Work Sample Interview Questions & Techniques
If you work in a field like graphic design or web development, asking a candidate for work samples is incredibly important to make sure they have the skills they say they do, as well as to make sure they are a style fit with your company and the work you are doing. However, asking for work samples can be relevant in nearly any role as long as it is done the right way.
Here are 5 ways to get work samples from your candidates:
Tell me about something youve done that youre incredibly proud of from your past work experiences and still wonder how it was that you achieved it.
I ask it because its a great point of connection and further, it gives me an idea of what they view as a major accomplishment.Michael S. Gottlieb, Principal, Momentum Lawyers Group
Ask for a writing sample or give them a short essay to answer.
I had a client in Texas who asked second round interview candidates to write a 3 paragraph essay on what they are most proud of and why. Sounds simple enough, but it weeded out a load of candidates for every role for them from Operations Manager to Business Analyst.
Ask a candidate to give you a 5 minute presentation, such as teaching you how to do a basic task.
You could assign the task they need to explain, or leave it up to them. For any role, this will reveal a lot about the candidate and their teaching style. This is especially great for manager or HR roles.
Give the candidate a sample project,like a logo design or editing a client presentation.
What Are The Three Attributes That Make You An Effective Remote Worker And What Are The Greatest Challenges Of Working Off
Remote workers must be self-starters and work with little supervision. They need strong communication skills, and they have to be comfortable with your teams technology . This is an important consideration since working from home has become the new normal. Make sure that your candidate will be both productive and comfortable working remotely. And dont kid yourself this is nothing to take for granted. Yes, many people might thrive working off-site. But for many others, even high performers, the home just isnt an ideal work environment.
Once youre comfortable with their remote readiness and get through all the accounting interview questions and answers, reflect on what youve learned about the candidates soft skills. Do you have a good sense of the potential hires level of empathy, tact and diplomacy, for example? What about their verbal skills? Even if you interviewed the candidate by video, you should have an impression of their personality and their ability to express themselves.
Consider, too, todays unpredictable work environment. Of all the hard and soft skills you interview for, adaptability and a willingness to embrace new challenges may be two of the most critical ingredients for an accounting professionals success.
In Five Minutes Could You Explain Something To Me That Is Complicated But You Know Well
This is a much better test of intelligence than a college GPA, and it’s also a great gauge of a candidate’s passion and charisma outside of their core job responsibilities. Candidates who are passionate and knowledgeable about something — and can convey that well — are more likely to be enthusiastic and influential at work.
A good answer to this question:
The “something” in this question doesn’t have to be work-related — it can be a hobby, a sports team, something technical … anything, really. Good responses will tell you how well your candidate comprehends complex subjects and that they can articulate that subject to someone who doesn’t know much about it.
Explanations that use analogies also make good answers, especially if it’s a topic that is filled with industry jargon. This shows that the candidate can solve problems by drawing comparisons to things that are more universally understood.
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Why Should We Consider You
You know your company goals. However, you really donât know what value the new employee is going to bring. By asking them why they should be hired, you are giving them a chance to prove that they understand their job. Any employee worth his/her salt will deliver an effective sales pitch that is full of quantifiable figures .
A similar question to this would be, what made you apply for this position? The answers will still show you why they want the job and why they feel they are a good fit.
What Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of
Another thing that can tell you a lot about a person? What they consider to be their proudest accomplishment. Asking candidates what theyâre the most proud of will give you insights into their strengths and what they value â even if what theyâre proudest of is a personal accomplishment, not a professional one. For example, if a candidate tells you that their proudest accomplishment is completing a marathon, you know that theyâre not afraid of hard work and are able to stay dedicated and committed to long-term goals.
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Interview Questions About Team Dynamics
This may be the most important part of an interviewmost skills can be learned, but a candidate needs to fit in with your marketing team to succeed. If you are interviewing a candidate for a management position, make sure the people who would be under him/her are in the room for the interview process. If youre interviewing for a lower level position, anyone who will be working with this person daily should have input.
Start from the top down:
What kind of management style do you prefer?
Does your candidate prefer to be given a lot of space to do their own work, or do they prefer a more hands-on style with a lot of direction?
Describe a time when you had to work with highly creative people. What was your work relationship?
Try to get some insight into how they communicate in the work environment.
Or, in a similar vein:
Tell me about a time when you had a serious conflict with a co-worker or manager. How did you handle the situation? What was the result?
One of our own communal workspaces to promote winning together!
Unique Interview Questions To Ask Your Candidates
Ordinary questions are good for ferreting out basic information.
But if you want to go light years beyond that, ask your applicant some uncommon questions. Just remember brain teaserslike Google and other tech companies used to be known forprobably won’t provide you with the useful information you need to make sound hiring decisions.
Ask questions that reflect your idiosyncratic workplace culture and let you know what it might be like to have the person working for you.
Uncommon interview questions can test a candidate’s ability to think on his feet. Keep in mind everything you ask needs to be purposeful and not just for your personal entertainment.
A few caveats:
- Never ask questions that make your interviewee feel uncomfortable
- Don’t ask questions that are inappropriate, discriminatory, or refer to a candidate’s protected class information
- Always try to have fun with candidates because humor can relieve jittery nerves
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Suppose You Could Transform Into A Tree What Kind Would You Be And Why
We all have little bits of info about trees. Here, you want an employee to pick any tree and use the attributes to highlight their strengths and how they would be beneficial to the company.
For instance, someone could go with the oak tree and explain that itâs because they are strong and dependable. Someone else could say theyâd rather be a leguminous tree because they return nitrogen back to the soil for others to use. What they are saying is, they lift others as they rise.
Suppose we wrap this interview up and when you step outside, you are surprised with a lottery ticket that culminates in a win of $50 million. What would you do?
Just like honey traps catch badgers, this question too traps money-oriented candidates. One of the reasons the richest people are rich is because they were passionate about their ventures. They did not care about money. Wealth just came because of their commitment and persistence.
Studies conducted assert that engaged workers perform 200%+ better in comparison to those who are not entirely engaged. So any employee who says theyâll go and start their own company, enjoy life and other materialistic behaviors are not ideal candidates. They will leave as soon as they catch wind of greener pastures elsewhere.
What Are The Expectations About Managing Workflow
Virtually every company has enough work to keep everyone busy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In practice, everyone gets to go home at the end of the day. How do you know when you are done for the day? What are the expectations around working on weekends and responding to emails outside the normal working hours?
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Best Interview Questions For New Real Estate Agents
Why do you want to work as a real estate agent?
This is the sell me this pen of real estate interview questions. If they get starry eyed and talk about Million Dollar Listing for ten minutes, you will need to bring them down to reality. If however, they say they want to utilize their marketing skills and be more independent, then the chances of them being ready for the grind of the first year go up exponentially.
Do you have at least a few months worth of living expenses in the bank?
For almost all new agents, the realities of their first year are quite sobering. Just starting out, leads are few and far between, and learning to close them takes skill that only comes through experience. Its a blunt and very personal question, but an important one. If someone has $500 in the bank and is expecting to make $10,000 their first month, theyre in for a rude awakening. Your training resources are precious. Dont waste them on agents who will quit after a few weeks or months.
Your first year in this industry can be very tough. Would you be willing to become a junior agent and join a team?
Joining an established team your first year has huge benefits. Splits will be much lower, but you will have guaranteed leads and hands on training from an experienced broker. For most markets, starting out as a junior agent is the way to go. A smart candidate will at least take this advice into consideration.
Here are a few more real estate interview questions from small business experts:
If Time Money And Experience Werent An Issue What Job Would You Like To Do
As well as providing a nice insight into a candidates personality, the answer to this question may come in useful in the future when youre looking for ways to develop the successful applicant and consider them for promotional opportunities.
The job theyre applying for might be far removed from their dream position, but that doesnt mean you cant tap into their skills or provide them with work that theyll find mentally stimulating.
Encourage them to answer honestly and to take a minute to mull the question over rather than feeling under pressure to come up with an answer that they think youll want to hear.
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Work Environment And Culture Interview Questions
We dont necessarily love the term culture-fit because we think its often used as an excuse to not hire qualified candidates who simply dont look like, talk like, or act like the majority of the company. This can hurt a companys diversity and can limit innovation within a business. However, there are some basic minimum standards that an employee should meet in order to fit an organizations culture. For example, if youre running a brand new startup and the candidate youre interviewing says they prefer large companies and tight organizational structure, they likely wont be a fit. Or if you need someone who absolutely must be available on certain nights or weekends, but the candidate says theyre only willing to work between 9-5, then they likely wont be a fit. Ask questions to help you understand how an employee likes to work and the kind of structures they enjoy operating under, and then determine whether or not those preferences will help or hurt their ability to contribute in your company.
Best Questions To Ask In An Interview
Come to your interview with your questions prepared. Give thought to who you’re interviewing with and what questions would be best suited for them. For example, recruiters will have the best knowledge of company culture, benefits and high-level responsibilities of the job while VPs or CEOs are best equipped for questions about strategy, vision and goals of the company. Beforehand, practice asking at least three questions that demonstrate youve thought seriously about what it would be like to do this job. Here are a few examples of questions you might ask:
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Questions Candidates Might Ask During Interviews
- What are the next steps in your hiring process?
- When will I hear from you?
- Why is this position open?
- Do you have any concerns about my application?
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- How many people are in the team and what are their roles?
- Who will I work most closely with?
- What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 3/6/12 months?
- I read that you recently . What were the biggest challenges you faced and how do you measure success in similar projects?
- How do you develop and motivate your employees?
Interesting Questions To Know Your Interviewee Better
via: Pexels / Christina Morillo
It is very easy to stick to a script when you are interviewing people, but those interview questions only give you a small insight into the person.
When interviewing, you should ask some get to know you questions, so you can figure out if the person will fit in with your company and other employees.
Here are 7 interesting get to know you interview questions:
8. Tell me about yourself.
This is a basic question but can be very revealing.
9. Why should we hire you?
A question that always puts someone on the spot. Most candidates will have an answer for this.
via: Unsplash / Austin Distel
Money is obviously the most obvious motivator, but some people’s motivation might surprise you.
11. What are your skills?
They may not be Liam Nesson with a very particular set of skills, but the skills they do have will tell you a lot about them as a person.
12. How do you feel when someone criticizes your work?
Taking criticism is all part of learning and if they don’t respond well, they won’t learn much.
13. Who are your role models and mentors?
You never know. You both might have the same role models.
That’s such a coincidence. My role model is Tom Brady too!
14. What are your favorite industry websites, books or other resources?
This question will give you an idea of how much they’re interested in this area of work.
via: Unsplash / Andrew Neel
What Would You Like To Achieve During Your First Year Here
This question is revealing for two reasons: it tests the applicant’s understanding of the job role, and it shows how they measure their success.
Does the candidate thrive on results, or are they more bothered about feeling like they’re part of a strong team? Again, there isn’t a right answer – it’s all about figuring out the type of individual that will fit your company culture.
Interview Questions To Screen For Culture Fit In Sales
Sales is about tactics and strategy, but its also about personality and drive. New recruits shouldnt just fit into your culture they should elevate it, making others around them even better. And while salespeople are famously competitive against each other, they also contribute to a spirit of camaraderie.
These questions reveal a candidates personality and their passion for your company.
Question #4: What are the 3 things that are most important to you in a job?
Question #5: Whats the most interesting thing about you thats not on your resume?
Question #6: What would make you choose our company over others?
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What Has Surprised You About This Interview Process So Far
This is a question no candidate can really prepare for, and it’ll give you some indication of how candidates are feeling about the whole thing. Plus, you can see how they think on their feet.
A good answer to this question:
You’re looking for specifics here — something about the office space the personality of the team an assignment they were given to complete.
Honest answers are good answers, and answers that are directed at you are even better, as they show the candidate is confident speaking their mind in front of decision-makers. For instance, maybe the candidate was surprised you asked them about something on their resume that they don’t personally pay much attention to.
Who Owns The Goals And How Are Decisions Made About What Work Needs To Be Done What Influence Do I Have Towards The Goals Set For The Department
At its core, delivering impact as an employee involves hitting your goals. But you also want to make sure that you have a seat at the table when those goals get drawn up in the first place. This question, from Raven Jackson-Stone, Product Manager at Root Insurance, gauges the level of influence that each employee has on the team look out for answers that seem to indicate all OKRs come from the top-down, with no input from those that actually execute the directives.
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