If you’re a New York Times – Sunday Edition fan like me, you’ve read the Sunday Business section. Each week, The Corner Office offers conversations about leadership and management between Adam Bryant and a wide variety of organizational leaders. Often, they’ll talk about the interview process. As an interviewee, this is incredible insight into the logic behind what is asked in an interview. As an interviewer, you may also benefit from taking note of these questions – they may help you find the most qualified candidate for the position available:
Why don’t you tell me about yourself.
RTP: Talk through your narrative (concisely) and show that you’re not always moving away from things, like a horrible boss or annoying coworker, but that you’re moving towards something – creating an opportunity from what began as a challenge.
Can you tell me about a time when you really had to stick your neck out for the greater good of the organization’s mission.
RTP: This is to see whether you were willing to take bold action to move the mission forward vs. enhancing your martyr status.
What have you invented or created?
RTP: Interviewers want to see if you have the mindset to create something and a desire to find fresh solutions.
If you could do anything, and money wasn’t an object, what would you do?
RTP: The details of your answer are not that important. Interviewers are looking to see passion and excitement. If you’re honest, they’ll see that your answer is meaningful and real.
What’s the biggest opportunity in your professional life the you’ve missed and you believe you shouldn’t have missed?
RTP: This can be a painful question because it asks you to admit a shortcoming you have. But, you’re human and there are going to be times when a less positive attribute will rear its ugly head. Be honest, and then reframe it to show how you’ve learned from that experience. Show the silver lining.
What questions do you have for me?
RTP: This is one of the most important questions you’ll be asked during an interview. Don’t solely focus on transactional details (salary, start date, benefits, vacation days) – ask about what a typical day looks like in the role, how you see the position growing in the next 3 years, what they want to see change with a new person in the position. Prove that you’re thinking long-term – not only for yourself, but for the good of the company. Do your research about the company and the region if you are making a geographical move. Your commitment to always demonstrating “due diligence” will show through in the questions you ask that are specific to their organization.