Job applicants are getting more and more savvy and it is no longer feasible to ask them clichéd interview questions like “What’s your biggest weakness?” They come with well-rehearsed answers like “I work too hard”. This beats the entire point of the interview.
Interview questions should be unexpected so that an honest unrehearsed reply is obtained which will help to evaluate the true personality of the candidate.
This is particularly important for interviewing candidates for executive positions since they will be given great responsibility.
Here are some great interview questions:
“Why Have You Come Here?”
This question is deceptively simple and so insightful. Candidates will be caught off-guard since they are not expecting such a simple question. Hence, it will offer great insight into the mind of the candidate. Many will speak about themselves and their career opportunities or flatter you by saying how great your company is. These are self-centered answers.
Great candidates will tell what they have to offer to your company. They know that if they can offer great value, they will not have to worry about their career prospects.
“What Were Your Biggest Failures in Life and at Work?”
The beauty of this question is that almost no one will be prepared with BOTH types of failures. Life failures will tell you about their personality and weaknesses. Work-related failures will reflect on their competence. What is even more important is how they recovered and what they learned. This shows resilience, tenacity and strength of character.
But clever candidates can try to deflect blame on others and try to appear immaculate by implying that it was the fault of others.
A better variation could be “what were your biggest mistakes in life and work?” Now, they won’t find leeway to maneuver easily.
“What Did You Want to Be When You Were Eight?”
Many people choose professions because of market opportunities and attractive remuneration. Their career choices tell very little about who they really are.
The question above will reveal their true self. For instance, someone may reply that they wanted to be singers or actors. It is equally important to know why they did not pursue their initial dream. This will tell a lot about their personality that is not reflected in their resume.
So if they say that they wanted to do something more constructive and that singing/acting is good as a side activity, then it reflects that they are sober and have a serious view of life.
“Do You Prefer to Be Feared or Respected?”
This is a good question to ask for key leadership positions because the answer will reflect a lot upon the leadership style and concepts of the candidate. This very often takes most people off-guard and therefore, elicits an honest response.
There is no right or wrong answer but it tells you about the style that candidates will adopt if they get the position.
If your company is struggling to perform well, then it may be better to choose a candidate who is serious enough to drive good performance.
Great Interviewers Ask Great Questions
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