5 Professional Coaching Tips to Improve Job Interview Questions

5 Professional Coaching Tips to Improve Job Interview Questions

Coach Triumph Work & Career, Professional Development Leave a Comment

Common job interview questions include “why should we hire you?”, “why do you want to work for us?” and the often used “tell us more about yourself…”, but interviews often result in wasted opportunities for employers to ask questions that really get the best out of the person in front of them.

Remember, there’s no such thing as a “bad” candidate. They might just not be right for your specific role. If you invite somebody in to talk to you then it’s up to you to get the best out of the person in front of you, however.


Here’s how you can draw on the world of professional coaching to offer the best job interview questions that will allow a person to open up and tell you who they truly are.

professional coaching media

#1-Matching And Mirroring:

It’s not always necessarily the questions themselves in a job interview that can lead to a person providing you with less than desirable answers. Sometimes, it’s simply their surroundings and how at ease they feel (or don’t feel) about the interviewer.

Generally speaking people feel more comfortable when they are faced with familiarities. A really basic way that you can help a person to feel more comfortable is by mirroring their body language. If they lean back, you lean back. If they’re upright and confident, you’re upright and confident.

People usually “like” people that they feel are like them, in turn, this makes them more likely to be open and honest with them.

#2-Connecting With Their Emotions:

One of the main problems with many job interview questions is that they’re so work orientated, or they relate so specifically to the companies agenda that they don’t really delve into the reasons why a person wants to work in the first place.

A lot of the time, though it can be hard for some bosses and companies to understand this (and that’s understandable when you’re so devoted to achieving high professional standards yourself), a person wants to work because they’re trying to reach their own personal goals as opposed to wanting to work towards the companies goals. The company goals are often a by product of personal goal attainment.

When a person is going for senior management roles, sure, their commitment to professional excellence is likely to be on par with their commitment to personal excellence. But rather than trying to find out how they can best serve you and your needs, consider what needs they have. Why did they come to you today?

What gets this person out of bed in the morning? What motivates them to want to try hard to deliver effective results for you? What’s their purpose? What was it that started them on the current path they’re on in the first place?

When you find out the answers to questions like this, you really get to know what the person is about and how likely they are to want to deliver the goods for you in the long-term.

#3-Finding Out Their Key Motivators:

As a natural progression to connecting with their emotions and finding out what inspires them to make movement every day, it’s then a good idea to try to delve into what the persons key motivators are.

Not everybody is fuelled by money. Some people absolutely are, but others are fuelled by the relationships that they’re able to establish in the workplace and with the customers they serve, too. This is why retirees sometimes get part time jobs! They love the communication and contact with others.

Try your best to understand what the overriding motivator, or motivators are for the person in front of you as part of your job interview questions. This is going to be vital for understanding whether or not they’re a good fit for your business. Somebody who is primarily money orientated for instance might not be a good fit for a low pressure customer service based role as positions like this are often more relationship focused.

Equally, someone who is heavily focused on communication and relationship development with customers might not be the best fit for a high pressure sales environment unless they’re comfortable with discussing money and applying a result driven mindset to their communication.

It’s all about discovering where the persons strengths lie and how they could use them to support your business goals. Let them tell you how they can do this themselves.

business goals

#4-It’s Never About You…To Start With:

One of the most common mistakes made when it comes to asking job interview questions is to make every question or facet of the conversation link back to yourself and your own experience.

Generally speaking, people come to a job interview to tell you why they’re a good fit for your company and to find out how you might serve their personal goals in the process. They don’t usually come to hear about the time you won manager or CEO of the year three times in a row, or an amazing deal you managed to close.

Leave yourself out of the equation unless you’re asked specifically about your history and who you are as a person. If they ask, it’s because they want to know and they’re probably genuinely interested in finding out more about you. This can be inspiring for them.

It won’t be inspiring if you cascade this information onto them without being asked, though. It could actually be de-motivating and intimidating meaning that you don’t get the best out of them.


Let the candidate do the talking. The more you let them talk and encourage them to tell you all about who they are, the more comfortable they’ll feel and the more honest they’re likely to be with you in the process.

If you constantly try to steer the conversation and interject with question after question, the less organic their responses and temperament are likely to come across. Instead of asking lots of questions, instead, simply focus on asking less and keep them in line with the examples we’ve given in points 2 and 3 today. Encourage them to spread their wings and give them breathing space. Quality over quantity.

communication and interview


Which interview questions do you use to get the best out of your candidates? Do you remember any job interview questions you were asked that really encouraged you to share who you were as a person?

Share this post with your managerial and business owner friends to encourage them to fine tune their job interview questions for better results. It’d also be a good idea to consider some professional coaching sessions yourself so that you can find out exactly how to effectively unlock the candidates you meet and experience the benefits that these types of questions and techniques have to offer.