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At the end of the interview, it’s your turn to invite the candidate to ask you questions. You will want to pay close attention to the type of question the candidate is asking because this can reveal the following:

  • If he/she researched the industry, the company, and the position
  • His/her basic needs from the hiring manager, coworkers, work environment, etc.
  • His/her long-term goals and interests

Anticipating common candidate questions and responding clearly and honestly can bolster your rapport with the candidate and help you both determine if the job is the right fit.

Here are some potential questions your candidates may pose:

  • What is the next step in the hiring process?
  • Is this a new or existing position? If existing, why is the position open?
  • What do you like about working here?
  • What’s your management style?
  • Who on the team will I be working with most closely?
  • What am I expected to accomplish in the first 90 days?
  • How do you define success?
  • Do you have any hesitation about me or my qualifications?
  • What challenges does your team currently face and how could I be a part of the solution?

Being caught off-guard by basic questions sends major red flags to the candidate. It indicates that you didn’t prepare and you, therefore, don’t respect the candidate’s time and contributions. In short, it doesn’t instill confidence and it will turn off quality talent. Use the tips below to adequately prepare for and appropriately respond to the candidate’s questions. 

Do Your Homework

You expect the candidate to come prepared for the interview, and he/she has the same expectation of you. Get ready for potential candidate questions by: 

  • Re-reading his/her resume
  • Reviewing the job description, essential skills, and key performance indicators
  • Printing out a copy of your team’s organizational structure
  • Scanning news articles for anything noteworthy happening in your industry or with your competition

This information will give you a wealth of knowledge that you can draw from when answering a number of candidate questions. Brush up on all of the materials at your disposal so you can confidently and accurately provide answers.


If the candidate will be your direct report, he/she may be particularly interested in your leadership style and they may ask questions specifically about you. Think of some recent examples of situations like the ones listed below to speak on how you operate:

  • Resolving conflict between team members
  • Giving feedback
  • Rewarding and recognizing employees
  • Managing change

Having several real examples lined up will help you articulate your behaviors and preferences in a concrete way.

Be Honest

Falsifying information or bending the truth in an interview, from the candidate or the hiring manager, is inexcusable. It is critical to communicate truthfully and transparently with the candidate at all times. If the candidate asks a question you really can’t address (e.g. legal reasons), simply explain why you can’t answer. If the candidate asks you something you don’t know the answer to, tell him/her you are not sure of the answer, but that you will look into it and follow up later. 

How you answer the candidate’s questions speaks volumes. Offering vague, confusing, or untrue information undermines the integrity of the interview process and is off-putting to candidates. Forecasting potential candidate questions and preparing accordingly will help you nail the interview and impress quality talent.

Download our free whitepaper on Perfecting the Perfect Hire.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about how NEXTAFF can help you hire quality talent, please contact us.

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