8 Good Questions For Managers To Hire Better Staff

8 Good Questions For Managers To Hire Better Staff

Finding the best candidates is difficult, and the next challenge comes when you have to test them. That’s where the manager comes in – they need to access essential behaviors they want team members to adopt for success. Ensuring that your team has the requisite behavior right from the beginning can save you a lot of headaches later on. After all, culture building begins right from onboarding! The hiring and recruitment process is the appropriate place to start looking for a good fit. You must know exactly what to ask the candidates to access these qualities. For that, you have to go beyond questions commonly asked in an interview. This blog educates managers on how to do just that by providing tips, sample questions for recruitment, and insights to analyze answers that candidates might provide. It lists several good questions for managers to hire better staff in the next recruitment cycle. By understanding the reasons for using these questions for recruitment, managers can easily access the information they need to make the best decisions for their team. Happy hunting!

What does your “better staff” look like?

Finding the right people for the right job can be challenging, but the hiring process must be smooth for everyone involved. Successful teams exhibit a few key behaviors, which are essential to look for in potential hires. As a manager, you will need to begin by defining your expectations for the role in terms of skills and behavior. These behaviors are vital to developing team cohesion and creating a productive environment. An accountable team member who is committed to your goals with zeal is an asset to your team. Hence, looking out for such people in the pool of potential employees becomes crucial. It is essential because, in the absence of these behaviors, the whole organization can face detrimental consequences. After all, teams are not merely a function of great managers but also team members. A fine-tuned team with all the members believing and adhering to a common set of values is therefore necessary. Click here to learn the top behaviors that managers look for in team members.

Good and bad member behavior

Managers can carefully craft their teams to show the best behavior that enhances efficiency constantly. Some behaviors are desirable. Furthermore, some behaviors may indicate a lack of commitment to the team concept and its objectives. You would not want to add candidates to your team who show these behaviors. For instance, an unserious attitude towards work can look like this –
  • The employee is absent without an acceptable reason
  • Ignorance or unwillingness to share knowledge
  • Hesitation in taking ownership of their work
A manager thus has the responsibility to ascertain whether the hires are a good fit for the team or not. To do this, you must ask specific questions that allow candidates to display their qualities. The questions for recruitment are vital to this process. In addition, you also need to be attentive to the answers given by team members. The right behaviors are often revealed in an interview setting. However, the interview durations are usually short, and you may not get in-depth discussions with every candidate. Therefore, it becomes essential to ask the right questions for recruitment which help you ensure that the candidate is a good fit for your team.

What are some good questions for managers to use?

When looking for better staff on your team, asking the right questions for recruitment is essential. After all, generic and conventional questions for recruitment like “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” do not fulfill your purpose. So you will wonder, “What questions should I ask in an interview?”. That’s where this list of questions will come in handy for you. Here are some good questions for managers that can help determine potential employees’ skills, work ethic, and attitudes during the hunt for better staff. By asking these questions and more, you’ll be able to find the best team member for the job and improve your overall work productivity in the process.

What do you know about the company?

This is among the simple, effective, and yet very useful questions for recruitment. Primarily, it demonstrates precisely how much interest the candidate is taking in your company. Their attitude towards your organization is reflected in their answer. An educated answer will show that they are keen on being a part of your team and have taken the time to learn more about it. Moreover, they are interested in what you do, which is essential to being an enthusiastic participant at work. If they accord value to your work and projects, they will do their best in both doing and learning. Also, it is a marker of their ability to sieve through a bounty of information. Their interpretation of your work reveals their thought process to you.

What are your main professional qualities?

Knowledge, skills, and abilities, usually abbreviated as KSA, are primary markers of a candidate’s fit for a role. Therefore, knowing what skills they bring to the table is essential. It helps you see if they are exactly what your team requires in terms of human resources. Moreover, if they are confident in their abilities, you can see that the candidate has the potential to become an employee who takes responsibility and works to get results. They take ownership of their work and develop accountability and responsibility regarding it towards their superiors. A slight hesitation or misunderstanding of their abilities will show that they are yet to understand themselves fully. Therefore, as a manager, you might need to push them a bit to develop into their potential. On the flipside, inexplicable arrogance over personal abilities is a clear red flag for what is to come with them into the team.

Why should we hire you?

Again, a simple question that gets the job done – exactly how you want your employees to do. This question gives the candidate a broad scope to answer. In their answer, they can include bits about their professional or personal abilities. Moreover, they can elaborate on how they fit into your team culturally and strategically. Their answer to this question will also acquaint you with their self-awareness and empathy, both of which are essential qualities to have in team members and managers. A pragmatic interpretation of self will put them forward as an understanding and informed person. However, a heavy dose of self-criticism might be a warning sign, as it shows their attitude towards problems is one of cribbing, not solving. This also gives you an idea of they might treat their peers.

Why did you leave your previous job?

When you use such questions for recruitment, you can learn how well a candidate will fit your team’s environment. Their answer will be an inventory of what they liked and, more importantly, did not like about the previous organization. Their reason explains what they are seeking from an organization. It could be a more collaborative culture, more autonomy, or better learning opportunities. Whatever they felt was lacking in their previous team, they will expect the same while joining yours. Moreover, their reaction towards the organization, on the other hand, shows their attitude towards their work. How they dealt with unfulfilled expectations can give you an insight into their problem-solving approach, Both these factors help you assess if they fit your tribe or not.

Have you had a significant failure in life? If yes, what was it?

No person is made solely of success. Instead, they become interesting in their failures. Similarly, no organization is guaranteed success in all of its endeavors. Therefore, you have to assess the attitude of employees towards failure. An ideal candidate will take a loss and turn it into another starting point – with lessons learned. You would want to avoid people ending the journey with failure. Instead, look for people who realign and reignite after facing defeat. These are the ones who will bring perseverance and grit with them. They can think quickly and adapt in the face of difficulties, which is needed in the fast-paced competitive environment. Also, it demonstrates their ability to learn lessons from real-life situations. Their locus of control is revealed as well.

What do you plan to achieve in the first 30-60-90 days in this role?

Instead of simply asking a candidate about their future expectations, you can ask them this. Initially, they will take some time to become a part of the organization, learning the work, culture, norms, and colleagues. Afterward, they can play a significant role in activities. Their plans show how much effort and enthusiasm they have towards the role. Whether or not they are willing to go above and beyond the job description. An enthusiastic candidate will attempt to learn their work quickly to move beyond it faster. Moreover, they might potentially have plans for new initiatives to develop them and the organization. Some of them might be hesitant, and you’ll be able to identify if they need coaching before taking independent steps. Otherwise, there might be candidates who are content simply with their role.

What is your most significant accomplishment?

We usually love to tell people about our best times. A candidate usually puts forward the key catalyst of their career in the answer. Otherwise, it might also be an interesting anecdote about their journey toward that field of work. The answer to this question will enable you to understand where the candidate comes from and what experience they bring. It will also give you an insight into their core values. Most importantly, it will tell you what they have achieved in their journey thus far, based on which you can understand where they wish to go in the future. It can help you conclude whether their career plans coincide with their progress in your team. This will clarify what sort of relationship they envisage with your team.

Who is a good team player?

Lastly, a person’s understanding of a team is critical to access when scouting for a team member. The answer to this question will show you what they mean by teamwork and collaboration. The expectations they have from their team members. A candidate will likely put forward their behavior as a team player as the desired characteristics. Moreover, it will show how open and comfortable they are with the idea of working together. Even with impeccable professional skills, they might not be great team players. There is nothing wrong with being an independent player who prefers autonomy. However, this makes them unfit for your team. Therefore, it is essential to access them personally as well. Finding better staff for your team is a critical step. By asking good questions during the interview process, you can better understand who the applicant is as a person. By hiring the right person for the job, you’ll be ensuring your team’s success.

How do you assess answers as a hiring manager?

Hiring a great team of employees is essential for any business. Managers can access the necessary information to make the best decision for their business by understanding the questions for recruitment when hiring a new employee. After asking the questions, you must analyze the answers to the maximum number of accurate insights. While accessing the answers, keep the following things in mind:
  • Do an objective analysis of your team. Understand what the team requires precisely, and set behavior goals. Have a set of qualities that you see as central to your team and desirable in new members. Further, clearly communicate the team’s requirements and environment to the candidate during the interview process.
  • Compare the candidate against the persona that your team needs. Assess their answers to see how well they fare against the various metrics, such as – adaptability, collaborative vs. competitive spirit, etc.
  • Remain objective during the analysis. Make sure your personal preferences do not affect the acceptance or rejection of a candidate.
  • Do not judge the candidate. Simply assess whether they fit nicely into your team or not. Personal likeability does not have to become a selection criterion.
  • Make a note not to get captured by a single incident of a candidate’s journey, say, the prestigious institution they graduated from. Instead, try to understand them and their experiences thoroughly before deciding.
  • Frame your interview according to the role that you are interviewing for. The personal qualities required can vary at different levels and across various teams. There is no one-shot recipe to a great interview. Instead, it is contingent on numerous factors. Hence, take time and think about interview preparation.
  • Lastly, wrap up your interview well with interview feedback for the candidate.
In short, be objective, avoid judgment and be aware of the role you are hiring for.


Hiring better staff is a continuous quest which is essential for the success of your business. By understanding the behaviors necessary for a good employee and knowing some good questions for recruitment, you can find the best candidate for the job. This blog has a handy list of questions for recruitment to which you can add more as needed. Make sure to check back for more helpful tips and tricks for managers!

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How To Train Your Brain For Critical Thinking As A Manager

How To Train Your Brain For Critical Thinking: A Simple Guide For Managers

Critical thinking is the ability to think logically and analytically and make sound decisions. It is the ability to think about problems through an objective lens and develop practical solutions. Further, it allows you to look at matters from an intellectual standpoint and consider other aspects of situations without being hindered by emotion. Critical thinking is a skill that grows on you, just like any other skill, as it can’t be taught in a day or two. It requires time, development, and practice to master. These skills are at an all-time high, especially for business professionals, as they can mean the difference between success and failure. Critical thinking is essential for managers because it allows them to make informed decisions and solve challenging problems. To think critically, you need to identify the assumptions you are making and question them. You also need to come up with alternative solutions and understand the consequences of your decisions. By learning how to think critically, you will be better prepared to face any challenges you may face as a manager. Critical thinking is also essential for professionals in other fields, such as scientists, researchers, and engineers, who need to be able to think critically to develop new ideas and solve problems.

The basics of critical thinking: what does it involve?

Recognizing when you need to think critically

Critical thinking is a process of analyzing and interpreting information in order to come to a reasoned conclusion. Its first requirement is to recognize when you’re in a situation where you need to think critically. This means staying aware of your surroundings, paying attention to the facts, and thinking through your options. It’s important to be able to think critically not only when you’re faced with challenges but in many other aspects of a managerial position. By recognizing when you need to think critically, and applying the skills when required, you can make better decisions that will lead to the success you desire.

Questioning your assumptions

Critical thinking goes beyond simply accepting what you’re told or what you think without questioning it. It’s about being able to interrogate your thoughts and assumptions to identify and evaluate the evidence. It is a way of thinking that requires you to be open-minded and to question everything that you think you know. It involves suspending your judgment and investigating the evidence. When you’re engaging in critical thinking, you’re looking at things from all angles and considering all the possible implications of an issue.

Looking for alternatives

To be a well-rounded critical thinker, you need to be able to look at a problem from multiple angles and explore all the possible solutions. It helps us think outside the box and develop new, innovative ideas. It involves looking for alternatives, considering all the angles, and coming to a reasoned conclusion. By considering options, you can figure out the best course of action in any situation and make sound decisions that will benefit you and your business.

Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of arguments

Critical thinking also involves evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of arguments and finding the best solution or path that considers all the relevant factors. You must do this to make a well-informed decision or refute an argument. It involves assessing all the relevant information and determining which points are valid and not. You need to be able to reason logically and critically to come to a sound conclusion.

The five benefits of critical thinking for managers

1. Objective decision making

Critical thinking is an essential skill for managers as it leads to objective decision-making. It helps managers remain objective when considering different perspectives on a situation, which is vital when making informed decisions. You can evaluate information and conclude based on facts and not personal biases with critical thinking. It allows you to make objective decisions that will be sound and help your organization grow and succeed. 

2. More efficient and effective problem solving

Critical thinking is essential for managers to be effective problem solvers. When you can think critically, you can recognize and address potential problems early on, which leads to more efficient and effective problem-solving. It is essential to tackle complex or difficult challenges, as it will help you avoid costly mistakes and stay ahead of the curve. By adopting a cognitive process known as “critical thinking,” managers can identify and analyze problems, come up with solutions, and put those solutions into action. 

3. Improved judgment

Critical thinking is a process of identifying, assessing, and resolving problems. It is one of the essential skills managers need to have, leading to improved judgment. Critical thinking skills can improve your judgment by providing an objective perspective on tough decisions, enabling you to make more intelligent and responsible choices. When it comes to making independent judgments about a problem or decision, critical thinking can help improve performance in logical reasoning, articulation, communication skills, and emotional self-control.

4. Greater creativity and innovation

A critical thinking approach is an essential ingredient of creativity and innovation. Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, and it’s essential for creativity and innovation. To be creative, you need to be able to come up with new ideas and to be innovative, you need to be able to put those ideas into action. Critical thinking allows you to do both of those things. When you’re critical thinking, you’re analyzing information and looking for ways to improve it. You’re questioning assumptions and evaluating evidence. You’re looking for solutions to problems. And all of that leads to creativity and innovation.

5. Enhanced understanding of oneself and others

Critical thinking turns observations and experiences into thoughtful insights that allow you to make better decisions. As a manager, you must develop a strong foundation for thinking skills to better understand yourself and your team. This understanding can help you identify potential problems earlier and devise strategies to overcome them. Additionally, critical thinking skills help you see the world from a different perspective, which can help you connect with others more meaningfully. 

Developing your critical thinking skills as a manager- 7 steps

1. Evaluate your decision-making process and understand how you make decisions

To develop your critical thinking skills as a manager, you need to evaluate your decision-making process and understand how you make decisions. By doing this, you will become better equipped to make sound and informed choices in any situation. It will better prepare you to recognize biases and understand why people may have different opinions. Understanding how you make decisions will help you learn to catch yourself when feelings and self-doubt influence your choices. Letting emotions take control of decision-making undermines critical thinking skills and can lead to poor personal or professional outcomes.

2. Ask questions and challenge your assumptions

Critical thinking is all about questioning your assumptions and creating alternate solutions. To develop your necessary thinking skills, ask questions and challenge your assumptions. For example, imagine that you’re the manager of a sales team. You assume that your top performer is a high-energy person, so you give her more challenging assignments. However, if you question your assumption and talk to your top performer, you might find out that even though she performed well earlier, the excess workload is leading her to burnout, something you would like to avoid at all costs. By asking questions and challenging your assumptions, you can more accurately make your decisions. These decisions will then be comparatively low risk and have better potential. Furthermore, by asking questions, you are more likely to find the answers that will enable you to analyze each problem on an objective level. This process promotes critical thinking skills because it develops a search for new information or different perspectives that ultimately leads us in one direction: the right path.

3. Being aware of how your thoughts can bias your judgments

If your emotions bias your thoughts, it can impair your critical thinking. To develop your necessary thinking skills as a manager, you need to know how your thoughts can prejudice your judgments. It means being aware of the factors that can influence your thinking and the impact that your thoughts have on your behavior. By becoming more aware of how you think, you can better manage your emotions and improve the quality of your judgments.

4. Find ways to verify the information before taking action or forming opinions

To hone your critical thinking skills, look for ways to verify the information before taking action or forming opinions. It means doing your due diligence and investigating all the available sources of information before making any decisions. It involves asking the right questions, looking for evidence, and thinking about different perspectives. As a result, you will be able to make more informed decisions in your everyday life and protect yourself from making mistakes that could have long-term consequences. More importantly, you will be able to think and make decisions more quickly.

5. Take and incorporate multiple perspectives

Different people have different ways of approaching things, and they can come up with varying answers to the same question or suggest additional options to tackle something. To develop your critical thinking skills, you need to take and incorporate these multiple perspectives. When you do this, you will be able to break down complex topics into more manageable pieces and identify any flaws or loopholes in arguments. Additionally, by taking different perspectives on issues, you will be able to widen your range of knowledge and gain a better understanding of the issue at hand. Hence, you will make informed decisions that reflect your values and beliefs.

6. Evaluate evidence critically to reach a decision

To effectively develop your critical thinking skills as a manager, you also need to evaluate the evidence critically to arrive at a decision. When assessing the evidence, consider the source, how credible the source is, how well the information is presented, and how relevant the information is to your decision. By evaluating the evidence critically, you can improve your decision-making skills and make better choices in life. Doing this will also allow you to defend your decisions in the future.

7. Be transparent about your thinking process so that others can critique it constructively

The final step towards developing your critical thinking skills as a manager is transparency about how you think. Doing this will allow your team members to critique your thinking constructively. Moreover, it will enable you to identify and correct any flaws in your thinking and ensure that you construct a valid argument. They can help you refine your review and develop even better ideas. Being open and transparent with your team is the best will build trust and respect and foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork. Further, you can improve your decision-making skills and build a strong foundation for practical problem-solving by regularly reflecting on your thinking process. It will ultimately ensure that you are on the right path to developing the proper critical thinking skills.

Practicing critical thinking

The steps mentioned above will be enough for managers to develop sound critical thinking skills. But when to practice this critical thinking? There are certain times when practicing critical thinking is essential, and there are also certain times when thinking critically can have some negative repercussions. Below are some tips on when to practice critical thinking and when not to:

When should you use it?

1. When making a difficult or complex decision 2. When you have conflicting information 3. At the time of uncertainty 4. When you are dealing with stakeholders 5. When you need to evaluate the impact of your decisions 6. At times, when you are trying to understand complex systems 7. When you have to defend your ideas 8. Whenever you need to be impartial 9. Whenever you are confronted with new ideas 10. At times when you need to think beyond the traditional thinking patterns


As managers, we must learn to think critically and solve problems effectively. We can then take charge of our destinies and create a brighter future for ourselves and our teams. This blog outlined the basics of critical thinking and its importance for managers. We also shared seven practical steps to help you develop your critical thinking skills. Finally, we provided a handy guide on when to practice critical thinking in your managerial role. We believe that this blog has provided you with all the insights and information that you need to develop critical thinking skills. Now it’s up to you to give it a try.

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