Knowing the right questions is essential for a good job interview.
Knowing the best questions to ask will help you find the best candidate to fill the position. — fizkes/Getty Images

You know what they say: A business is only as good as its employees. Your team will be a reflection of who you are as a company, including the values and goals you uphold. Finding the right workers to represent your brand and carry out your business’s mission is crucial.

When you bring in applicants for interviews, you’ll want to dig deep to truly understand who they are — as potential employees and as humans. Here are seven important interview questions to ask.

[Read: 'Why Should We Hire You?': Best Job Interview Questions to Ask Candidates]

Tell me a little about yourself.

This question is a great opener for your interview. Before you dive into the candidate’s professional background, you’ll want to get a feel for who this person really is, including their interests, passions and values. This will help you understand whether they’d fit in your company’s culture, and whether they’d be a positive addition to your team.

Why do you want this job?

Though simple, this question cuts through the noise and gets straight to the point. Out of the countless jobs the candidate likely applied to, you’ll want to know why yours is special to them. In their answer, look for passion and excitement. You don’t want to recruit just any employee with the right skills and experience. You want someone who also wants to work for you — someone who will be committed and see the job as more than just a paycheck.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This is always a difficult question to answer, as it can feel uncomfortable for an applicant to boast about how great they are or expose their downfalls. However, in their response, you’ll learn a lot about the standards they hold themselves to, their confidence levels and their willingness to admit to their faults — all major considerations when hiring an employee.

[Read: 5 Important Interview Questions Every Business Should Ask]

Tell me about a time you faced a challenge in the workplace. How did you get through it?

No one is perfect, especially in the business world. Mistakes and conflicts will happen; what matters is how an employee handles these tricky situations. By asking a candidate about a difficult experience they had in the workplace, you’ll learn not only about their attitude toward such challenges, but also how they power through it. This is where their maturity, or lack thereof, will shine.

Finding the right workers to represent your brand and carry out your business’s mission is crucial.

What would you consider your biggest professional achievement?

Once you’re through dissecting the issues they’ve faced at work, ask about their successes. In doing so, you’ll not only understand what they consider to be an achievement, but also what they value most in their career. Think of this as their chance to brag a bit — and watch for that sparkle in their eyes as they do.

Why should we hire you?

Let them express their desires, skills, experience and anything else they feel they can bring to your company. This is a time for them to impress you — much like a spoken resume or a pitch. Simply sit back and allow them to do the talking.

[Read: Tips for Conducting a Great Job Interview]

Where do you see yourself in five years?

As an employer, you’ll want to know what an applicant’s intentions are if they take a job with your business. Maybe they see this position as a stepping stone to a higher one, or perhaps working for your company would be a dream come true to them. Whatever the case, it’s important to factor in your own objectives for hiring a new employee and ensure they match up with theirs.

Before you call in candidates for interviews, make sure you jot down these seven questions to ask during your meeting with them. Their responses might shock, repel or impress you. Trust your gut instincts, but keep an open mind.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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