5 Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring for an Important Role


Is your business growing rapidly? It’s difficult to scale your company’s operations and income without also scaling its team, which makes hiring qualified people one of the top priorities of many startups. Hiring can be a difficult process, especially if your company is relatively new. New companies are often viewed as “risky” professional investments by highly capable people, as they often can’t offer the stability and compensation of competitors.

Despite this, it’s possible for your company – even if it’s a relatively young startup – to hire highly qualified, experienced and capable people by asking the right type of questions during the interview process.

In this guide, we’ll share five interview questions that your company should ask if it’s hiring to fill an important role. From your first “big hire” to upper management recruitment, use these questions to get the most from your next interview.

1. Which of your professional accomplishments are you most proud of?

Everyone is proud of their achievements, and asking someone to list their career achievements is a great way to learn about what they’ve done in the past beyond what’s listed on their resume.

From saving money for a certain department to closing a big sale, people become enthusiastic and involved when describing their achievements. This is a great way to get to know a candidate on a greater level and understand their background.

2. Have you faced a crisis at work before? If so, how did you respond?

Many companies experienced crises from time to time – from product recalls and design issues to cash flow and financing problems. The way your team responds to these crises can determine your company’s success or failure.

When you’re interviewing candidates for an important role, ask them about their previous roles and if they faced any serious crises. Someone that’s dealt with the stress of a crisis and resolved it successfully could be a fantastic team addition.

3. What are your biggest professional strengths and weaknesses?

Anyone can list their strengths and qualities on a resume, but asking them to list and explain them in person offers you more depth and understanding. The same is also a truth of weaknesses – they’re often far more obvious when explained in person.

Understanding a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses helps you place them within your existing team structure. If certain qualities are important to you, this question will help you exclude candidates that, while otherwise ideal for the job, lack them.

4. What made you interested in working at our company?

This question is particularly important if you’re a small, growing business such as a startup. Ask applicants what made them want to work at your company, beyond the obvious compensation, to understand their priorities and goals in life.

You’ll often be surprised at the honesty of many candidates. From company culture to your vision, a wide variety of factors can influence people to want to work for you and inform you about your company’s strengths, weaknesses and external image.

5. What questions do you have about the position and our company?

The most capable people will often want to learn as much about your company as you’ve learned about them. This is often the case if you’re a startup recruiting for a higher-level position in which most applicants currently work for larger businesses.

Asking this question gives you the opportunity to assess whether or not the person is a good fit for your company’s culture. It allows you to separate people who have a deep interest in working for your company from those simply seeking a position.