10 Interview Questions to Ask an Employee: Unlocking the Secrets of a Great Hire

Prepare to uncover the hidden gems in your next interview with 10 interview questions to ask an employee. These questions will help you dig deep into a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and personality, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your team.

From understanding their motivations to evaluating their problem-solving abilities, these questions provide a comprehensive roadmap to making informed hiring decisions.

Opening Questions

The initial questions in an interview set the tone for the entire conversation. By asking ice-breaking questions, interviewers can create a comfortable and engaging atmosphere that encourages the candidate to relax and share their authentic self.

These questions are designed to establish rapport and build a connection between the interviewer and the candidate. They help the candidate feel at ease and more confident in sharing their thoughts and experiences.

  • What’s your favorite hobby outside of work?This question allows the candidate to showcase their personality and interests, giving the interviewer a glimpse into their life beyond the professional realm.
  • If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be and why?This question prompts the candidate to share their values and priorities, revealing what kind of people they admire and what qualities they find inspiring.
  • What’s your favorite movie or TV show and why?This question is a fun way to learn about the candidate’s taste in entertainment and can spark a lively conversation about shared interests.

Company-Specific Questions

Understanding a candidate’s alignment with a company’s values, culture, and industry is crucial for a successful hiring decision. These questions delve into the candidate’s knowledge and perspectives on the organization’s specific context.

By asking these questions, the interviewer can assess the candidate’s:

  • Fit with the company’s values and mission
  • Understanding of the company’s culture and work environment
  • Knowledge of the company’s industry and competitive landscape

Company Values and Culture

These questions explore the candidate’s alignment with the company’s core values and their understanding of the company’s culture:

  1. Describe your understanding of our company’s values. How do you see these values reflected in your own work style?
  2. What aspects of our company culture particularly appeal to you? How would you contribute to maintaining and enhancing that culture?
  3. How would you describe the ideal work environment for you? How does our company culture align with your expectations?

Industry Knowledge

These questions assess the candidate’s knowledge of the company’s industry and their understanding of the competitive landscape:

  • What are the key trends and challenges facing our industry? How do you see our company positioned within this landscape?
  • Who are our main competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How would you differentiate our company from them?
  • What innovative ideas or strategies do you have for helping our company stay ahead in the industry?

Role-Related Questions

Role-related questions delve into the candidate’s technical prowess, relevant experience, and qualifications specific to the position. These questions assess their ability to perform the job’s responsibilities effectively.

By evaluating the candidate’s technical skills, you can gauge their proficiency in the tools, technologies, and methodologies required for the role. Experience-based questions reveal their practical knowledge and problem-solving abilities in similar situations. Qualification-focused questions validate their formal education, certifications, and training, ensuring they possess the necessary credentials.

Technical Skills

  • Describe the candidate’s proficiency in programming languages, software applications, or specialized tools relevant to the role.
  • Assess their understanding of industry-specific technologies, methodologies, or best practices.
  • Evaluate their ability to apply technical knowledge to solve problems or develop solutions.


  • Inquire about the candidate’s previous job responsibilities and how they relate to the requirements of the current role.
  • Determine their experience in managing projects, leading teams, or working independently.
  • Assess their ability to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and deliver high-quality results.


  • Verify the candidate’s educational background, including degrees, certifications, and training.
  • Evaluate their involvement in professional organizations, industry events, or continuing education programs.
  • Assess their commitment to professional development and staying abreast of industry trends.

Behavioral Questions: 10 Interview Questions To Ask An Employee

Behavioral questions delve into the candidate’s past experiences and behaviors, uncovering their problem-solving abilities, teamwork skills, and adaptability. These questions are designed to assess the candidate’s actions in real-life work situations, providing valuable insights into their work ethic and approach.

Problem-Solving Abilities

Problem-solving questions explore how the candidate approaches and resolves challenges. They assess the candidate’s ability to analyze situations, generate solutions, and implement effective strategies.

  • Tell me about a time when you faced a significant challenge in the workplace. How did you approach the problem and what was the outcome?
  • Describe a situation where you had to make a difficult decision with limited information. How did you gather additional data and come to a conclusion?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to think creatively to solve a problem. What steps did you take and what was the result?

Teamwork Skills

Teamwork questions assess the candidate’s ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment. They explore the candidate’s communication skills, conflict resolution strategies, and willingness to contribute to the team’s success.

  • Describe a project where you worked closely with a team. What was your role and how did you contribute to the team’s success?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict within a team. How did you approach the situation and what was the outcome?
  • Give me an example of a time when you provided support or assistance to a colleague. How did your actions impact the team’s performance?


Adaptability questions assess the candidate’s ability to handle change, learn new skills, and adjust to different work environments. They explore the candidate’s willingness to embrace new challenges and their capacity to thrive in dynamic situations.

  • Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a major change in your workplace. How did you cope with the transition and what was the impact on your performance?
  • Describe a situation where you had to learn a new skill quickly. How did you approach the learning process and what was the outcome?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to work in a different environment or with a different team. How did you adjust to the new circumstances and what was the result?

Future-Oriented Questions

10 interview questions to ask an employee

Assessing a candidate’s future-oriented thinking can reveal their ambitions, career goals, and vision for the future. These questions help gauge their potential for growth and alignment with the company’s long-term objectives.

By asking about their career aspirations, you can understand their motivations, values, and how they envision their future role within the organization. These questions provide insights into their drive, ambition, and willingness to take on challenges.

  • Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?This question assesses their short-term career goals and aspirations, providing insights into their ambition and drive.
  • What are your long-term career goals?This question explores their long-term vision and aspirations, revealing their values, motivations, and commitment to their career path.
  • How do you plan to achieve your career goals?This question assesses their strategic thinking and ability to plan for the future, showcasing their initiative and self-awareness.
  • What are your thoughts on the future of the industry?This question gauges their industry knowledge, adaptability, and forward-thinking mindset, indicating their ability to stay ahead of the curve.
  • How do you stay updated with industry trends and advancements?This question reveals their commitment to continuous learning and professional development, demonstrating their dedication to staying current in their field.

Skill-Testing Questions

Skill-testing questions provide a practical assessment of a candidate’s abilities. They allow the interviewer to evaluate the candidate’s proficiency in specific skills required for the role.

Here are some examples of skill-testing exercises:

Communication Skills

  • Role-playing exercises: The candidate is given a scenario and asked to demonstrate their communication skills by interacting with the interviewer.
  • Presentation exercises: The candidate is asked to prepare and deliver a short presentation on a given topic.
  • Written communication exercises: The candidate is asked to write a report, email, or other written document.

Problem-Solving Skills

  • Case studies: The candidate is presented with a real-world business problem and asked to analyze the situation and develop a solution.
  • Problem-solving exercises: The candidate is given a problem and asked to find a solution using logic and critical thinking.
  • Scenario-based questions: The candidate is asked to describe how they would handle a specific situation or challenge.

Technical Proficiency

  • Coding exercises: The candidate is asked to write code to solve a specific problem.
  • Software simulations: The candidate is given access to a software program and asked to perform a series of tasks.
  • Technical interviews: The candidate is asked technical questions about their knowledge of a specific technology or programming language.

Company Culture Questions

Company culture questions are designed to assess a candidate’s understanding of the organization’s values, beliefs, and norms. By asking these questions, employers can determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the company and its unique work environment.

These questions can also help employers identify candidates who are passionate about the company’s mission and values. This can be a valuable asset for any organization, as employees who are engaged with their work are more likely to be productive and successful.


  • What attracted you to our company’s culture?
  • How do you think your values align with our company’s values?
  • What do you think makes our company culture unique?
  • What are your thoughts on our company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion?
  • What are your thoughts on our company’s commitment to sustainability?

Hypothetical Questions

Hypothetical questions present candidates with challenging scenarios or dilemmas related to the role. These questions assess critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities.

Here are three hypothetical scenarios to consider:

Scenario 1: Prioritizing Tasks

  • You are given a list of 10 tasks to complete within a week. However, you realize that some tasks are more urgent than others.
  • How would you prioritize the tasks to ensure that the most critical ones are completed on time?

Scenario 2: Ethical Dilemma

  • You discover that a colleague has been engaging in unethical behavior that could harm the company.
  • How would you handle this situation? Would you report it to your manager, confront the colleague directly, or take another approach?

Scenario 3: Conflict Resolution

  • You are leading a team project and encounter a conflict between two team members.
  • How would you facilitate a resolution that addresses the concerns of both parties and maintains a positive work environment?

Closing Questions

10 interview questions to ask an employee

Closing questions provide candidates with an opportunity to ask about the company, the role, or the interview process. These questions demonstrate the candidate’s engagement and interest in the position, as well as their ability to think critically and ask insightful questions.

Questions to Ask

  • Can you tell me more about the company’s culture and values?
  • What are the expectations for this role in the first 30/60/90 days?
  • What are the company’s goals for the next year?
  • What is the interview process like for this position?
  • Is there anything else I can provide to help you make a decision?

Additional Tips

Conducting effective interviews requires a combination of preparation, interpersonal skills, and attention to detail. Here are 3-5 general tips or best practices to help you gather valuable insights and make informed hiring decisions:

Creating a Welcoming Environment

Creating a welcoming environment is crucial for putting candidates at ease and encouraging them to share their thoughts and experiences openly. This can be achieved through simple gestures such as offering a warm greeting, providing comfortable seating, and maintaining a friendly and professional demeanor throughout the interview.

Asking Open-Ended Questions, 10 interview questions to ask an employee

Open-ended questions allow candidates to elaborate on their answers and provide more in-depth information. Instead of asking “What are your strengths?”, try “Can you describe a situation where you successfully leveraged your strengths to achieve a positive outcome?”. This encourages candidates to share specific examples and demonstrate their abilities.

Actively Listening to Candidate Responses

Active listening involves paying full attention to the candidate’s responses, both verbally and non-verbally. By maintaining eye contact, nodding, and asking clarifying questions, you show that you are engaged and interested in what they have to say. This not only helps you gather more information but also builds rapport and trust.

Concluding Remarks

With these 10 interview questions to ask an employee, you’ll be able to confidently assess candidates and identify the ones who will drive your business forward. Remember, the right questions can unlock the secrets to a successful hire, so use them wisely and find the talent that will elevate your team to new heights.


What are the most important questions to ask an employee during an interview?

The most important questions to ask an employee during an interview are those that will help you determine their qualifications, experience, and fit for the role. These include questions about their technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork experience.

How can I prepare for an interview with an employee?

To prepare for an interview with an employee, you should research the company and the position, and develop a list of questions that will help you assess the candidate’s qualifications and fit for the role. You should also practice your interviewing skills and dress professionally.

What are some tips for conducting a successful interview with an employee?

To conduct a successful interview with an employee, you should create a comfortable and welcoming environment, ask open-ended questions, and actively listen to the candidate’s responses. You should also be prepared to answer questions about the company and the position.