What’s a good interview question for a small business?

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What's a Good Interview Question for a Small Business?

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What’s a Good Interview Question for a Small Business?

From checking on mental health to asking about your website, here are the 17 answers to the question, “What are some helpful questions when interviewing a candidate for a small business?”

  • Do You Practice Any Good Mental Health Habits?
  • When Did You Solve a Problem With Limited Resources?
  • Do You Have Enough Knowledge to Sell a Client?
  • How Do You Go About Educating Yourself?
  • What Do You Bring to the Table?
  • Are You Willing to Wear Many Hats?
  • What Do You Know About Our Competitors?
  • What Are You Passionate About?
  • What Do You Know About the Industry?
  • How and Why Did You Begin Working in This Field?
  • What Are Your Career Goals?
  • What Experience Contributes to Our Business?
  • What Best Describes Your Style of Leadership?
  • What Are You Looking for in This Role?
  • Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
  • What Are Your Thoughts on Working as Part of a Team?
  • Have You Reviewed Our Website?

Do You Practice Any Good Mental Health Habits?

Asking a candidate if they practice good mental health habits during the interview process is a crucial question you should never ignore.

By directly asking this question, you allow the candidate to open up and share their honest perspectives on mental health, how they manage their well-being, and how they integrate those practices into their jobs. Healthy employees are essential for cultivating a successful business. As small business owners, we must be especially mindful of our mental health and that of our team members. Asking about mental health practices can provide deep insight into how a candidate can make valuable contributions to your organization—meeting goals and setting positive examples for self-care, and proactively encouraging others to do so.

Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder & CEO, OSDB Sports

When Did You Solve a Problem With Limited Resources?

One good interview question for a small business could be: “Tell me about a time when you had to solve a problem or made a decision with limited resources or information. How did you approach the situation, and what was the outcome?”This question can help you understand how the candidate approaches problem-solving and decision-making, especially in a resource-constrained environment, which is often the case in small businesses. It can also give you insights into the candidate’s critical thinking skills, resourcefulness, and adaptability.You can also follow up with questions about the specific actions the candidate took and the reasoning behind them, as well as any challenges they faced and how they overcame them. This can help you get a more well-rounded understanding of the candidate.

Travis Lindemoen, Managing Director, nexus IT group

Do You Have Enough Knowledge to Sell a Client?

“Do you have knowledge of the product or service and feel comfortable enough to talk with clients about them?” This question will give a hiring manager a better understanding of the candidate’s experience, as well as the practical knowledge needed to give customers a personalized experience for their specific needs for a product purchase.

Chris Coote, Founder & CEO, California Honey Vapes

How Do You Go About Educating Yourself?

In a small business, nearly every employee needs to be a generalist. They will take on many roles and responsibilities. Because no one is an expert in all disciplines, we will ask employees to often take on tasks or jobs in which they don’t have a lot of experience. This question will help determine how a person attacks an area outside of their wheelhouse. At a minimum, the person should have a protocol of following instructions to take on the new assignment; ideally, the person explored on their own and immersed themselves in the new subject in order to learn as fast as possible.

Dustin Sitar, Director of Marketing & Operations, BriteCo Inc

Dustin Sitar , BriteCo Inc

What Do You Bring to the Table?

One good interview question when interviewing a candidate for a small business could be, “What unique skills or qualities do you bring to this role that will benefit our company?”

This question allows the candidate to showcase their strengths and differentiate themselves from other candidates. It also gives the interviewer an understanding of how the candidate views themselves and their value to the company.

It prompts the candidate to highlight any unique experiences or skills that may not have been mentioned in their resume or application. Then, the interviewer can gain a better understanding of how the candidate will fit into the company culture and contribute to the overall success of the business.

Brian Clark, Founder, United Medical Education

Are You Willing to Wear Many Hats?

More often than not, candidates have a solid idea of what the role entails, but in a small business, this can be rather limiting. Most small businesses need employees who can wear many hats when required and be more flexible with their approach.

This is because although the talent is limited, projects are diverse and they can benefit greatly from saying yes to clients. Therefore, it’s crucial to ask candidates whether they’re open to diversifying their skills and wearing many hats while working for a small business.

Asma Hafejee, Sr. Marketing Executive, CMR Surgical

What Do You Know About Our Competitors?

The question will show how much preparation went into the applicant before the interview. Candidates who didn’t bother to research the firms you’re attempting to surpass might not bother to do so.

You’ll have your work cut out for you if the prospect you’re hiring for a non-entry-level position doesn’t have any experience in the field. It implies that your new worker would start out with a deficit—which results in lost time and money.

Connie Glover, General Manager, Product & Market Development, BFX Furniture

What Are You Passionate About?

“Are you interested in what we do here?” A strong applicant does not view getting a job as the primary aim and believes in working hard to make money. It is crucial that they excel in their work and are passionate about their profession. To give their all in their profession, passion serves as a motivating factor and is crucial.

This was a mandatory question to ask all candidates because every management seeks candidates who possess this quality. Look for a candidate who is sincere in their response and shows genuine enthusiasm for the position.

Isabella Meyer, Editor, Art in Context

Isabella Meyer , Artincontext

What Do You Know About the Industry?

Ask candidates what they know about the industry. Knowledge is an essential characteristic I look for. In doing so, I can see that the passion and excitement of the role are there. This also makes onboarding easier for both the manager and the new hire. Even in the beginning stages, knowledge is power.

Lindsay Malu Kido, CEO, Empower Pleasure

How and Why Did You Begin Working in This Field?

To find out what got them here in the first place, ask. Was it a dream from your youth? Was a bobsledding injury the catalyst for a love of track design? Did they merely fall short in the other ten occupations they’ve tried before?

The ideal response from an applicant shows initiative, logic, aptitude for the job, and that there is more to the position than just a paycheck.

Seth Larson, Owner & CEO, 1st Key Homebuyers

What Are Your Career Goals?

When interviewing a candidate for a small business, it is important to ask questions that will help to evaluate the candidate’s qualifications, experiences, and skills. One good interview question to ask is, “What are your career goals, and how do you think your current experience and skills can help you reach them?”

This question allows the candidate to explain their personal goals, as well as how their current experiences and skills make them a qualified candidate for the job. It also gives the interviewer insight into the candidate’s ambition and interest in the job.

This question also provides the candidate with an opportunity to explain how the experiences they have gained in the past have prepared them for the role they are interviewing for. This question can help the interviewer understand the motivation of the candidate, and how the candidate’s experiences and skills will help them succeed in the role.

Janie Doyle, Marketing Director, SC Vehicle Hire

What Experience Contributes to Our Business?

In my interviewing experience, a good interview question when interviewing candidates for a small business is, “What have you done in the past that shows your ability to contribute to my business?”

This question gives the candidate an opportunity to explain their current or previous experience, and how they can use those skills and experiences to benefit your small business. It also allows the interviewer to gain insight into the candidate’s thought process, communication style, and problem-solving technique.

Jennie Miller, Co-Founder, MIDSS

What Best Describes Your Style of Leadership?

It’s crucial to think about your expertise in a related sector and how it might benefit you in running the new firm, besides having the desire and need for an additional source of revenue.

“What best describes your style of leadership?” People in positions of leadership come from a variety of backgrounds, and their management philosophies are particular to their personalities.

By asking this question, an interviewer can get a better idea of how a potential candidate will manage communication with their team members. Describe your prior team leadership methods, emphasizing any success that came about because of your direction or mentoring.

Eva Tian, Growth Strategy Manager, Mynd

What Are You Looking for in This Role?

One good interview question when interviewing a candidate for a small business is “what are you looking for in this position and business?”

This will allow you to get a good idea of what type of work they are expecting from the position, and how they feel about your business and if they have the same goals.

Lindsey Hight, HR Professional, Renue Commercial

Lindsey Hight , Renue Commercial

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

This is one great interview question for small businesses. A small business or startup has a very high potential for growth. This question gives the applicant the unique opportunity to not only define how they perceive their own career development, but how they would do it specifically in the company, too. Their response can certainly lead to finding the perfect candidate to grow with the business.

Alexandre Robicquet, Co-Founder & CEO, Crossing Minds

What Are Your Thoughts on Working as Part of a Team?

In many small businesses, teamwork is essential for success. It’s important to determine if the candidate is comfortable in this environment or prefers working independently.

Their answers can also give you an idea of their communication style and how well they collaborate with others. If possible, provide an example scenario to see how the candidate might react when faced with such a situation.

Gary Gray, CFO, CouponChief.com

Have You Reviewed Our Website?

It depends on the role that the person is applying for, but I expect almost every candidate will have looked at our website or done some preliminary research.

Often, I will review their resume and check their LinkedIn profile, to see what their background is like, and I would hope that they have done some research as well before interviewing with a broad idea of what we do or at least have some questions to learn more.

Tim Hiller, Sr. Manager, Surety Systems

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