You can bring questions like these to the interview, but don’t ever follow a script or let yourself get scripted if you can help it! Let the conversation unfold naturally, the way other human conversations do. Here is an example of an organic job interview conversation. Notice how the job-seeker, Kevin, lets the conversation dictate what his next question will be. He can get into a much more satisfying and intellectually-stimulating conversation this way, and so can you!
MANAGER: So, Kevin, what are your greatest strengths?
KEVIN: I’m going to answer that in the context of this job, as I understand it so far, okay?
KEVIN: Well, I heard that you need someone to run interference between the sales team in the field and the Production Scheduling department. It sounds as though sometimes there are delays or misunderstandings about the relative priority of orders that need to go out. One of my strengths is listening carefully and confirming what I’ve heard, to make sure that I understand all the implications of what a person is trying to tell me.
MANAGER: Okay, great. How do you think that would help you in this job?
KEVIN: Well, you have smart people working here. If there is sometimes confusion or frustration about the way the orders get scheduled, then there might be something in the process that isn’t taking into account the different considerations that could make a difference, like a particular customer’s urgency or the fact that a certain order had been held up earlier in the process.
MANAGER: Good thinking!
KEVIN: Can I ask you a question about that?
KEVIN: What are the other points in the process where an order can be held up?
MANAGER: The buyer can hold up the order on their end, but you know how people are, they’ll still hold us responsible in their mind, because THEIR client is waiting for the order. It’s a hurry-up-and-wait situation. Our sales guy is frantically trying to get the order from them so that he or she can get it to us. We’re waiting for it, but we can’t get into production scheduling because we don’t have the actual order yet.
KEVIN: So if I had this job and I were in close touch with the salespeople, could I get that advance notice from them, like “There’s going to be a big order coming from Customer X,” so I could work with the Production Scheduling folks to queue that up even while we’re waiting for the order?
MANAGER: I like the way you think.