Interview Tips

Interpreting the answers to these common interview questions

Interview Tips

What question do you have for me right away?

This question encourages a dialogue. Look for preparation, substantial questions, focus, poise, and the ability to think on one’s feet.

What would really surprise me about you?

Look for confidence, willingness and candor.

What’s your philosophy on goal setting?

The more detailed answer you get, the more you’ll see if the candidate values setting and achieving goals. Ask for examples of goals they have set and how they measured them. A blend of intrinsic and extrinsic goals will show emotional balance and is another sign of maturity.

Tell me a story about when you were placed in an ethical dilemma and what happened?

This question reveals morals, ethics, integrity and problem solving skills. If the candidate places blame on others, it may indicate a tendency towards poor judgment, unrealistic attitudes, and or a non-genuine personality.

Draw me a pie chart showing how you spend an eight-hour day.

Watch for organization, clear communications and accurate calculations. Their response shows you their presentation and communication skills. Are those skills in line with what you need?

What’s your favorite success story, and failure story?

A person willing to share failures tends to be self-confident, mature and has a sense of true self and place in the world. In success stories, look for credit given to team effort and personal drive in relation to goal setting. Bragging of solo effort’s may suggest arrogance, inflated sense of self, lack of self-confidence or lack of interest in being a team player.

What should I have asked you that I haven’t?

This question allows the candidate to respond by closing and asking for the job, or to address his or her concerns of their ability to do the job.

Are you ready to resign from your job if you receive an offer? If you do resign, what will they say about you after you have left the company?

The answers show the seriousness and commitment of the candidate. A person committed to changing jobs will not hesitate when asked if they are ready to resign.

Have you ever created a strategic plan?

Ask about a specific plan and watch for the ability to articulate and define time frames and goals. Many people can speak about planning, and it’s OK to ask candidates to illustrate the plan.