71 good interview questions to ask candidates (with types)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 May 2022

As an interviewer or recruitment manager, you're responsible for finding ideal employees for the company. You may wonder which questions to ask during interviews to adequately assess a candidate's personality and qualifications. Choosing the appropriate questions beforehand can help you hire someone who matches the company's values and job description. In this article, we explore different types of interview questions and list 71 good questions to ask candidates during a job interview.

71 good interview questions to ask

Reviewing good questions to ask candidates can help you plan fun and interesting interviews. It's also a great way to change up your routine if you've been working as an interviewer or recruiter for an extended period of time. Here are some of the most common types of interview questions you could ask:

Personal questions

At the beginning of an interview, it's always good to ask some simple personal questions to help the person you're interviewing feel comfortable and relaxed. Questions of this type are also useful when you want to make sure that the candidate's personal qualities align well with the company's values and culture. Here are examples of personal interview questions:

  • What are your hobbies and passions?

  • What motivates you to develop your skills?

  • What is more important to you, work-life balance or compensation?

  • Can you tell us something about yourself?

  • Why have you decided to leave your previous role?

  • Why do you want to work here?

  • How would your friends describe you?

  • How has your education prepared you for this role?

  • What languages do you know?

  • What are some of your personal development goals?

  • What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Can you describe yourself in five words?

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

  • Do you have any questions for us?

  • How do you plan your day?

Behavioural questions

Behavioural interview questions help you determine how well a candidate can solve everyday problems they're likely to encounter in their new role. The candidate's answers can tell you a lot about their personality, skills and general abilities and how they use them to deal with all types of challenges at work. Here are examples of good behavioural questions to ask:

  • How do you handle difficult customers?

  • How would you approach a situation when you want to receive information from someone who doesn't want to cooperate with you?

  • When was the last time you learned a new skill at work?

  • What was the most significant document, report or presentation you have completed?

  • How do you measure success in training?

  • How do you communicate bad news to your team?

  • When did you successfully convince someone to change their mind on something important to them?

  • How do you build motivation in your co-workers or subordinates?

  • Describe a time when you faced a situation at work that challenged your coping skills. What did you do?

  • What do you do when your workday ends but you still have work to complete that day?

  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your supervisor.

  • Tell me about a situation in which you couldn't finish a task because you didn't have enough information.

  • Give me an example of a situation in which it was necessary for you to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.

  • Tell me about a time you knew you were right but you had to follow someone else's directions.

Read more: Behavioural interview questions (with example answers)

Communication questions

Communication interview questions allow you to test a candidate's abilities to communicate which is one of the most important skills to have regardless of the role or industry. Thanks to the ability to communicate with others, candidates can get along with their co-workers and managers, verbally and non-verbally. To assess a candidate's answers to questions of this type, focus on their listening skills, confidence and empathy. Here are some communication questions to ask:

  • Do you work well with other people?

  • What was it like working with your manager?

  • Have you ever had difficulties communicating with a colleague during a project?

  • How would you describe effective communication in the workplace?

  • How important is listening in communication?

  • How would ask your supervisor for feedback?

  • How do you approach giving presentations?

  • What challenges can a remote team face when it comes to its internal communication?

  • Describe a situation in which you had to rely on written communication to share your ideas with a team.

  • Tell me about a time when you adjusted your communication style to meet a team's needs.

Related: 5 popular communication skills interview questions (with samples answers and tips)

Opinion-based questions

Asking opinion-based interview questions allows you to determine how a candidate sees themselves and how they think others perceive them. Their answers show you their attitude towards situations in which others might criticise them. Here are examples of opinion-based questions:

  • If you were an animal, which one would you be?

  • What does success mean to you?

  • What would you do if you won the lottery?

  • Where do you think the industry is heading?

  • Can misunderstandings be helpful in the workplace?

  • If you were the CEO of this company, what would you do differently to improve its position within the market?

  • Do you prefer educational or on-the-job training?

  • What's the most important skill to have to lead a successful team?

  • If you could develop a new tool or technology to improve employee productivity, what would it be?

  • What's your opinion on micromanaging?

  • How important is integrity and honesty in the workplace?

  • Tell me about a time when you changed someone's opinion.

Related: Value-based interview questions and sample answers

Performance-based questions

Performance-based questions focus on real-life situations. Through asking them, you give candidates a chance to prove they have the necessary skills and abilities to succeed in the role. Ideally, you want to see that the candidate formulates their answers to these questions using the STAR method. A candidate who uses this method describes the situation, clearly addresses the issue that they faced, walks you through the steps they took and shows how their actions helped solve a problem or improve a situation. Here are some performance-based questions you can ask:

  • Tell me about a suggestion you've made to your supervisor in the last year. How did you come up with the idea and did they decide to implement it?

  • What are the most impressive goals you've reached and how did you do it?

  • Tell me about the most challenging discussion in which you participated.

  • Tell me about a time when you were responsible for simplifying and presenting complex information to a group. How did you ensure others understood your message?

  • What's your approach to delegating responsibilities? Tell me about a time when you had to do it.

  • Tell me about a time when you worked on a strict deadline and explain how you managed to succeed.

  • Describe a mistake you made and tell me how you corrected it.

  • Tell me about a situation in which a customer or co-worker became upset with you.

  • Have you ever failed to achieve a goal you set yourself? What happened?

  • Tell me about a time when you used conflict management methods to solve a problem.

Read more: How to use the STAR interview technique in competency-based interviews

Brainteasers

This is one of the most fun types of interview questions that you can ask candidates. Although they may seem irrelevant at first, these questions can be highly effective for assessing important workplace skills such as creativity or critical thinking. Here are some good questions of this type to ask during interviews:

  • You have a cake and can make exactly three cuts to slice it into eight pieces. How would you do it?

  • You're outside a room that has no windows. There are three lamps in the room and three switches outside of it, with each switch controlling one of the lamps. You can enter the room only once. How would you determine which switch goes with which lamp?

  • How many bicycles are there in London?

  • How would you explain a sunrise to a blind person?

  • Jane's mother has four children. One child's name is March. The second one is April. The third is May. What's the fourth one's name?

  • Police officers found a dead man in the middle of the forest, in a scuba diving suit. How did he die?

  • You have a three-gallon jug and a five-gallon jug. How do you measure out exactly four gallons?

  • Why are manhole covers round?

  • The day before yesterday Luke was 17. Next year he'll be 20. What day is his birthday?

  • What has many keys but cannot open any doors?