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!

Pick the best for your team with active listening.

Get the free active listening toolkit to facilitate better understanding.

Other Related Blogs

5 Secrets To Conflict Resolution At Work For Managers

5 Secrets To Conflict Resolution At Work For Managers Conflict is all too common. We often encounter this ever-present demon in our workplaces, too. The trouble is manifold for managers…

Top 5 ways for Leadership Training Emotional Intelligence

Top 5 ways for Leadership Training Emotional Intelligence The most effective leaders are not just intelligent but are emotionally intelligent. Emotional Intelligence (EI) training can enhance leadership skills because it…

Be a Star Sales Manager: Top 6 Skills needed and ways to enhance them

Be a Star Sales Manager: Top 6 Skills needed and ways to enhance them Behind every successful sales team, there is an exceptional sales manager. A sales manager is critical…

Top 15 Tips for Effective Conflict Mediation at Work

Top 15 Tips for Effective Conflict Mediation at Work As a manager or leader, you might be familiar with the conflicts that arise in the workplace. It’s not always easy…

Author: Deeksha Sharma

Deeksha, with a solid educational background in human resources, bridges the gap between your goals and you with valuable insights and strategies within leadership development. Her unique perspectives, powered by voracious reading, lead to thoughtful pieces that tie conventional know-how and innovative approaches together to enable success for management professionals.

Exit mobile version