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Interview Questions

by Randall Craig on October 23, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, New Job, Recruitment, Retention

Tagged as: , ,

Research shows that people don’t quit their company – they quit their boss. Think about it: the best managers can coach you… or kill you. They can approve training… or they can throw you to the wolves. Every organization has great managers – and some duds.

That is why job interviews are equally about you “checking them out” as the reverse. Your questions can help you check out the organization – and your future manager. Asking great questions will also serve another purpose: you will be gauged by the questions that you ask – not just those you answer.

Here are a few “uncommon” questions to consider:

1) How many people who started in this group two years ago are still here? (Supplementary question: What is the one thing they had in common…?)

2) What professional designations are considered valuable within the organization, and is there a plan or program to help new hires attain that designation? (This question will help you understand their attitudes towards training investments.)

3) Describe a typical day for a new hire; how is it different from a day as a veteran? Supplementary question: how long does the transition take for most of the new hires? (This will help you understand the nature of the start-up period.)

4) What does success look like? How would I know that I am successful in the role, one year out?

5) Describe a situation where a client (or supplier) was making unreasonable demands – how did you handle it, and what role did your direct reports play? (This is an example of a behavioral question.)

6) How do my experience and skills differ from the “perfect” candidate?

This week’s action item: Do you manage others? How might you answer these questions if a candidate asks them? And how would you answer if you were applying for your current job?

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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