Yesterday, I described the ideal employee candidate as humble, honest, hungry, and smart. I represented this as a sort of formula: “H3S.” But how do you determine if someone you are interviewing has these qualities?
I have a list of questions that I use during my first interview with a candidate. It has evolved over time, as I have gained more experience. I don’t ask every question in every interview; rather I keep it on my lap as a reference.
- How do you feel about this opportunity?
- What work experiences have you had that prepare you to be successful in this position?
- What do you see as your three greatest strengths?
- What do you think is your biggest weakness?
- How do you learn best? How would you describe your learning style?
- You’ve obviously accomplished a great deal. To what do you attribute that success?
- We all make mistakes. When you discover that you have made one, how do you handle it
- Do you think that telling a “white lie” is ever justified “for the greater good”?
- If things go wrong with a project, what obligation if any do you feel compelled to share with your boss?
- If someone else has wronged you in some way, how do you deal with the situation?
- Can you tell me about a recent situation where you had to share bad news with someone? How did you handle it?
- Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make good on a commitment that you wished you hadn’t made?
- Are you satisfied with what you have accomplished in your life so far?
- Where do you see yourself in three years?
- What are your biggest personal goals? career goals?
- Would you consider yourself a reader? What kinds of things do you like to read?
- What was the last book you have read? What are you reading now?
- How do you make sure that you follow-up on your assignments? Do you have a system?
- How do you typically prepare for meetings?
- How well did you do in school? If you had to do it over again, how would you have done it differently?
- What do you wish they had taught you in school that they didn’t?
- Do you consider yourself a smart person? If so, why?
- What’s your general approach to problem-solving?
- How would you describe your learning style?
- What are some of your interests outside of work?