interview. However, if you skip pleasantries, ask this question to get your interview started. This open-ended question allows the candidate to steer the conversation in any direction - personal, professional, left-field... lol. Regardless, it gives you a glimpse into the person's life. You might find interesting, relatable or relevant facts to expand on later.

2. Walk me through a "day in the life" of your current role....

Resumes are a bulleted list of duties and accomplishments. Furthermore, titles and responsibilities vary greatly from one company to the next. So, ask the candidate to describe a typical day to you. As they're speaking, can you relate to their current workload? Can you visualize how their skills and duties might transfer to your open role? You can take a spin on this question by asking the candidate to walk you through a recent "abnormal" day on the job!

3. What would you like your future employer to know about you?

This is the ultimate open-ended question that generally leads a candidate to discuss strengths or unique qualities. Once, a colleague of mine said that he was professionally kind of an @$$. This statement might make you chuckle! And, you may wonder what prompted this comment... Instead, I challenge you to think about how helpful this comment might be during an interview. Maybe you are looking for a directive leader who will whip a team into shape. Or, maybe you need a team player who can develop talent at all different levels. A comment like this most certainly helps you assess talent!

4. How would you describe your leadership style OR how do you prefer to be managed?

How often have you heard the saying - Employees don't leave a company, they leave their leader (boss)? Leaders have a LARGE impact on an organization's culture. Good leaders are very self aware  - strengths and opportunities. This question helps gauge if a person might be a good cultural fit for a new environment. At times, you may be looking for a cultural disruptor or a catalyst for change. Style matters. There is no better way to assess this than by directly asking.

5. Tell me about a time when you were up against a tight deadline. How did you accomplish your goal?

Finally, a behavioral question to the core. We had to give you one! There's always a question in rotation about opportunities or a compromising situation. Here's an alternate. This question helps assess a person's ability to navigate a critical situation. Does the candidate stay calm, does he/she partner with others or does the person demonstrates multi-tasking ninja skills? You can learn a lot about someone by their behavior during a crunch.

We hope these interview questions get your creative juices flowing. Maybe you can add one into your current interview question rotation. Have any additional questions that you think we should add to this list? We would love to hear from you!


As a trusted recruitment source since 2002, recruiters at TruPath have a customizable process that helps partners (clients) feel comfortable in their search for a candidate. Contact TruPath today to tell us about your staffing needs. 

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