When conducting job interviews, it’s important to have a few recurring questions. Obviously I’m not saying to be completely robotic and only fill up a form with predetermined questions. Personnally I like saving around 30% of the interview time to pose the same 3 to 5 problems.
If you always ask the same questions, you’re effectively making sure that every candidate gets the same opportunity to impress you. You also remove any doubts on your ability to express yourself clearly: if 100 people understood you right away before and one didn’t, it’s probably not because of the way you asked the question. Finally it also makes comparaison between candidates easier.
One of my favorite ones is asking “what task or project you accomplished in the past made you the most proud and why”. It’s a good way to find out candidate’s interests, how passionate they are about their craft, what they value, how they present their work and so on.
I also like to present a very specific problematic that could occur on the job and ask how they would react to it. Something like “what if the printer seems broken and you absolutely need to print something in the next 2 hours”. It sounds very mundain (and it is), but you’d be surprised by the range of answers you’ll get.
Finally, you should regularly review the questions you ask. If candidates always give you the same answer, it might be a good idea to mix it up since you’re not really learning anything new on them. On the other hand if no one seem to understand what you have in mind and you always have to repeat in different ways, maybe it’s time to drop this one.