Sample Interview Questionnaires

Keep Interviews On Track With Sample Interview Questionnaires

When your company is looking to hire someone for an open position, conducting interviews with potential candidates is an important part of the process. Some applicants may appear impressive on paper only to disappoint in person while others offer more than their applications may convey. The questions you ask will steer the conversation and elicit important information about each applicant’s background, personality and abilities. Having a sample interview questionnaire on hand can keep the conversation focused and ensure you cover all the information you’re looking for.


You might begin your questionnaire with a few general questions to break the ice and get a feel for the candidate’s background. While they’ve probably included this information on their application, discussing it in the interview can give you the opportunity to ask follow-up questions and build a more detailed picture. You might ask:

· Tell me about your educational background. How does it make you an ideal candidate for this position?

· Where have you worked in the past? What did you learn there?

· Have you ever had a job that is similar to this position? Describe your responsibilities there.


You may also want to get a feel for the candidate’s personality. Consider questions that give clues to their passions, motivation and interpersonal skills. Does the candidate seem to be an optimist or a pessimist? Are they sarcastic, lighthearted or humorless? How do they achieve balance between their work and home life? Do they communicate and collaborate well with others? As you get a glimpse of their temperament, consider how this person will fit in with the team and other employees and clients they may work with. Your sample interview questionnaire may include questions such as the following:

· What is your greatest strength? How has this helped you to achieve success in your career?

· What is your greatest weakness? How have you learned to compensate for it?

  • What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?


Once you know the basics about the candidate’s education and work experience and have a sense of whether they’ll fit in well with the company culture you may want to ask more specific questions to determine how they will perform in the position they have applied for. If they will need to use specific computer programs or certified skills, probe for more than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. You might ask:

· Do you have experience using Microsoft Office? Tell me how you used it in the past.

· What drafting program did you use in your previous position? Do you have experience with other programs?

· How long ago did you receive your First Aid certification? Have you had any training since then to update your skills?

In addition to specific certifications, you will also want to determine whether the applicant possesses specific communication, problem solving, critical thinking or leadership skills the position may require. You might ask them to describe their past performance or respond to a hypothetical situation with questions like the following:

· Tell me about a project that went badly. What happened?

· Have you ever led a team before? Tell me about it.

· What is your strategy for keeping multiple projects on track simultaneously?

  • What would be your first priority in this role?

· How would you keep the loyalty of a client who is considering moving to a competitor?

Hiring a new employee can be a time- and energy-intensive process. You may know what you’re looking for in a potential hire, but multiple rounds of interviews can make it hard to remember which questions you’ve already asked this particular candidate. Use sample interview questionnaires to focus your questions on the information that is most important to you, and to ensure you don’t leave any proverbial stone unturned.

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