Using Probing Questions in a Job Interview

When Doing a Job Interview Remember to Dig Deep!

At Your Employment Solutions we hire for a wide variety of jobs on any given day. Our mission is to deliver the right people, on time, the first time. To fulfill that mission at YES we talk to a lot of job candidates, which means we do a lot of job interviews.

When it comes to filling jobs in Utah, or any type of employment – it’s important to remember that one size does not fit all. That holds true when it comes to job candidates and it also holds true with regards to the actual job interview. Every job is different, as such the skills and requirements needed will vary.

So as you’re asking job interview questions, be sure to PROBE! Probing questions are very important when finding the right person. Using situational questions and also digging deep to find out what the candidate is really like is key.

Here are some sample probing questions you can use in a job interview:

Work Experience

It’s important to discover how many years a candidate has worked, and what type of consistency the candidate has shown.

  • “What job do you think you have learned the most or have enjoyed the most and why?”
  • “What have been your strengths and weaknesses at your previous jobs?”
  • “If I called your previous employer what kind of feedback would I get back from them?”
  • “How long were you at this position, what was the reason for leaving, what were your likes and dislikes with the positions you left?”

Go over a few of the jobs with them to see if there is a pattern with why they left, why things didn’t last, or with the strengths and weakness, also what they think their employer feedback will be.

What Jobs are Candidates NOT Willing to Take?

  • “What do you see yourself doing in the future?
  • “Why would you settle for something not like that as of right now?”


Is the candidate nice, chatty, shy, aggressive, etc?

  • “Tell me why your personality has helped you with your past jobs.”
  • “Tell me about a specific instance where your attitude made a difference in your work/company?


What is it that drives the candidate to work?

  • “What in your life situation drives you to find a job, keep a job and also progress in a job?”
  • “When walking into a job, what are you goals when you get a specific job?”


You want to discover the candidate’s experience with delegating, managing appointments, and personal issues.

  • “Tell me about a time where something came up and you didn’t think going to work was an option, how did you handle the situation, did you end up making it to work?”

Additional Job Interview Notes

Also, while you do the job interview, be sure to take notes on the following subjects which are important to know in some temporary staffing situations:

  • Attitude (nice, chatty, shy, aggressive)?
  • Transportation (car, bike, bus)?
  • Commute (where willing to drive/radius)?
  • Any time off needs (babysitter, school)?
  • Long-term/Temp?
  • Pay rate range?
  • Education/Certifications/Additional Skills?

What type of questions do you think are important to ask in a job interview? Leave a comment and let me know!

Jarum Stone
Operations Manager
Your Employment Solutions

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