Asking the right questions can help you better evaluate your candidates so that you can make the best hiring decision for your organization. As a hiring manager you will want to be prepared, and after the interview is finished have a better understanding of the candidate’s potential at your company. Interviewing candidates extends beyond skills and abilities into areas of candidate maturity level, culture fit and self-awareness to assess overall candidate quality.

Here are five interview questions that will help you find the best candidate to fill an open position:

Why do you want to leave your job?

Before the interview process begins, it is encouraged to engage in small talk to put the interviewee at ease. This creates an environment for a collaborative conversation that will benefit both the interviewer and interviewee. This question will help in better understanding an individual’s professional working history. Also, this can be an indication of any red flags, for example, chronic complaining about a prior position.

Tell me about a time when…

Asking an open-ended question will help pinpoint if the candidate has the experience required for the position. If the candidate is specific, then it is likely that he or she has enough experience. Offering more substantive answers are an indication of a higher level of preparation and initiative which is a favorable trait in a candidate. On the other hand, if the candidate is more so vague and general it is likely that he or she does not have enough experience for the position.

Why did you choose this particular career path or what led to your chosen profession?

The answer to this question will state what steps the candidate has taken to prepare for his or her career of choice. It will also answer if the candidate will seek to grow and have a long tenure with your organization. Finally, the answer confirms if the candidate has the right skills to be successful in this position.

What did you like most about (a job on their resume)? What did you like least about this job?

The candidate’s response to this question is about what he or she finds motivating. For example, depending on the position if the candidate requires a lot of supervision or a small amount of supervision. Also, reaffirming how well the candidate works with others in addition to how the candidate will fit in with the overall culture of your organization.

What are your minimum salary requirements?

A small number of candidates will indicate initially their salary requirements. It is recommended that the candidate specifies their salary range so that it is clear if it is what they are requesting is a match to the open position. If their salary requirement is not a match, it is best to let them know early on so that there are not any misunderstandings and wasting of valuable time.

Asking the right questions provides better insight into what is important to a candidate and how well they interact with others, including overall job performance. Preparing for an interview is key, and that doesn’t just apply to the candidate—it’s equally important for you as the interviewer. Although the candidate is on the stressful end of the table, job interviews can inspire anxiety in both parties. Understanding that the conversation is an opportunity to discover which candidate is the best fit for the open position while having an open and honest dialogue is the primary goal.

References: Job Interview Tools, GlassDoor, The Muse