Wednesday, May 8, 2024

What Questions To Ask When Interviewing Someone

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Can You Walk Me Through A Typical Day Here At Company X

What to Ask When You’re Interviewing Someone

Having the day laid out for you from beginning to end is a smart way to get a quick overview of what is expected of you outside the job description. I was hired for a job once where all the employees were expected to participate in a group physical activity before starting our day.

Had I not asked about a typical day I would have been completely unprepared for my first day and unable to participate. Not a great way to start out a new job!

What Can We Expect From You In Your First Three Months

Ideally the answer to this should come from the employer: They should have plans and expectations for you.

But if you’re asked, use this general framework:

  • You’ll work hard to determine how your job creates value — you won’t just stay busy, you’ll stay busy doing the right things.
  • You’ll learn how to serve all your constituents — your boss, your employees, your peers, your customers, and your suppliers and vendors.
  • You’ll focus on doing what you do best — you’ll be hired because you bring certain skills, and you’ll apply those skills to make things happen.
  • You’ll make a difference — with customers, with other employees, to bring enthusiasm and focus and a sense of commitment and teamwork.

Then just layer in specifics that are applicable to you and the job.

Best Interview Questions To Ask Candidates

When you interview a candidate, you have to gather as much information as possible in a short period. Gleaning enough about a candidate to determine whether theyre the best fit for a role is challenging but by asking good interview questions, you will not only get a clearer idea of their skills and experience, but also get a sense for their conversational skills, problem-solving skills, and ability to think quickly. The best way to adequately assess a candidate for both skill fit and culture fit is to ask questions that are specific to the company or role as well as broader questions that give the applicant an opportunity to show their personality and ability to think critically under pressure.

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Unique Things To Ask In A Discussion

Unsplash / Evangeline ShawEvery candidate is trying to stand out from the crowd. Make sure you stand out from the sea of competitors with these unique interview questions.

Here are 4 interesting unique interview questions:

55. If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?

Flying, invisibility? Who knows?

56. Room, desk, and car which do you clean first?

Be warned, people have very strong opinions on this one.

via: Pexels / Kaboompics .com

57. Would Mahatma Gandhi have made a good software engineer?

*Shrugs shoulders emoji*

58. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are

Depending on your company, a 10 could actually be good.

Tell Me About A Time When It Was Hard For You To Do Your Job What Did You Do To Resolve The Problem

Top 10 interview questions to ask employer

Even the most skilled manager will find it hard to do their job once in a while. Maybe they had a problem with their superior. Maybe they had a conflict with a direct-report.

Asking this question can help you get a better idea of how the candidate will react when their job doesnt live up to their expectations.

Did they exercise their problem-solving skills and figure out a way through the issue? Did they make excuses and push the blame off on someone else? Or did they prioritize their responsibility and resolve the problem as quickly as possible?

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What Was The Color Of The Receptionists Shirt

As simple as this question may seem, over 60% of candidates fail this question. The main aim of the question is to test a candidates attention to detail. In the nervousness leading to an interview, candidates tend to be surprisingly oblivious to their surroundings.

As any Candidate selected by my firm would very likely handle delicate engineering apparatuses, it is pertinent that they are able to pay attention to minute details.

Summary: 32 Strategic Interview Questions To Ask Candidates

Well, I hope that was useful if you liked this article or if you have any great questions of your own you would like to share, please leave a comment below.

Lastly, a huge thank you to all of the esteemed contributors to this article.

Now that you have hired the right person, take a look at our 13 Proven Ways To Get Your Employees To Like & Respect You.

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What Is Your Favorite Part Of Being A Manager

Including this as one of your manager interview questions helps reveal the candidates knowledge of the position. Do their answers use common business and managerial terminology? Are they familiar with the nuances of managing a team?

Do their answers touch on why they want to work as in your business? Candidates responses can help you gain a better understanding of the person underneath the veneer they show at the interview.

Weird But Engaging Things To Ask When Interviewing

How to Interview People for Their Life Stories

Pexels / August de RichelieuSome jobs require weird interview questions. These questions aren’t designed to catch the candidate out but to see if they can think outside of the box.

Here are 4 interesting weird interview questions:

59. Does life fascinate you?

If the answer isn’t yes, you might have to ask why.

60.Would You Rather Become A Creative Person Or A Technical Person?

This is one of the best questions to ask. The perfect candidate will say both.

via: Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

61. Which would you pick: being world-class attractive, a genius, or famous for doing something great?

This question is great when you want to know if someone would rather help people or doing something for their own personal gain.

62. If you were asked to unload a large airplane full of jellybeans, what would you do?

I guarantee that the answer to this question is going to be more hilarious than informative!

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What Single Project Or Task Would You Consider Your Most Significant Career Accomplishment To Date

Lou Adler, author of The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired and Hire With Your Head, spent 10 years searching for the single best interview question that will reveal whether to hire or not hire a candidate — and this was the one.

A good answer to this question:

Candidates’ answers will tell you about their prior success and sense of ownership. A great answer will show they are confident in their work and professional choices while being humble enough to show they care about the company’s success. For example, if a candidate built a sales or marketing campaign they’re particularly proud of, listen for them to explain how the business benefited from it. Did it help the company sign a major client?

If I Were To Poll Everyone Youve Worked With What Percentage Would Not Be A Fan Of Yours

If theyve enjoyed positive relationships with everyone they worked with, thats great. However, if they give you an actual percentage, that could speak to their honesty. Dig a little deeper to see whether they blame those coworkers for the issues they may have had or whether they have bettered themselves after reflecting on past experiences.

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What Are Your Greatest Strengths To A Company

The ability of a candidate to talk about their strengths and still maintain their humility is a strong indicator of a winning personality.

This also gives the interviewee a chance to explain and align their strengths with the position they are interviewing for demonstrating attributes that will contribute to the companys goals.

What Is Your Biggest Management Strength

Pin by Vickie Deering on Grandchildren Fun

The answer to this manager interview question should describe the candidates biggest management strength and explain how it helps get the job done and benefits their team and your business.

Job candidates should understand how their strength integrates with the strengths of your team to form a cohesive unit.

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What Questions Should You Be Asking

As we said earlier, there are specific categories you want to stick to when thinking about questions to ask an interviewer.


What are you getting hired to do? Sure, you know what the job posting said, but is there anything about the position youre trying to get that wasnt in the posting? What are you going to be doing exactly? How long will you be doing that job and will the job evolve as you continue to work there?


Speaking of doing a job, are you fully prepared to start if you are hired? Is there anything you need to know in order to do the job? Is there any special training or any classes youre going to be required to take if youre hired?


How you do your job is also equally importantand what they expect from you as you do it! The best way to meet the goals of your employer is to know up front what they are. What do they expect from someone who is hired for this position? How do they evaluate that performance? Are there reviews?


By the way, who are you actually working for? Not just your supervisor, but the company overall. Yes, you should already have a good base of knowledgeyou got that information during your fact finding and research phase of the job huntbut there are things you cant get from research that can only come from someone on the insideand the hiring manager is a great resource!




Questions They Should Have Prepared For

There are several questions that everyone who is applying for a job should be ready for. These questions help provide you with a little more information about how the candidate views themselves. They are also open-ended questions, which means that youre giving them the chance to talk about whatever they want. It also gives them a chance to answer in a way that makes them stand out from other candidates. Such questions include:

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Questions About Next Steps

10. Whats your timeline for next steps?

This is a basic logistics question, but its useful to ask because it gives you a benchmark for when you can expect to hear something back. Otherwise, in a few days youre likely to start agonizing about whether you should have heard back about the job by now and what it means that you havent, and obsessively checking your phone to see if the employer has tried to make contact. Its much better for your quality of life if you know that youre not likely to hear anything for two weeks or four weeks or that the hiring manager is leaving the country for a month and nothing will happen until shes back, or whatever the case might be.

Plus, asking this question makes it easy for you to check in with the employer if the timeline they give you comes and goes with no word. If they tell you that they plan to make a decision in two weeks and its been three weeks, you can reasonably email them and say something like, I know you were hoping to make a decision around this time, so I wanted to check in and see if you have an updated timeline you can share. Im really interested in the position and would love to talk more with you.

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Order Alison Greens book Ask a Manager: Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work here. Got a question for her? Email . Her advice column appears here every Tuesday.

Questions About The Company

How to interview someone: Good Questions to ask

7. How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive here, and what type dont do as well?

Sometimes hiring managers are pretty bad at accurately describing the culture on their teams in part because they have a vested interest in seeing it a certain way and in part because they have an inherently different vantage point than their staff members do. For example, Ive heard incorrigible micromanagers tell candidates that they like to give people a lot of independence and autonomy and they probably really believed that about themselves. So take managers descriptions of culture with a heavy grain of salt , but theres still value in hearing what they do and dont emphasize.

But asking about what types of people tend to thrive versus those who tend to struggle can get you more revealing information. Youll often learn what that manager really cares about in their employees, or which traits will set you up to clash with them, or whos likely to bristle at their management style.

8. What do you like about working here?

You can learn a lot by the way interviewers respond to this question. People who genuinely enjoy their jobs and the company will usually have several things they can tell you that they like about working there and will usually sound sincere. But if you get a blank stare or a long silence before your interviewer answers, or the answer is something like the paycheck, consider that a red flag.

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What Type Of Employee Tends To Succeed Here And What Qualities Are The Most Important For Succeeding Here

This question sheds light on whether the organisation has a clear idea of who they want to employ in the role. Hopefully, the ideal candidate looks a lot like you and if you feel like youve missed something they mention in response, you can always email the interviewer later to reiterate how well you think youll fit in.

What Are You Passionate About

My favorite interview question to ask a candidate is, Other than your family, what are you passionate about? Whether its their Sunday night bowling league or their sons Boy Scout group, they need to be passionate about something. If the candidate is not passionate about anything, he/she will not be passionate about working for my company.

Gene Caballero Co-Founder

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How Could I Impress You In The First Three Months

This is a good question to ask at the end of a job interview because it shows potential employers that you’re eager to make a positive contribution to the organisation.

Pay close attention to the recruiter’s response as it will tell you how they want you to perform and will highlight particular areas of the job you should be focusing on during the first few weeks of employment.

What Are The Next Steps In The Interview Process

Common interview questions: Where else are you ...

This is not only a question you can ask to show youre interested in where the hiring process is going to go next, its also a great way for you to get some reassurance. Nobody likes waiting to hear back from a company and getting nothingat least this way youre prepped for how the process will continue and what to expectand when.

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There Are Some Things You Can Do To Make The Transition Easier:

  • Group the questions according to topic. For example, if you want to ask about writing skills, list all these questions together. Then, if a candidate answering one question touches on another question in your list, you can easily say Actually, I was planning to ask you about that. Tell me more about. This applies to similar skills as well for example, list organizational interview questions and leadership interview questions one after the other.
  • Ask prompting questions. Candidates will use their experiences, knowledge and thoughts to back up their answers. Most of the time, youll have something to ask about those thats relevant to the role. For instance, you can say something like You mentioned that you did this project with a team of designers. We actually have a great team here that youll be working closely with should you be hired. How would you feel about this?
  • React like you would in a social situation. If somebody told you at a party that theyre currently working on a cutting-edge face recognition program, how would you react? You might say something like That sounds fascinating. Tell me more or Whats the program like? Its OK to respond this way during an interview, as long as you make sure the conversation doesnt stray from the job youre hiring for.

Outline The Process On How You Set Goals

Your best employees are generally driven and goal-oriented. This question will help ensure they have the ability to not only reach goals you would set for them but set their own goals to achieve as well.

The top candidates will be able to explain their goal-setting process in detail, how they set up their goals, break goals into smaller tasks, and measure their success once completing them.

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Imagine Youre The Manager And Your New Subordinate Keeps Disrespecting You What Would You Do

Is your job candidate applying for a management position? Even if theyre not, this question reveals their conflict-handling skills. It gives you a deeper insight into how they would deal with threats in the workplace.

Calm: I would keep track and write down all the incidents they have shown disrespect to me. Then, I would address their behavior in a formal meeting by having a 1-on-1. If the behavior continues, I would notify my boss through email with a record of these events.

Emotional:He would be fired on the spot, no doubt.

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