“‘Why” and ‘How' are words so important that they cannot be too often used.” --Napoleon Bonaparte
Great questions matter, and great interviewers know how and when to ask them. After my last blog entry entitled “Willing, Able, Fit: Hiring With Purpose,” I received feedback asking for specific questions to determine if a candidate is truly Willing, Able, and a Fit for a given job.
Before diving into a list of questions, here are some essential things an interviewer MUST understand:
- How the organization’s core ideology is lived out daily
- The organization’s culture and the team’s sub-cultures
- The core duties of the job
- What high-performance looks like within the job
- The makeup of the team in which this person will reside
If you do not understand these things, hiring the perfect employee is infinitely more difficult. How in the world will you know if the person is willing to do the job, able to do the work, and a fit with the organization and team? Now, a single person does not have to know every aspect of the job as a team of interviewers is essential to properly hiring the best person!
Here are some examples of questions for each area of the WAF model:
- (Use Candidate’s Resume) What was your greatest (most proud) accomplishment within each of your past positions?
- (Use Job Description) Which parts of the job description will be the most exciting to you?
- (Use Job Description) Which parts of the job description will be the most challenging to you?
- (Use Candidate’s Resume) What were your main responsibilities within each of your past positions?
- (Use Candidate’s Resume) What skills did you learn/master in each of your past positions?
- (Use Job Description) Tell me about your experience with the various items listed on this job descriptions. Provide examples.
- Tell us about a time you led a project. What skills did you rely upon to be successful? What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?
- Tell me about a time where you improved a process or solved a work challenge to make something better, faster, smarter, more efficient, or less expensive.
- Tell us about a time when you made a significant mistake at work. What happened and what did you learn?
- (Use Candidate’s Resume) Why did you leave each of your positions?
- Of your past jobs, which one was the most enjoyable? What made it enjoyable? How did you contribute to making it a great place to work?
- What type of work environment helps you be your best? Tell us when you worked in this type of setting?
If you have other great questions, please share them in this post. All of us benefit when we share!
Check out Part 1 in this 2-part blog series by Steve Black: