To date we have covered the important interview questions of “Why do you want to work in this industry?”, “Tell me about yourself?”, and “What do you think of your current boss?”
In a subsequent blog the questions “Why are you leaving your current role?”, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?” and “What is you greatest weakness?” are covered in great detail.
3 more great questions to ask candidates are as follows:
1. Describe an occasion where you didn’t get along with a co-worker
Interviewers should focus on candidates who give truthful and credible answers. Be wary of candidates who answer who say something short and sweet like “I get along with everybody and I am a real team player”. Is this a credible answer?
A better answer would be something in the vein of “As marketing manager I am responsible for marketing budget and within this is a budget for branding. However the immediate ROI from branding is often hard to measure as it often takes between 7 and 10 interactions with a brand before someone decides to make a purchase. Obviously this brings me into conflict with our CFO who is of the view that if something cannot be measured precisely, it shouldn’t be done. However I conducted a post purchase survey with a number of key clients in regards their purchasing triggers and thankfully the strength and reputation of our brand in the marketplace was mentioned on a few occasions In addition to this I provided our CFO with a number of case studies in regards the correlation between a strong brand and strong sales growth, which is rarely immediately after the branding exercise. My branding budget, I am delighted to say, has been ring-fenced for the rest of the year”
The above answer is credible as marketers and accountants are often at loggerheads. It also shows that the candidate applied a structured and clam approach to a dispute which could have easily escalated into a real conflict.
2. Tell me what motivates you?
Be wary of candidates who give glib one liners such as “money motivates me”. Hardly inspirational I would say.
Look for candidates who show a real passion for their work and who can demonstrate how this passion has had a positive effect on company performance. A good answer could be “I am extremely competitive and thrive in KPI driven environments. In my current job I had a 95% success rate last year in achieving very specific KPI’s. I was disappointed that 5% of my KPI’s were not achieved on time although they were achieved 2 weeks later, I am still not happy. So I investigated further and found that last year external outsourcers had let me down on a promise. So this year I have implemented a number of measures to ensure that this does not happen again and in fact I have already surpassed 90% of my KPI’s with still 2 months left in the financial year.”
The above answer is much more convincing as a 95% success rate is credible and displays honesty. In addition, the candidate has identified the problem, taken ownership of it and taken a number of measures to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. It also substantiates his/her assertion that “I am extremely competitive and thrive in a KPI driven environment”.
3. What would your friends say about you?
Again be wary of candidates who use the one liners such as “They would say I am great fun”. Focus on candidates who emphasise a trait which is critical to success for the role in question. A potential answer could be something like “My friends would describe me in one word as resilient. Even during the depths of recession, where my position was made redundant twice, I bounced back, reskilled myself and etched out a successful career in a new industry, in which I have received two promotions in the last three years.”
Every employer wants a resilient workforce as the most recent economic decades in Ireland have experienced boom and recession during the course of each decade. A candidate who simply uses the word “fun” does not let you get to know their true character and how they would react in adverse situations.