Interviewing candidates is a tricky task — one that may leave you feeling just as anxious as your applicants. But with a little preparation and some inventive questions, you’ll be well on your way to finding the newest addition to your team. Read on for unique interview questions to ask potential employees.

What skill makes you most qualified for this position?

Let’s start tried and true: Give your potential hire a chance to explain why he or she is a good fit for the role. The answer helps you ensure the applicant understands the role and shows that he or she can communicate what will be expected day to day — both of which are vital to finding the right fit.

Do you prefer to work on a team or alone?

Good interview questions help you envision how a potential hire will fit into your team. The takeaway here is not just the answer, but the why behind it. Watch for red flags based on the position you’re hiring for and the vibe of your company. If you have a collaborative, open-concept office, someone who can’t get any work done with others around likely won’t be a good fit.

What do you think makes a good manager?

This question is good for two reasons: It helps you determine whether you will mesh with your new hire and whether he or she has a good mind for management. If the role you’re hiring for includes managing employees, go at this from both sides: “What makes a good manager for you?” and “How do you successfully manage employees?”

What qualifies as a good workday in your book?

This one is all about defining expectations. Knowing what a candidate sees as a successful workday will give you an idea of how he or she will manage time and what he or she values as an employee. Answers that surprise you here are fine, but be sure they make sense for the job. For example, think twice before hiring an interviewee not motivated by hitting goals for a sales position.

Have you ever dealt with a bad relationship with a supervisor or coworker? How did you overcome it?

Part of the interview process is understanding how a candidate will deal with conflict. Most people will feel uncomfortable talking about a negative workplace relationship in an interview, so this is also a good chance to see how the applicant thinks on his or her feet and navigates an awkward situation. Look for answers that show the potential hire is willing to compromise and find solutions, even when the other party may not be.

What kind of professional development have you done in the past year?

It’s important to find an employee who puts time in to learning new skills and becoming better at his or her craft year after year. The candidate’s professional development history will give you insight into how motivated he or she is to grow. Taking advantage of workplace development is great, but keep an eye out for those who take it upon themselves to seek out growth opportunities. 

Running your own business comes with many responsibilities – from finding the right person to hire to ensuring your business has the coverage it needs. Contact your local Farm Bureau agent to be sure your business insurance is keeping up.