The interview process begins long before you start your professional career search. From interviews for college to internships to your actual first job-you sometimes interview before you even realize it. Networking is an interview. Dating is an interview; albeit a much different interview but still an interview. You have a short window of time to impress your interviewer, while at the same time, they also have a short window of time to convince you as to whether or not you want to be a part of their team. Interview questions, when asked well, can tell you more about a person-and a potential employer-in less than an hour than most learn about a person in a year. Talley Management Group, Inc. has compiled a list of the best interview questions we’ve ever been asked as an interviewee and why you should incorporate them before adding your new hire to your payroll.
- What is a professional failure that you reflect on most and why? – Yes, I was totally taken back by this. I mean, who wants to openly admit that they failed at something to someone who they are trying to convince as to why they are the best person for the open position?! After I wiped away the sweat and got my heartrate to lower, I told them. I told them what it was, how it happened and how often I think about it. I also told them what I learned from it and how it made me grow as an individual. I thought that being so honest blew my chances but a week later, I was offered the position. To this day, I still think about that mistake and believe that I think about it more than I would because I was forced to-on the spot, when I was vulnerable.
- Name one trait of your favorite boss and one trait of your least favorite boss. – One of the first things I learned was to never badmouth about your former employer, boss, coworker, etc. in an interview so when this question came up I was a little surprised and wondered for a second if I should be candid. I went with the latter and the response I got was shocking-the interviewer said, “I can’t stand working for people like that.” Even if your candidate isn’t going to be managing others immediately, the goal is always long term and once you find god employees to keep them so if they are already identifying traits that they do and do not like, it’s basically serving as a crystal ball of their management style as well as how they will function as a member of a team, regardless of their level.
- Think back to five years ago and give yourself advice. – Okay, not a question but definitely a great element of the interview. I was asked this when I was interviewing for a college leadership program and was caught off-guard that this “deep” of a question was asked by one of my fellow peers but it was a great one and I have used it when interviewing candidates for all levels of positions. It gives you, as the interviewer, insight as to if they use past experiences to their advantage-good or bad.
- In what ways do you put things that you do outside of work to good use at work? – When asked this question my first thought was “always have dinner as a family”-random and not exactly work related but I said it because it just came out. Growing up, having dinner as a family was a nonnegotiable, regardless of what time we got back from CCD, dance, softball/baseball practice-we met and ate as a family and talked about our day. As soon as I said it, I realized that it was something that I absolutely did at work. When managing a team, I made sure to meet weekly so that we could sit down and talk about what we were doing, what we needed help with and even what was going on personally. Yes, our schedules were always packed and another meeting on our calendar wasn’t always ideal but after leaving that position, I was told by a former coworker that they, as a now manager, made it a point to have weekly team meetings just because it brought everyone together and created personal connections among the team members. Don’t tell my mom that I pretty much stole her whole idea, okay?
There are a lot of other interview questions that can be asked outside of the standard, “Tell us a little more about yourself other than what is on your resume,” that give you a great idea of your next potential team member. Remember, your team represents your organization and your organization attracts members and clients so be sure to think outside of the box when it comes to your interviewees and what you ask them.