In this story I gave job-seekers alternative answers to the usual boring, uncreative job-interview questions. Here are ten questions interviewers can ask job-seekers if they want to avoid the awful, traditional job-interview questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and “What’s your greatest weakness?”
The best interview questions, of course, are organic ones that spring from a standard conversational opening like “So, what can I tell you about the job as we get started? What would you like to know?” The best job interview is always an unscripted one, and you’re going to learn a lot more about a candidate by letting him or her ask you questions than you will by asking questions of your own.
Still, even if you turn the tables in the way we teach at Human Workplace, and encourage the job-seeker to ask you questions for as long as s/he wants to, you’re eventually going to have to ask a few questions of your own.
Don’t treat the job interview like an oral exam. The more free-flowing the conversation can be, the better! You’re looking for neural activity on the part of the candidate, not canned answers. Of course, your brain has to be moving, too!
Here are ten thoughtful questions you can ask applicants the next time you have a job opening to fill.
- What’s the project or accomplishment in your working life so far that best illustrates how you operate? I’d love to hear that story.
- If we end up working together and I’m your manager, tell me how I can support you best. How do you like to communicate, to check in on projects, to give and get feedback, and anything else you care about from a managerial or coaching standpoint?
- You’ve looked at our website and researched our company somewhat, I’m sure. What would you say we’re doing right, and what are we doing wrong or could be doing better?
- How does this job, as you understand it, advance your career? Feel free to ask me questions about the role and the organization before you answer my question.
- Here’s a situation that comes up all the time around here. (Explain.) What’s your take?
- You’ve heard a little about this job now. What sound to you like the biggest challenges or steepest learning curves to climb?
- Having heard about the role and our team, what do you think would be your first project to take on or obstacle to knock down in this job?
- Tell me about the best manager you’ve had so far, and why it was such a good fit.
- What else can I tell you about this job?
- If we were to work together, what sort of compensation package would it take to get you on our team?
Got more good interview questions for managers to ask? Leave them in the comments below!