Top 10 Interview Questions

Before we get to the questions, for a successful interview keep in mind the following:

  • #1 - Hire for your culture (if you like your culture!); hire for your values
  • Can teach skills, can’t teach attitude
  • Take reference checks seriously
  • Consider the team they will be working with – good fit? Should the team interview them too?
  • Hire slowly, fire quickly
  • Don’t hire someone you don’t like – regardless of the qualifications – in the same vein, if your intuition says no or there are ANY red flags, don’t hire
  • Past behavior and action often dictates future behavior and actions
  • Leave open ended questions open – meaning a little silence is okay (in fact it may mean that s/he is thoughtful in his/her response!), don’t fill up the space with the answer you would like to hear
  • Ask questions the first half of the interview, then spend time telling them about your company and what you’re committed to, then ask them what questions they have – the questions they choose to ask will tell you A LOT, listen closely – often this is what their concerns are, this is what’s important to them. If they ask good questions about the business/culture/position this bodes well!
  • Read their body language – 90% of communication is non-verbal; also what is your body language telling you about how you feel when talking to this person
  • When looking to hire look: 1) someone you’ve worked with who could fill this job who’s really good, 2) widen the net to people who you trust, 3) try to find somebody you know and trust who knows the person you’re thinking of hiring

Questions are meant to find out (so listen for):

  • Sense of Humor - Do they have a sense of humor
  • Candid and Honest - Are they candid with you and honest about themselves; can they admit to their mistakes
  • Ethical and Integrity - Passionate about doing the right thing
  • Value Based Life Outlook - Not-selfish or egocentric, passionate about something bigger than themselves
  • Collaborative – gets along well with others, team attitude – refer to “we” or only “I”
  • Energy–Givers - Are they energy-givers, optimistic, cheerleader
  • Common Sense and Good Judgment
  • Ability to Adapt - How they handle change
  • Curious, Innovative, Problem Solver
  • Learner – Are they interested in improving themselves; can they learn from their mistakes

Top 10 Interview Questions*

  1. Tell me what you think this job is all about.
  2. Tell me about your life. Start wherever you want to, from the beginning or the end, but talk to me about you, what you’ve done, and then walk me through what you’ve done with your career and where you want to go.
  3. Why are you choosing us? What can you do for the company and why do you think it would be a place where you could be successful?
  4. What are your priorities? What makes you tick?
  5. What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of? OR Give me an instance where you really believed in something and you were able to make a difference.
  6. What would say was one of your most significant mistakes and what did you do to correct it? What did you learn from it? How would you do it differently?
  7. If you had to name something, what would you say is the biggest misperception people have of you?
  8. What makes you really angry?
  9. What do you do in your free time? If we were going to hang out, what would we do together? What would you show me?
  10. Tell me about a time when you felt the company you worked for needed to do something differently or go in a different direction: How did you handle that? How did you approach it and how did you resolve it? If you had a do-over, what would it be? Tell me about your results.

*Many of these are adopted/adapted/culled from the weekly New York Sunday Times Corner Office interviews of successful CEOs and the question - What questions do you ask when you're hiring?

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