5 Great Interview Questions and Why We Ask Them

Great interview questions are thought provoking and help the interviewer develop an opinion about the candidate.  Progressive companies have adapted behavioral interviewing as the preferred method over the last 20 years.  The general premise suggests that behavioral interviewing is the most accurate and best predictor of future candidate performance.  Using the behavioral interview techniques is said to be over 50% predictive vs 20% using traditional methods.

Companies who have a great interview process are looking for the following attributes:

  • Critical thinking
  • Being a self-starter
  • Willingness to learn
  • Self-confidence
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism

Here are 5 questions that provoke the senses, make the candidate actually think, and might even provide a bit of levity to the interview.

Question:   What circumstance brings you here today?

This is a great opening question as it sets the candidate at ease because they can control the answer, reveal issues with their current or past roles, and provides character traits.

Question: If you were applying to circus, which job would you choose?

This lightens up the interview, touches on creativity, and gets to personality

Question:  What would your last boss say about you?

This is one of my personal favorites because it makes the candidate think critically of their performance, helps to define value, and helps the interviewer get a sense for the candidate’s view of authority and hierarchy

Question: Describe someone outside your field of expertise who inspires you and why?

This question identifies motivations and provides insight into what is important to the candidate

Question:   Name 3 people you would invite to dinner.

Speaks to interests, respect, and motivations of the candidate.

For your next interview, try some of these questions or come up with several of your own.  Take a stab at the interview using the behavioral process, it’s tested and it works.  Most importantly, be prepared with good interview questions, you’ll be surprised by the outcome.