Top Interview Questions + AI Prompts To Make Great Hires

Asking the right interview questions can be hard, but it doesn't have to be.

Top Interview Questions + AI Prompts To Make Great Hires

Hiring the right employees is crucial for the success of any company. But how do you ensure that you are hiring the best candidates for your team? One of the most effective ways is through a well-structured interview process.

Interviews help you understand the candidate better than just reading their resume. You can evaluate their skills, experience, and how well they fit in with the company's culture.

However, not all interview questions are created equal. In this article, we will discuss the top interview questions that will help you hire the best candidates for your team. We've also included one or two AI prompts you can use to create your own questions in a click of a button!

If you'd like to learn more about how AI can speed up HR tasks like hiring, check out Walli HR. Our platform uses AI to automate repetitive tasks.

Mastering the Art of Interview Questions: Best Types to Ask

The ideal interview questions help you find out if the candidate has the right skills, experience, and fits well with the role and company.

Here are some types of interview questions that are often considered effective:

  1. Behavioral Questions: These questions ask the candidate to provide examples of past experiences and how they handled specific situations. This is a bit debatable. According to Dr. John Sullivan, these types of questions are dead. They focus too much on the past instead of focusing on future performance. Instead, you may want to focus on situational questions.
  2. Situational Questions: These questions present hypothetical scenarios related to the role and ask how the candidate would respond.
  3. Skill-based Questions: These questions focus on specific skills required for the role. You may want to consider take home assignments or brainstorming sessions.
  4. Culture Fit Questions: These questions evaluate how well the candidate aligns with the company's values and work culture. These ones can be a little tricky if you're focusing on 'how you feel' about someone. Instead, aim to create concrete questions or look for cues. For example, if your company values "curiosity", you could ask, "What's something new that you learned and found interesting?"
  5. How did you learn about it?"
  6. Motivational Questions: These questions evaluate why a candidate is motivated and committed to the role and company.

The best interview questions can vary depending on the job and company. It's important to tailor the questions to gather the most relevant information to make an informed hiring decision.

Mistakes to Avoid When Formulating Interview Questions

Hiring managers often make several mistakes when formulating interview questions. Some common pitfalls include:

  1. Asking very theoretical questions may not be a good way to assess a candidate's practical skills or job performance. They could focus too much on hypothetical scenarios rather than real-world situations.
  2. Using leading or biased questions: Using questions that suggest the desired answer can make it hard for candidates to give honest and varied viewpoints. This can hinder the interviewer's understanding of the candidate's true capabilities.
  3. Neglecting behavioral questions: Behavioral questions are crucial for understanding a candidate's past experiences, problem-solving skills, and how they handled specific situations. Failing to ask these can limit insights into a candidate's potential performance.
  4. Overlooking follow-up questions: Sometimes, hiring managers stick to a script without delving deeper into a candidate's responses. Follow-up questions can clarify ambiguous answers or provide more details about a candidate's experiences and skills.
  5. Only looking at technical skills: Some hiring managers forget to consider a candidate's soft skills like communication, teamwork, flexibility, and problem-solving abilities, even though these skills are important too. These skills are equally important for success in many roles.
  6. Not providing enough context: Questions that lack context can confuse candidates and prevent them from giving relevant answers. Clear and contextualized questions help candidates understand what is expected and respond appropriately.
  7. Failure to align questions with job requirements: Sometimes, interview questions do not match the necessary skills or qualifications for the job. Matching questions with the job description makes the evaluation process useful.
  8. Not allowing candidates to ask questions: Interviews should be a two-way conversation. Candidates need to ask questions in order to understand the job, company culture, and other important aspects. Without the ability to ask questions, it may be harder for them to fully grasp these things. This could affect how they make decisions.

Best Interview Questions for Hiring Managers

OK - now that we've gotten the basics covered, let's dive into the questions themselves.

a living room with two chairs and a plant

by Leuchtturm Entertainment (

Behavioural interview questions

Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to solve a problem or implement a new idea at work. What was the situation, and what was the outcome?

This question checks if the candidate is proactive, good at problem-solving, and able to take the lead in a dynamic startup.

Describe a situation where you had to work with a challenging team member. How did you handle it, and what was the result?

This question tests if the candidate can work with others and solve problems in difficult situations. This is important in small teams that need to collaborate.

Can you share an example of a project or task where you had to adapt to unexpected changes or faced setbacks? How did you handle the situation?

This question tests how well a person can handle and bounce back from tough situations, and how they respond to difficult times. These skills are really important in startup companies that are always experiencing lots of changes and not knowing what will happen next.

Tell me about a time when you had to meet a tight deadline or handle a high-pressure situation. How did you prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively?

This question assesses how well the candidate can manage their time, handle stress, and meet deadlines. These qualities are important in startups where there might not be a lot of resources and deadlines can be very close.

Can you think of a time when you had to convince others to agree with you or see things differently? How did you approach it, and what was the outcome?

This question tests how well the candidate can communicate, persuade, and influence others to make changes. These skills are important in small companies where teamwork and good communication are key to being successful.

Situational interview questions

Imagine you're leading a project and a key team member suddenly resigns. How would you handle the situation to ensure the project stays on track and meets its deadlines?

This question checks if the candidate is good at solving problems, can deal with unexpected challenges, and can adjust to limited resources in startup environments.

Suppose you disagreed with your supervisor or team leader on the approach to a project. How would you handle this disagreement while ensuring the project's success and maintaining a positive working relationship?

This question checks how well the candidate can solve conflicts, talk with others, and handle disagreements. It's important for small teams who rely on working together.

If you needed to present a new product or service in a challenging market, how would you develop a strategy to triumph and surpass your competitors?

This question assesses the candidate's strategic thinking, market analysis skills, and ability to develop innovative solutions, which are crucial in competitive startup landscapes.

Imagine the company faced a sudden crisis or PR issue. How would you communicate with people who have an interest in the company, both inside and outside, to minimize the negative effect on the company's reputation?

This question tests how well someone can handle a crisis, communicate effectively, and deal with high-pressure situations. These skills are crucial in small companies because it's important to maintain a positive reputation.

Suppose you were given a limited budget and asked to organize a company-wide team-building event. How would you plan and execute this event to ensure maximum participation and a positive impact on team morale?

This question tests how good a candidate is at organizing things, being creative, and achieving goals even when there isn't a lot of money to work with. These skills are often really important for startups that don't have much money to spend.

Skills-based interview questions

Can you discuss a project where you utilized your coding/programming skills to overcome a significant technical challenge? What was your approach, and what was the outcome?

Suggested assessment: To evaluate coding or technical skills, ask candidates to complete a coding challenge or solve a technical problem during the interview. Alternatively, request code samples or portfolios beforehand to evaluate their proficiency.

Describe a situation where you had to demonstrate strong leadership skills. How did you motivate your team and achieve the desired outcomes?

Suggested assessment: Use role-playing scenarios or simulations during the interview to observe the candidate's leadership style. Ask for specific examples of when they showed leadership and the outcome to evaluate their leadership abilities.

Can you share an example of a complex problem you solved using analytical skills? What steps did you take to analyze the situation and reach a resolution?

Suggested assessment: Give the candidate a scenario or problem related to the job and watch how they analyze and solve it. Ask for examples where they applied analytical skills in their previous roles.

Discuss a time when you had to communicate a complex idea to a non-technical audience. How did you ensure effective communication and understanding?

Suggested assessment: Use communication-based exercises during the interview, such as asking the candidate to explain a technical concept in simple terms. Evaluate their clarity, expression, and ability to tailor their communication to the audience.

Describe a situation where you had to multitask or prioritize tasks effectively to meet tight deadlines. How did you manage your time, and what was the result?

Suggested assessment: Give the candidate a task or a situation that has a specific time limit and requires them to handle multiple tasks and manage their time effectively. You could also ask them for examples of situations in the past where they were able to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines successfully.

Using assignments, simulations, or alternative interview tactics can greatly complement skills-based questions to assess a candidate's abilities effectively:

  • Assignments: Give candidates actual or hypothetical tasks or projects that relate to the job and evaluate their submissions or results to assess their skills in a more concrete way. For example, when we ask a marketing candidate to make a sample campaign plan or when we ask a developer to solve a coding problem.
  • Simulations: Conduct role-playing exercises or simulations where candidates are placed in scenarios that mimic real job situations. This could involve team collaboration exercises, problem-solving challenges, or mock projects to observe their skills firsthand.
  • Portfolio or Work Samples: Request candidates to present their portfolios, work samples, or relevant projects they've completed. We can gauge their abilities and knowledge by examining the tangible outcomes.

By using various methods to assess skills, hiring managers can gain a better understanding of a candidate's abilities. This helps them determine if the candidate would be suitable for a small company or startup.

Culture fit interview questions

What type of work environment or company culture brings out the best in you? Can you share an example of a work environment where you felt most productive and fulfilled?

This question helps you know what the candidate likes and how they think a good work place is like. This helps you see if their ideas match with your company's culture.

Can you describe a situation where you had to adapt to a significant change in your previous workplace? How did you handle the transition, and what did you learn from the experience?

Evaluating how candidates handle change gives us an idea of their ability to be flexible and open. These qualities are important in small businesses, which often go through quick growth or changing work situations.

What motivates you to excel in a team-based environment? Can you provide an example of a successful collaboration or teamwork experience that you particularly enjoyed?

This question evaluates the candidate's attitude toward teamwork, their communication style, and their ability to collaborate effectively, essential qualities in smaller, closely-knit teams.

In what ways do you seek personal and professional development? How do you think this aligns with the opportunities available within our company?

To grasp how a candidate learns and grows, we can see if they match our focus on personal development and potential for advancing in their career.

How do you prioritize maintaining a healthy work-life balance? Can you share strategies or practices you follow to manage stress and maintain well-being during busy work periods?

This question evaluates how the candidate handles work-life balance, stress, and taking care of themselves. It helps us understand how they align with our company's values on employee well-being.

Motivational interview questions

What initially attracted you to our company and this particular role? How does this opportunity align with your long-term career goals?

This question helps to see if the candidate is motivated to apply and if they think the role will help them achieve their career goals. It also shows if they agree with the company's mission.

Can you share a significant accomplishment or project that you're particularly proud of? What motivated you to pursue it, and how did you stay focused and driven throughout the process?

Studying what motivates a person to achieve big things helps us understand their motivation, goal-setting abilities, and determination better. These qualities are very important in small companies because individual contributions matter a lot.

How do you maintain your enthusiasm and motivation when faced with challenges or setbacks in your work? Can you provide an example of a time when you remained motivated despite obstacles?

When considering candidates for smaller companies, it is important to know how they deal with difficulties and stay motivated. This can show how strong and committed they are, which are important traits in these kinds of businesses where workers often encounter many different problems.

What type of work or projects do you find most fulfilling and engaging? How do you ensure you stay motivated and passionate about your work in the long term?

This question delves into the candidate's preferences and intrinsic motivators, offering insights into the type of tasks or projects that drive their enthusiasm and commitment.

When considering your career, what inspires you to continually learn and grow? How do you envision leveraging opportunities within our company to fuel your motivation for growth?

We can figure out how likely a candidate is to learn and grow, and if their goals match with the company's opportunities, which shows how well they can contribute and progress in the organization.

Interview Questions + ChatGPT

Using the above list is a great start, but if you want to tailor the questions I recommend using ChatGPT. If you haven't used it before, don't be intimidated. It's very user friendly. I've also included a prompt you can use to get a good output.

Businessman working and writing notes in office


Step 1: Create a free ChatGPT account

Step 2: Enter the prompt below.

Prompt: "I'm seeking your expertise in formulating effective interview questions tailored to the candidate, role, and our company. To ensure we have a well-rounded understanding, here's some essential information:

About the Candidate:

  • Overview of professional background:
  • Key skills, experiences, and strengths:

Role Description:

  • Title and key responsibilities:
  • Primary skills and qualifications needed:
  • Any specific traits we're seeking:

Company Insights:

  • Brief overview of the company and its industry:
  • General values and culture:
  • Notable aspects of the work environment:

Performance Expectations:

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) or objectives for this role:
  • Expected contributions and outcomes:
  • Collaboration dynamics and team expectations:

I've provided a snapshot of relevant details, but I'm aware it might not cover everything. Feel free to ask for more context or details that could aid in tailoring the interview questions effectively. Moreover, any thoughts or recommendations you may have would really help us find the perfect person for this job.


Hiring the right employees is crucial for the success of any company. When you ask the right questions during an interview, you can evaluate a candidate's abilities, past experiences, and if they would fit well with your company culture. This will help you make a well-informed choice when hiring.

Use these top interview questions and AI prompt to help you  hire the best people for your team.