Candidate Assessment Questions

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Candidate Assessment Questions

Modern hiring is like a complex tapestry of tools, tactics, and strategies. For years, candidate assessment required little more than a resume, a few great interview questions, and a notepad. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the mass adoption of technology and data-driven decision-making, traditional hiring methods have evolved into sophisticated candidate evaluation processes. This is because today's employees must meet far more meticulous requirements.

Instead of the simple ability to swing a hammer or type 50 words per minute, candidates face the complex world of algorithms and psychometric evaluations. As a hiring manager or recruiter, this means being prepared with the right candidate assessment questions and tools to select the most qualified candidates for a role.

Companies like Procter & Gamble use gamified candidate assessment tests that include sections like the Switch Challenge Test, the Digit Challenge, the Grid Challenge, and the PEAK assessment test to assess a candidate's deductive-reasoning skills, cognitive functions, logical, and judgment skills to select the best candidates for their team.

Assessment Interview Questions and Answers

Candidate assessments are "interviews" designed to go deeper than the surface-level information contained in a resume. The goal of candidate assessment interview questions is to evaluate how candidates would respond in real-world scenarios- looking at critical thinking, problem-solving skills, team dynamics, and personality fit.

Candidate assessment interview questions and answers are meticulously crafted to allow employers to gain insights into how an applicant's experience has shaped them into being the best person for a given role. These questions can cover a wide range of topics and skills, from technical knowledge (hard skills) to interpersonal abilities (soft skills). When integrated into the hiring process candidate assessments uncover the core competencies that help hiring teams decide between multiple candidates.

When hiring for managerial roles, where the stakes are far higher, candidate assessment questions and answers for managers may not only include reasoning and cognitive skills but also situational or behavioral questions. Situational and behavioral interview questions ask candidates to describe how they have handled specific situations in the past, providing insight into their decision-making process and problem-solving abilities.

Questions like these will empower a hiring team to gauge a candidate's leadership style, problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, learning agility, and the ability to inspire and guide teams toward achieving common goals. Interview intelligence software will help you gather better insights from your candidate assessments. Using the power of AI, Pillar can assess a candidate's skills, comparing them to your job requirements to let you know who's best fit for the role.

Different Types Of Candidate Assessment Questions

As you're considering different types of candidate assessment questions, here are a few things to keep in mind. First, there are a wide variety of tools to help you make great hiring decisions, interview intelligence is just one of the many options. Second, there are broad categories of interview questions that can help you in your search- namely; technical, behavioral, situational, soft skills (or people skills), and psychometric interview questions. Each category offers a unique perspective on the candidate and serves a specific purpose in evaluating their fit for your role.

Technical Questions:

Technical questions are designed to assess a candidate's hard skills related to the job's specific requirements. These can range from coding challenges for a software engineering position to sales skills for an account executive (AE) to case studies for a business analyst role. Assessment questions examples in this category include asking a candidate to solve a problem using their technical knowledge or to explain a complex concept in simple terms.

Behavioral Questions:

Behavioral questions aim to uncover how a candidate responded to an input in past situations and work on the premise that past behavior is the best predictor of future performance. Behavior-based interview questions might involve a past scenario where the candidates needed to demonstrate communication skills, adaptability, or conflict resolution abilities. A common mistake to avoid when crafting candidate assessment questions in this category is being too vague. You're looking for an answer that walks you through how they've solved a problem in the past so being vague can lead to generic responses that don't reveal much about the candidate's true personality or capabilities.

Situational Questions:

Situational questions are similar to behavioral questions but focus on hypothetical scenarios that could happen in the future rather than real-life examples from the past. Candidates are asked to describe how they would handle a specific situation related to the job. This allows hiring managers to assess problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. However, one of the common mistakes to avoid when crafting candidate assessment questions of this nature is failing to relate the scenario to realistic job-related challenges, which can render the exercise less effective, skew feedback data, and derail the interview.

Psychometric Questions:

Psychometric questions evaluate a candidate's personality traits, cognitive abilities, and emotional intelligence. Like the P&G example we gave in section one, these types of tests can help predict how well a candidate will perform under the stress and pressure of a given role. Do they have the required skills, knowledge, and temperament to thrive in the position? Psychometric assessment questions can be integrated into interviews or used as standalone tests.

As many industries move from in-office to a hybrid or remote workforce, adapting assessment questions for remote interviews is also worth considering. Remote evaluation could involve using video interview platforms with interview intelligence to conduct live technical assessments, leveraging online platforms for psychometric testing, using personality assessments like 16Personalities, or redesigning questions to better gauge remote work capabilities such as self-motivation and time management. Either way, looking at how a candidate manages time, increases productivity, and stays connected to the team are all factors in today's remote workplace.

Role-Specific Assessment Questions

That's far we've talked a lot about the different types of interview questions you could ask candidates- what we haven't talked about are role-specific assessment questions. Role-specific assessment questions are designed to determine if a candidate has the specific skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to excel in the position they're interviewing for.

Candidate Assessment Questions in Different Fields

For example, an entry-level software engineer most likely will not have the same level of technical expertise as a senior engineer with 7- 10 years of experience. For this reason, technical assessment questions for entry-level roles will look very different from senior levels. Sales functions like account executives (AEs) are the same way. Look at assessment interview examples for a VP of Sales. The focus will be on strategic thinking, team management, and leadership capabilities rather than sales techniques or client communication skills. In contrast, an AE assessment would dive deeper into their ability to hit sales quotas, close deals, and build relationships with clients from cold outreach or SDRs.

Here's an actionable guide to creating role-specific assessment questions for each level. In general, an individual contributor's (IC) job is to perform a task and reach a goal, and a manager's job is to manage the performance of those tasks and measure outcomes to deliver up the chain of command. Directors and VPs (depending on the size of your organization) are responsible for managing people, processes, and culture to achieve and contribute to high-level business objectives (the bigger picture), and executives (OR) the C-suite set objectives, communicate the company visions, acquire resources, and make strategic decisions that drive organizational growth and momentum.

Questions for each level could look like:

Individual Contributor (IC)

  • Can you walk me through your previous experience in this specific task/role?
  • How have you successfully completed this type of task in the past? What were your results?
  • Can you give me an example of a challenging project/task that you were able to complete successfully?


  • How do you typically manage and delegate tasks among your team members?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to handle conflict within your team. How did you approach it and resolve it?
  • Give an example of how you have mentored and developed a team member in the past. How did the team grow because of it?


  • Can you discuss your experience with managing processes and workflows to achieve business objectives and hit goals?
  • How do you foster a positive company culture within your team?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision that impacted the organization as a whole. How did you handle it and what was the outcome?


  • How do you set and communicate organizational objectives to drive growth and success?
  • Give an example of when you had to make a strategic business decision that may've seemed counter to "expected norms." What factors did you consider and how did it impact the company?
  • How do you stay current with industry trends and use them to inform your decisions as an executive?

In conclusion, approaching the evaluation of candidates for specific roles and at different levels requires a bit of specialized knowledge and a unique touch. As you can see, the core function a candidate is measured upon varies significantly between managerial roles and entry-level positions. Keeping this in mind in your assessment interview examples is critical because it acknowledges the diverse skill sets and experience required for success at every level.

If you'd like to see how AI-powered interview intelligence can enhance your candidate assessments, reduce interview prep times, and provide deeper insights into each candidate- Book a demo of Pillar today!