One of my favorite tasks as a manager was interviewing potential candidates for open or soon-to-be open positions within my team. Getting out and meeting people is something that I enjoy. When I get a chance to interview people to fill my team, I really look forward to that activity. During my early years, I went through some mandatory training on how to conduct an interview and what type of questions to ask (or not ask). The training, while good in the beginning to get the basics, never was set up to help me make “good” hiring decision. Over my many years of hiring thousands of candidates, I have honed in on a pretty good system.
Interviewing to me, is making sure that this process is set up for a simple honest conversation. Conversations are key that focus on what really works for the potential candidate. As the interviewer, I should know my team and the work environment better than the potential candidate. What I need to get out of the interview is getting the same level of understanding of the candidate. I usually spend a short time on, setting the stage on the work and such that the particular opening is.. Watching closely for understanding, I then move onto the interview questions that I hope will help me size the candidate up for my team.
Those questions I have developed over the years that help me!
- What are the key elements of your work that truly energizes you to perform your best?
- What kind of performance feedback do you find to be most useful?
- What type of supervision helps you be the most effective?
- What would be one idea or innovation you would like to implement within our industry?
I like these questions as I get a better understanding of the potential candidate. I like to put the focus on them and what works best for them. It does not mean that the candidate is the best fit for “my” team, but it helps. Listen closely to the answers. You don’t want book answers or what the candidate thinks you want to hear. You want to hear their passion and excitement in the answers. Putting that feeling in, really demonstrates to me that the candidate is being open and honest.
What are your favorite interview questions?