If you’re new to the interviewing game, you may be looking for some tried-and-trusted questions to get the insights you need into promising candidates. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on for 6 classic interview questions that will never let you down.

Hiring is a tough game these days, since qualified candidates hold the best cards. Still, if you’re a hiring manager seeking top talent for a white-collar role, you need to be sure that a candidate doesn’t just look good on paper. An interview, if done well, will tell you what you need to know about their experience and capabilities.

Certain interview answers can give you insight into a candidate not only by what they say but how they say it. Do they seem prepared, organized, thoughtful and sincere? Their answers should help you determine whether they’d flourish in the role or whether their name would best be crossed off your list.

The following questions are by no means comprehensive, but they can and should be included in any office interview.

1. Can you tell us about yourself?

An oldie but goodie, this question is a common opener for a reason. The candidate should be completely ready for it and able to summarize their relevant professional experience, qualities and goals in a matter of minutes. They needn’t repeat verbatim what’s on their resume nor talk about their personal history. They should be able to explain how they would bring value to the role.

2. Why do you want this job?

What are the candidate’s motivations? Have they looked into the details of what the job entails, and can they explain them to you? Are they interested in the company and its history? This question will show you whether they’ve done their research and whether they’d be invested or a flight risk.

3. Can you give us three success stories from your previous experience?

Has the person won any awards within or on behalf of the company? Have they helped to advance their role? Have they taken on more responsibilities or been promoted? Basically, what good have they brought? Do they bulldoze people in order to succeed, or do they work with others to achieve a common goal? The responses will vary but should nevertheless give you insight into how a candidate works and what they value.

4. Can you tell us about a time you failed?

Failure is the best teacher, they say. So, what has the candidate learned from their failures? What can you learn about how the candidate talks about failure? No one wins 100% of the time. If a candidate says they’ve never failed, maybe they haven’t pushed themselves hard enough.

5. Ask a hypothetical question — or several.

If you want to know how a person would respond in a situation, ask them! Maybe you’d like to understand what they’d do under a short deadline, how they’d talk to a difficult client, how they’d choose between overlapping demands, what they’d do if they made a mistake, and so on. The best thing about hypotheticals is you can tailor them to any situation, and the possibilities are endless. This will give you sure insight into how a person thinks on their feet.

6. Do you have any questions?

Is the candidate curious, interested and an active listener? Are their questions tailored to the position and the company? Do they care about the team, the culture and the company’s direction, or are they only interested in what’s in it for them? Are some of their questions based on what you’ve discussed during the interview, suggesting they’re good at processing information on the fly? Questions are telling.

Questions can help gather intel on a candidate’s work habits, intentions, values and experience — however, there are limits. Some are illegal, such as those concerning age, family or relationship status, religion, race, sexual orientation or disability.  Avoid these at all costs, and the interview should go off without a hitch — ideally resulting in a top-notch hire.