7 Thoughtful Interview Questions to Meet the Real Candidate

September 29, 2014 at 12:00 PM by Rob Stevenson

Conducting so many interviews can wear you out. It's easy to fall into a rut of asking the same questions, and thisScreen_Shot_2014-09-29_at_11.55.39_AM can lead you to be disengaged, disinterested, and not to get a full picture of what a candidate has to offer. Below are a handful of interview questions we've used to learn more about candidates interests, passions, and strengths, and also operate as roundabout ways to illuminate their professional style.



1.Tell me about a time you changed your mind about something.

This interview question gives talent an opportunity to show how open minded they are to new ideas or processes, as well as demonstrate how they formulate their opinions. More important than the issue they changed their mind about is the process by which they came to change their minds. Was it never-before-seen data? Were they working with limited information to begin with? Answers here will illuminate how adaptable and flexible your candidate is.

2. What's a common misconception people have about you?

Here's a thoughtful one that's a bit difficult to answer. Often, this question will be answered in such a way that explains the dissonance between how someone views themselves professionally vs. personally, which is a great way to get a sense of who someone is beyond the resume.

3. What's the worst job you ever had?

Here, candidates will reflect on what makes a job unworkable for them. It will take some tact for them to answer this one without dumping on a previous employer (which is it's own red flag), but you should be able to clean what the dealbreakers are for your candidate. Are they unwilling to work odd or long hours? Did they abhor being held back by red tape? It should be easy for you to contrast your workplace with their complaints to show them how they wouldn't have the same problems, or, equally important, to do some anti-recruiting and decide it's not a great fit.

4. What's your biggest career win?

It's not inappropriate for talent to brag a bit. It's tough not to sound cocky, but truly, they're there to explain why they're so great and why you should hire them. Hearing of their success and the story of how they got there will show you how they successfully navigate through a project, and also the type of win they take pride in.

5. What's an example of something you wish you had done differently with a subordinate?

This is a great question for higher-ups, as you'll get an insight into their leadership style and adaptability. More importantly, though, you'll see the type of leader they want to be or imagine themselves being.

6. What blogs do you follow?

This is an easy way to see how engaged your talent is in their own space, as well as get a sense of their personal interests.

7. Last great book you've read?

Another easy way to learn more about your candidates interests and passions. Remember, recruiters: readers are leaders.

What are some unique questions you like to ask candidates? Leave a comment or tweet @EnteloRob!

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