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The Ultimate Guide to Interview Scripts [Including 25+ Sample Questions]

Victoire Léveilley
January 31, 2024
Remote Works

The job interview is about to begin. You've just printed out the CV of the candidate standing in front of your door. You've quickly read it in the elevator and you're about to shake their hand and invite them into your office. You're a little nervous, afraid you won't know what questions to ask…

I've got the solution: eliminate all that stress by using an interview script.

What is an interview script?

An interview script is a set of predetermined questions and prompts designed to guide an interview conversation between an interviewer and interviewee. It serves as a framework to ensure key topics are covered while allowing for a natural and engaging discussion.

An interview script is a more detailed and specific tool than an interview template. It is focusing on the wording of questions and potential responses. On the other hand, an interview template is a broader guide, offering a framework for the overall interview process without specifying the exact language to be used.

Interview scripts and interview templates are obviously complementary. Feel free to take a look at our guide to preparing the perfect interview template.

Why it’s important to use an interview script

Stay structured and rigorous during the interview

Your interview script acts like a reliable guide, helping you keep things organized from start to finish. It ensures you have a clear structure, so you won't forget any crucial topics or get flustered during the conversation.

Ensure key questions are prioritized

With your interview script, you get to plan and prioritize all those must-ask questions. This way, you're sure to cover the essential topics, avoiding any oversights and allowing for a thorough exploration of the candidate's qualifications.

Promote consistency through standardized interviews

When you and other interviewers use similar scripts, it brings in a sense of consistency. This means you're all on the same page with a standardized set of questions, offering a fair and level playing field for all candidates.

Facilitate objective evaluation of the candidate

Your interview script, complete with a structured scoring system, empowers you to evaluate candidates objectively. It provides a framework to assess different competencies consistently, ensuring your evaluations are fair and accurate.

Your interview debriefs will be much easier if you use a script or a template.

Facilitate Efficient Tracking of the Interview

Your interview script offers a structured framework for note-taking. Take down key responses, observations, and follow-up questions to efficiently track your interview. 

This documentation is your go-to for reviewing candidate performance and making those crucial hiring decisions. Your teams can then access interview notes and give you valuable feedback.

Overall, interview scripts save you time

The meticulous pre-planning of questions ensures that the interviewer covers all essential topics, reducing the risk of oversight and allowing for a more focused conversation. With a well-designed script, interviewers can allocate appropriate time to each section. 

This organized approach not only expedites the interview itself but also facilitates quicker post-interview assessments.

How to write an interview script? 10 essential steps

Step 1 - Define objectives

Clearly outline the goals of the interview. What do you want to assess in the candidate? Skills, cultural fit, problem-solving ability? Understanding your objectives guides question selection.

Step 2 - Tailor your script to the specific role and industry

An interview script for a developer will not be the same as an interview script for a junior product manager or a head of sales. Consider the level of the position, the skills required, and the company culture.

Step 3 - Work on your introduction

Start with a warm greeting to put the candidate at ease. Include a brief introduction to the company and the purpose of the interview. 

Why not use an ice breaker at this point? It can be a good idea to begin with light, non-intrusive questions to establish rapport. This helps create a comfortable atmosphere for the candidate.

Step 4 - Ask about the professional background

Dive into the candidate's professional history. Craft questions that prompt them to discuss their experience, achievements, and specific projects.

Step 5 - Inquire about skills and competencies

Develop questions to assess the candidate's technical skills and competencies relevant to the job. Include both situational and behavioral questions.

Step 6 - Assess the cultural fit

Ask about the candidate's work style, values, and how they approach collaboration. Assessing cultural fit is crucial for long-term success in the organization.

Don’t hesitate to tailor your questions to your company's unique culture, values, and challenges. This ensures the candidate understands and aligns with the organization.

Step 7 - Evaluate problem-solving skills and critical thinking

During the interview, include scenarios that test the candidate's problem-solving ability and critical thinking skills. This gives insights into how they approach challenges.

You can use real life situations or create hypothetical case studies.

Step 8 - Conclude with care

When concluding the interview, you should leave room to the candidate to ask questions. Encourage them to inquire about the company, team dynamics, or any other relevant topics.

It's also important to close the interview by reminding the candidate of the next steps in the recruitment process.

Step 9 - Include scoring section or evaluation criteria

If applicable, integrate a scoring system or evaluation criteria into your script to maintain objectivity and consistency in assessments.

Step 10 - Review and refine your script before the interview

Before the interview, review and refine your script. Ensure questions are clear, concise, and align with your objectives.

While a script is essential, don’t forget to remain flexible. Allow room for spontaneous follow-up questions based on the candidate's responses.

The different types of questions you can include in your interview script

Crafting an interview script may become difficult when it comes to formulating the questions you’d like to pose. The nature of these questions varies based on the specific expectations an employer holds for each position. Within your script, you can incorporate diverse question types.

Open-ended Questions

Open-ended questions encourage candidates to provide detailed and nuanced responses, offering insights into their thought processes, experiences, and perspectives.

You can include questions that start with phrases like "Can you describe...," "Tell me about a time when...," or "How would you approach...?" in your interview script. These prompts invite candidates to share more about themselves and their experiences.

Close-ended Questions

Close-ended questions are useful for gathering specific information quickly. They often elicit concise responses and can be effective for clarifying details.

Integrate specific questions that require brief answers when you need precise information. For instance, "Have you used [specific software/tool] before?" or "Did you lead any projects in your previous role?" Use these questions to validate qualifications and confirm key details.

Outside-the-Box Questions

Outside-the-box questions assess a candidate's creativity, problem-solving abilities, and their ability to think on their feet. They can reveal unique qualities and provide a glimpse into how candidates approach unconventional challenges.

Consider incorporating questions like "If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and why?" or "If you could redesign a common household item, what would it be and how?". 

These questions encourage creative thinking and reveal a candidate's ability to navigate unexpected scenarios. They can be great icebreaker questions too.

Hypothetical Questions

Hypothetical questions assess a candidate's ability to apply their skills and knowledge to hypothetical scenarios, providing insight into their decision-making process.

Pose questions such as "How would you handle a situation where [common challenge in the industry] occurred?" or "If faced with limited resources, how would you prioritize competing tasks?".

These questions allow you to evaluate a candidate's problem-solving approach in potential real-world scenarios.

25+ sample questions to include to your interview script

Ice breaker questions to begin the interview

  • How was your journey here today? Any interesting stories?
  • What sparked your interest in [industry/field] in the first place?
  • If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be and why?
  • Share a fun fact about yourself that's not on your resume.
  • What's your go-to productivity hack to get through a busy day?

Questions about the professional experience and background

  • Can you walk me through your career journey and highlight key milestones?
  • What led you to pursue a career in [specific industry]?
  • Can you discuss a significant project you worked on and the impact it had?
  • How do you stay updated on industry trends and advancements?
  • What challenges have you faced in your previous roles, and how did you overcome them?

Questions about the skills and competencies

  • How do you approach acquiring new skills to stay relevant in your field?
  • Can you provide examples of how you've applied [specific skill] in previous roles?
  • Describe a situation where your technical expertise made a significant impact on a project.
  • How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time when faced with multiple deadlines?
  • What training or certifications do you possess that directly relate to this role?
  • Have you already used [specific tool, specific technique] in your previous experiences? What feedback can you provide?

Questions about the cultural fit

  • What aspects of our company culture resonate with you the most?
  • How do you handle feedback, both giving and receiving, in a team environment?
  • Can you share an experience where you had to adapt to a new team dynamic quickly?
  • What role do you believe diversity and inclusion play in a successful workplace?
  • How would you describe your ideal work environment, and how do you contribute to creating it?

Questions to assess problem-solving skills

  • Walk me through a challenging situation you encountered at work and how you resolved it.
  • Describe a time when you identified an inefficiency in a process and implemented improvements.
  • How do you approach solving problems when you don't have all the necessary information?
  • Share an example of a project where you had to pivot your strategy due to unforeseen challenges.
  • Can you discuss a time when you had to collaborate with a diverse team to solve a complex problem?

Of course, feel free to customize these questions based on the specific requirements of the job and the industry.

Example of an interview script

"Hello [Candidate's Name], welcome! We're thrilled to have you here today. Before we dive into the interview, let me briefly introduce myself. I'm [Your Name], and I'll be guiding our conversation today. Our goal is to get to know you better and explore how your skills and experiences align with the [Job Title] position. Are you comfortable and ready to get started?"

[Ice Breaker]

"Great! Let's kick things off with a light icebreaker. If you could have any superpower for a day, what would it be and why? Feel free to share a bit about yourself beyond what's on your resume."

[Questions about Professional Experience and Background]

  • "Can you provide an overview of your professional journey and highlight the key milestones in your career?"
  • "What motivated you to pursue a career in [industry/field]?"

[Questions about Skills and Competencies]

  • "How do you approach acquiring new skills to stay relevant in your field?"
  • "Can you provide examples of how you've applied [specific skill] in previous roles?"

[Questions about Cultural Fit]

  • "What aspects of our company culture resonate with you the most?"
  • "In your opinion, what role does diversity and inclusion play in creating a successful workplace?"

[Questions Assessing Problem-Solving Skills]

  • "Walk me through a challenging situation you encountered at work and how you resolved it."
  • "Share an example of a project where you had to collaborate with a diverse team to solve a complex problem."

[Conclusion of the Interview]

"That concludes our interview today, [Candidate's Name]. We appreciate you sharing your experiences and insights. Do you have any final thoughts or questions for us before we conclude?"

"Thank you for your time today. We will be in touch with feedback and the [next steps] within [specified timeframe]. Have a great day!"

Use Claap to make the most out of the interview

When conducting interviews, utilizing an interview script undoubtedly brings structure and clarity. I now introduce another game-changer for your interviews: Claap

Claap is an all-in-one video platform featuring audio and video transcription tools that will revolutionize your interview process. Now that more and more interviews are taking place online, see how Claap can take them to the next level:

  1. Claap records all your meetings and integrates seamlessly with all the platforms you’d like to use to run an online interview (Zoom, Google Meet, Teams…). Claap is a must for recording interviews and will enable you to replay every interview you conduct;
  2. Claap is  your virtual scribe during the interview: it offers audio and video transcription for you to keep a written record of the interview;
  3. Claap AI-powered notes and summaries help you organize your thoughts at the end of the interview. You can choose the template you like for your summary (and even the interview script I gave you earlier in the article);
  4. Claap helps you collaborate with your team through its collaborative platform, which is just like a wiki. You and your teammates will be able to comment on the interviews and share feedback thanks to comments, threads and reaction features. Your interview debriefs will now be super easy;
  5. Leverage Claap for assessing problem-solving skills: Claap records your screen and enables you to share your recording quickly. This feature will come in very handy if you offer your candidates a practical test before the interview and want to give them instructions. You can even use this feature to share your solution with the candidate;
  6. You can store and access all the interviews you’re running in a few clicks with Claap, just like a video library.

Use Claap to record your screen. You can use this feature to present a practical case to the candidate.

As you probably realized, using a well-structured interview script is a big step towards finding your next rock-star. 

And we can't recommend using Claap enough to make your recruitment process even smoother. So don't wait any longer, Claap offers a 14-day trial with access to all premium features (no credit card required).

Get Started for free

Try Claap now