Questions for job candidates

The TechRepublic has an insightful e-document (can’t call 2 pages an ebook :) on 13 questions to ask, or be asked, during a recruiting interview. Either for determining a job candidate‘s skills and how he will fit into your organisation’s culture, or to be prepared to show the best of you during an application, these questions are a really good check list.

  • How’s your stamina?
    Be it physicaly or mentaly, how do you handle heavy workload ? How much does it take to grind you down ? How do you cope with a demanding position ?
  • How hard have you been working lately?
    A candidate who’s fallen into “coasting” mode may have trouble ramping up for the effort a new position requires. How enthusiastically do you speak about being engaged in challenging projects ? Do you energize a team with your commitment ?
  • How do you react to being told “No”?
    Part of a manager’s job is telling people they cannot do something. A candid response to this question may not tell you for sure how well candidates handle the issue, but it could give you a picture of whether they’re aware of their own tendencies.
  • Can you handle telling other people “No”?
    Do you feel comfortable telling people they cannot do things ? Do you slap them down ?
  • How good are you—REALLY—at handling change?
    Everybody asks this question, and every candidate has a prepared answer. Be prepared for the question to come point-blank, when least expected, so that the candidate will abandon the script at some point and go for an earnest discussion.
  • Are you a good scrounger?
    How do you solve problems ? What is your ability to come up with the resources out of what you have on the shelf ?
  • When conflict arises on your team, how do you handle it?
    Another common question and everybody has a stock answer and a polished anecdote. Often this will just be a matter of asking follow-up questions and just have a conversation around the answer.
  • What have the last few years taught you?
    What did you learn through the periods of explosive growth as well as through the tough downturns, tight budgets, and shifts in the job market ?
  • What type of people do you like to work with?
    Avoid canned responses. Previous experiences and genuine preferences will often filter through answers.
  • How do you stay current?
    Especially in moving industries such as the IT, hwo do you keep abreast of new products and technologies ?
  • What’s the toughest thing you’ve had to do professionally?
    It’s interesting to see whether the candidate mentions some technical achievement or project or discusses something more personal instead, for example having to fire an employee.
  • How would you describe your perfect job?
    This may spark a lively conversation where candidates show for example if they have unrealistic expectations about the respective roles of employer and employee, which could lead to disappointment and poor performance if left unaddressed.
  • If you could take back one career decision, what would it be?
    Eventually, a good shot-in-the-dark question that can lead to an interesting discussion.

Download this short pdf (2 pages) here (requires free membership and registration)

Other articles filed in the same categories :

interview, management, recruiting, work

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