We’re wrapping up recruiting month with this post — Can you believe October is almost here?! Time flies when you’re having fun!
Anyway, back to the topic. As we all know, job interviews are a big part of recruiting. And excellent interview questions are key.
So we asked a few of our HR experts what their favorite interview questions are and why they like to ask them. Check out their answers below:
Very simple question, “What do you know about XYZ company?”
I become frustrated when I call a candidate to schedule an interview for the position they have applied for and they respond, “What position is this for and with what company?” It’s an automatic red flag for me that this person is just looking for a “job” and has not invested the time and professionalism to choose the best fit for their career.
When I ask the candidate, “What do you know about XYZ company?” I’m looking for someone who can automatically transform into a representative for XYZ company. I want to hear about the company history, branding, vision, mission and values. Most importantly, I want to hear the excitement in the candidate’s voice as to why they want to be part of the company that they have so mindfully chosen to apply for.
– Devin Rossini, Human Resources Generalist
Question: “Thinking of the most difficult person you have had to deal with in a work environment, describe an interaction that illustrates that difficulty. Tell me about the last time that you have dealt with this person and how did you handle the situation?”
I like this question because it really gets the candidate to open up about how they handle conflict which can be very eye opening!
– Jim Geisler, Director of Talent Acquisition
My rule of thumb on interviewing is this: You can train and coach “skill.” You can’t train and coach “fit.” If all candidates are equal, I want the one that’s going to fit my culture best. Therefore, I like casual interviews. I think it is important for the candidate to feel ‘at ease’ instead of tense and on guard. When they are relaxed, typically you get to see their true nature come out.
So for my candidates, I always ask them to tell me about themselves, first- where did you go to school, why did you decide to go into this field, what interests you in this position, etc then get to the “interview questions.” I always end with “Ok, now that we have all of that tough business out of the way…tell me what you like to do in your spare time, what do you do to relax/enjoy the weekends, etc.” If I have done a good job of keeping my candidate relaxed, I usually can pull some fun information out of them- and often times that’s very telling of who they really are!
– Angela Watkins, PHR, Senior Human Resources Consultant
Here are some of my favorite interview questions that I use often:
- Describe a situation where you had to go out of your way to help someone. What did you do, and what was involved?
- What was the most valuable experience you obtained in one of your recent positions?
- If you were interviewing someone for this position, what two questions would you want to ask the candidate? (This question always stumps people.)
Of course, interview questions very much depend on what type and level of position you are recruiting for. Behavioral questions are always fun, especially when you can tailor them to the client!
– Lauren Cherry, PHR, Human Resources Consultant
I like to ask: “What’s the most creative solution you’ve had to a problem in your last job?”
It makes the applicant think about different ways to solve problems, and it’s an open-ended question so they’re telling you the information.
– Ed Carpenter, SPHR, Senior Human Resources Consultant
There you have it: A few of our HR experts’ favorite interview questions. If you want more info (and more examples!), read our blog about behavioral interviews here.