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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?

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)