Helpful Guide 2

Interview Questions!

You’ve posted an amazing ad, reviewed resumes, and narrowed down your candidates. Now it’s time for the crucial interview. What should you ask?

This guide focuses on the questions you should ask. We could also talk about the many questions you shouldn’t ask. The short version: state and federal protections prohibit discrimination in the hiring process based on many “Protected Classes.” If you ask a question about protected information, it’s hard to deny it wasn’t part of your decision. Therefore, the safest approach is to avoid the topics altogether. Examples of protected classes include: race, religion, color, creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy status, marital status, disabilities, medications/prescriptions, arrest record, political beliefs, etc. 

Pro Tip: protected classes, and protections in the entire hiring process, are always changing. Seek assistance on a regular basis from an expert or HR firm to ensure you are up-to-date with the latest provisions for your state.

Interview questions typically come in five categories: credential, technical, experience, behavioral-based, and general. You should ask a variety of questions in all five areas to give yourself the best possible sense of a potential hire.

Pro Tip: prepare your questions in advance, make a sheet for taking notes, and always ask the same questions of each candidate for the position to avoid possible claims of discrimination.

Interview Questions:


  • What was your major?
  • What license(s) do you hold?
  • Have you taken any courses in ______________(insert appropriate course)?



These questions are dependent on the job. You will need to develop these questions on a case-by-case basis to uncover the skills you require for each position (refer to your job description for specifics).

  • How do you add two columns in excel?
  • What do you do when an insurance company has declined payment?
  • What are the basic operational steps of the _________ [piece of equipment].



  • Why did you specifically leave each of your former employers? If currently employed, ask: Why do you want to leave your present job?
  • What are three aspects of a job that you are looking for in a new position that you didn’t get at your previous employer?
  • What would prior employees say about you as a co-worker?



These questions ask detailed accounts of specific events. Behavioral-based questions are the most valuable tool for discovering how well (or not) the candidate will fit the position and meet your expectations. The theory being “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”

  • Describe a time when your manager indicated your performance was below standards. What did you do to improve? What was the result?
  • Describe a time when you felt frustrated trying to deal with a conflict between yourself and a co-worker. What did you do? What was the result?
  • Describe a time when you accomplished something that made you feel proud.
  • Describe a situation in which you had to adjust quickly to a significant change in the organization, department, or team priorities. How did the change affect you? What did you do? What was the result?


The 5 Key Components to behavioral-based questions:

  1. What was the situation?
  2. What specific actions did the applicant take and why?
  3. What were the results of their actions?
  4. Get references to validate their statements
  5. Evaluate their responses



  • What additional training do you feel is required for you to achieve better or full proficiency?
  • Describe the best boss you ever had. The worst?
  • What are your short-term career goals? Long-term? How does this job relate to what you have planned?
  • Describe some aspects to effective communication that you consider valuable.

Happy Interviewing!

HR Director

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