There are many articles about the best interview questions. They might be helpful if you’re using an interview to determine whether the candidate can do the job. However, I think about interviewing a little differently to most. It has already been proven that traditional interviews don’t predict performance so, for me, an interview should only come after a candidate’s skills have been validated.
There are many ways to test skills, and the skills assessment method you choose should depend on the role and the circumstances. But completing that stage before an on-site interview allows you to spend the precious interviewing time – your and your candidate’s – in a far more valuable way.
I like to hear directly from candidates why they want to join our company. We want candidates who want to join for the right reasons, and there is no better reason than a strong affinity with our mission. It doesn’t matter if they’re active or passive candidates because by the time they reach the interview stage they should be fully invested.
Interview question 1: why are you excited about joining Vervoe?
Interview question 2: what does this opportunity mean to you?
I like to understand what environment we need to create to make a new hire successful. There is no point hiring someone supremely talented with a great attitude only to set them up to fail.
Interview question 3: if you join, how can we invest in you?
Interview question 4: what needs to happen for you to get the best out of yourself?
No, not cultural fit. I want to make sure a prospective new hire has the same expectations as us and knows exactly what they’re getting into. It’s important they come in with open eyes and have good chemistry with the team. Hearing them speak about their impression of our company can be very insightful and lead to further questions or discussion.
Interview question 5: what do you think of the people you’ve spoken to so far?
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Interview question 6: do you have any feedback on our product?
Reference checks need to be taken with a grain of salt because candidates always suggest people who will speak highly of them. They can nevertheless be helpful in filling gaps or getting suggestions about how to make new hires successful. But they can also be used – ahead of time – to assess self-awareness.
Interview question 7: when I call your references, what are they going to say?
Asking people where they see themselves in five years is pointless. Very few people really know, and plans change. You’re just asking to be fed a pre-rehearsed answer. Instead, I like to understand our new hire’s values. A constructive way to do that is to understand where they’ll draw the line.
Interview question 8: what will make you leave us?
The answer will reveal what the candidate care about, from career progression to money to stimulating work to working with a great team. This can no doubt change over time, but it’s nevertheless helpful to discuss.
A new way of interviewing
You can see from the interview questions I have chosen that I have already assumed the candidate has been thoroughly evaluated with respect to the substantive elements of the role. My interview question are focused on generating rapport, understanding what makes our prospective new hire tick, and setting her up for success.