A young woman freezes up during a job interview

10 Interview Questions Guaranteed to Help You Spot a Bad Hire

Employers often seem to pull from the same stock of interview questions. That makes it nice for potential employees, since they can practice their answers beforehand - which doesn’t always equal an honest answer. Try these questions to dig a little deeper and really figure out what kind of worker you’re really bringing into your company.

1. “How did you handle an experience in your last job that didn’t go how you wanted it to?”

This can show a lot about a person: whether or not they blame someone else for what happened instead of taking responsibility, how they react to stress, and if they’re willing to admit to mistakes to you.

2. “What are your goals for the future?”

Someone who doesn’t have a lot of personal goals probably isn’t going to get excited about your company’s goals either. Furthermore, it can help you figure out if they are going to be around for the long haul or if they’ll be gone as soon as they finish their training.

3. “What didn’t you like about your last job?”

You can glean two essential bits of information from this question. First of all, if their complaints include things like long work days or other things that are going to happen at any job, you can get an idea of whether or not they’re a dedicated worker or someone looking to make a few bucks. Second, if all the things they disliked from their previous work is exactly what they’ll be doing for you, they may not be a good fit for the position.

4. “What did you like about your last job?”

It may seem like a copout to just ask the opposite, but you can find out some interesting things from asking the question this way as well. If all they can find to reminisce about previous work is the company picnic, it’s a pretty good clue they have rather superficial values.

5. “Why shouldn’t I hire you? “

Everyone is used to being asked why they are a good fit. So flip the question on them. This makes them look at themselves from a different perspective, instead of regurgitating what they think employers want to hear.

6. “What sort of lies do you tell?”

This one deviates wildly from standard line of questioning. When you ask questions they aren’t prepared for, it forces interviewees into honesty...or to show you they’re an incredibly quick and creative thinker!

7. “What would you do if your co-workers weren’t holding up their end of the job?”

How your new employee is going to interact with their co-workers is essential to being a good fit. This lets you judge whether they’re going to buckle down and try to pick up the slack or run to you every time someone isn’t working like they should be. It can also give you an idea of whether they’re going to fit with the team you already have -- or if they’ll work as part of a team, for that matter.

8. “Why did you leave your last position?”

When answered honestly, this question can be very telling. It can pick out applicants who get bored easily, who don’t expect to have to do the work, and who don’t play well with others. Conversely, when checking references, it can help you pick out liars sometimes.

9. “What do you think you’ll be doing in this position?”

This can help you tell if they’ve done their homework. If they can’t even begin to imagine or have the totally wrong idea, chances are you’re going to find a better applicant. Likewise, if their ideals are a little high or a little low, you may find they’ll fit better in a different position.

10. “Have you filed workman’s comp or class action suits against previous employers?”

While this isn’t part of the standard line of questioning, it’s something important to consider, especially from someone with an extensive list of previous jobs. Someone who’s in the job to find and exploit faults will tend to make a pattern of it -- and avoiding them can save a lot of money and time.

Last Updated: September 22, 2015