CPS Logo_rgb-2

The Best Strategic Interview Questions To Ask Candidates When Hiring

by Hannah Connor on Aug 4, 2022 8:33:50 AM

In today’s dynamic labor market, if you’re like most companies, you probably have open positions to fill due to the Great Reshuffle or other reasons. When you’re bringing on new hires, you want to make sure you find the right fit. To do so, there are strategic interview questions to ask candidates that can reveal important information that will aid in your decision making. What should you ask to narrow down your list of applicants that will best meet your needs? Let’s find out.

In this article, we’ll share the top questions to ask when interviewing candidates that can provide the most valuable insight into how they may behave in a particular situation. After reading this, you’ll know what to ask when conducting job interviews to find the right employees for your open roles.

Top 15 Strategic Interview Questions To Ask Candidates

When you’re hiring, you’ll want to make sure you ask strategic interview questions that will uncover the information you need to make the best hiring decisions. While you’ll want to ask traditional interview questions like why a candidate wants to work at your company and what skills they have that make them a good fit, you can also dig a little deeper with behavior-based queries that can give you an understanding of what they may do in the future when they encounter similar situations on the job. Here are 15 job interview questions to put on your list.

  1. Tell me about a situation when you had a conflict at work and how you handled it. People won’t always get along at work so this type of question is designed to assess a candidate’s conflict resolution skills as well as how they respond to stress and work on a team.
  2. What strategies do you use to meet tight deadlines? This is a good question to ask to understand how an applicant works under pressure. With their response, you’ll be able to assess whether a candidate can complete tasks with urgency when required.
  3. Describe a time when you proactively identified and addressed an issue at your company. Responses to this question can show a candidate is forward-thinking, takes initiative, and able to make things happen on their own.
  4. How would you make a decision if you didn’t have complete information? This is a good question to ask to understand an applicant’s critical thinking skills and determine if they can analyze a situation with the tools they’re given and act quickly to keep the project moving forward.
  5. If you have too many things to do, how do you prioritize your tasks? When weighing strategic interview questions to ask, this one can be important to add to your list to help you gain insight into a candidate’s ability to manage their time and organize their workload, including how to distinguish between urgent and important tasks.
  6. Tell me about a time you had to use creativity to solve a problem? When you ask this question, listen for examples of creative thinking that brought about positive change and innovation.
  7. Share a time when you set a challenging goal for yourself and what you did to make sure you achieved it. This question can give you a better idea of an applicant’s ambition and initiative and help you figure out if they have the planning abilities and other attributes to make goals become a reality.
  8. What would you do if you were wrapping up a project only to hear that the goals had changed? By asking this, you’ll learn how an applicant can adapt – essential if your organization is constantly changing to keep up with industry updates and customer demand.
  9. How would you handle a disgruntled customer? This question can reveal how a candidate will behave in these types of high-pressure situations as well as whether they will work to address the issues that caused the event.
  10. If you noticed that a coworker was struggling with their workload, what would you do? The answer to this inquiry can show a willingness to complete tasks beyond their typical job requirements, a strong commitment to teamwork, and whether a candidate will step up to help others without being asked.
  11. Describe a time when you had to discuss a complex subject with someone who wasn’t familiar with the topic. This question is intended to evaluate an applicant’s problem-solving, industry expertise, and communication skills.
  12. Tell me about a time when you missed a deadline. While the reasons an applicant failed to meet a deadline may be due to unforeseen circumstances, this question will help you see if they take responsibility and what they learned from the failure to prevent a similar situation in the future.
  13. How would you deal with negative feedback? With any employee, there’s always room for improvement, so this question is less about what happened and more about understanding how an applicant responded and whether they took suggestions and corrections with the right attitude.
  14. How do you manage stress? Many jobs are stressful and burnout is increasingly common so this question is important to help you  understand whether a candidate can handle job-related stress and what they do in particularly stressful situations.
  15. Describe a time when you had to convince your supervisor or team to use a different approach to solve a problem. Answers to this question will show an applicant’s critical thinking skills and whether they can make decisions based on logic then communicate that reasoning to persuade others to follow.

How to Get the Most From Strategic Interview Questions

These are just some of the best strategic interview questions to ask candidates to gain insight into the person behind the resume. By using these inquiries to understand past behavior, you’ll understand how an applicant may perform in the role and the likelihood of their future success. To learn more about how to incorporate these questions into your hiring process to help you find the right fit for your role and company culture, read our next article on how to best conduct a job interview.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.