What Are Good Questions To Ask During An Interview

Welcome to hero TV today. We have Sydney Jacques and she’s going to be sharing some of the best questions you can ask during an interview. Hey everybody it’s Sydney Jacques. And today, the question we’re going to talk about is, what are good questions that I should be asking as an employer during an interview? Don’t you hate coming up with those questions? Well I’m here to help you today. I just start out by, saying my daughter interviewed for a job once, and this is the most random question I’ve ever heard. One of the questions they asked her is, what would happen if you showed up for work and nobody else showed up that day?

This is a great big organization. I thought that was a really strange question but I’m going to help you so that you don’t be known as the ones that asked the strangest questions. So the first thing is that you have to be prepared and be really clear on what are you looking for in your candidate. Do you know for sure what you’re looking for as far as what you want their competencies to be? Because until you get really clear about what you want their competencies to be, you can’t really formulate the right questions so I want to make sure that you’re doing enough preparation work so that you could identify and that you could just describe to me if you and I were sitting in your office, would you be able to sit there and describe to me my perfect employee would be? and just describe what you want them to be. What are you looking for, what do you need them to do. So that’s the first step is that before you can even get to the questions, you need to really be prepared and intentional about what it is that you’re looking for. In preparing this list, one of the things that I hope you think about is obviously what space do they need to fill on the team, but also as you look at the high performers in your company, what do they have in common? What is that they bring to the table that makes them high performers that really works in your company in your culture? And as you identify that, then that helps you know, that this works in our company.

This is something that I’m looking for because if I they have these characteristics, chances are they’re going to be a high performer for me in my company. So let’s go ahead and get on to what are the question that we’re going to ask in the interview. When you’re asking questions in the interview, you want to make sure that you’re asking questions that are open-ended, and really meaningful questions. Of course, you want to learn a little bit about their history and their background, but then you need to dig deeper. And one of the questions that I always like to ask is, tell me about a project that you worked on that was a really successful project. And then they’ll go on and they’ll tell you about that project. And if they haven’t yet, I want you to ask them, what would your role on that project? and what did you learn from that project? And let them talk about that and just see what was their role. Were they a leader? where they a follower? were they learning from that? and then the next question this is probably my favorite one to ask is, Tell me about a project that was a failure. Cause come on. realistically. we all have things that failed. I had one last week. Wasn’t the way that I really wanted it to be. So when you ask apotential employee, tell me about a project that failed. And ask them to describe that and, and ask them to tell you why did it fail? what was their role in that? Now this is the thing that I want you to look for, are they taking accountability? are they taking ownership? of course we’re all going to have failures, that’s how we learn. But if they have a tendency to describe that in terms of well it was the other departments fault or the leader of our team to push that off, then to me that’s a warning flag.

We want people that will be accountable when things are great and successful, and also when things fail. We want to be able to have them take accountability for that. Reminds me of another story. I heard a story about a man that was working at a job and he made a big mistake and he was so scared to go and talk to his boss. It honestly the mistake it would cost over a million dollars to the company. So he went in to talk to his boss and he told them what had happened and he told them you know the consequences of how much money that was going to how much effect that was going to have and he started cleaning out his desk and bringing in his stuff to walk out the door. And his boss said to him, “wait a minute. Where are you going?” and he said, “well you know I’ve really messed up and I’m really sorry as I’m sure you don’t want me here anymore” and his boss said, “You just turn around. I just made a million-dollar investment in you. You’re not going anywhere.” So as a leader, those are the decisions that we need to make. How do we deal with people when there are failures? but how do we help our people learn? So those are two important questions that I want you to ask your employee, potential employees when they’re coming in. The other thing is I would recommend that you have the same list of questions for each of your candidates so that you’re asking them the same things and kind of comparing apples to apples. But in doing that, don’t get so caught up in the structure that you’re not allowing room for flow and room for them to ask questions and for them to expound on things, because that’s another important part, is to be able to make sure that you’re leaving time in the structure that they can ask you questions. My oldest daughter, she really wanted to go to work for this nonprofit. So she had the opportunity to interview with them and she came home from first interview and she said, “I wouldn’t hire me if I were them” and I said, “why? tell me about it”. So she went on to tell me that they wanted to know what her experience was in grant writing. Well she’d never done that. How about fundraising? well she’d never done that. How about going out and getting sponsors? well she’d never done that. She was like, “I wouldn’t hire me”. But she loved the organization. She loved the cause and she loved the people that she interviewed with. So much to her surprise, a pleasant surprise, a few days later, she got a call and she was getting called back for a second interview. So the night before she went to her interview, I sat down with her and we talked for over an hour and I just said, “okay, tell me why you want to work here?” and she just started spouting off with passion about how passionate she was about the cause and all of these different things. And I said, “so you haven’t written grants before but you actually got some writings published in high school and you won some awards. So do you think you can learn how to write grants?” of course you can. So have you gone out and done fundraising before? no. But she’s worked at a public relations firm and she’s organized huge events with multiple, multiple, different agencies and different players. I said, do you think you can use that experience to organize fundraising events? of course you can. So I hope they understand that even though her experience wasn’t exactly the same, that she was qualified and that she needed to tell them she was qualified. So she did this, she went to her second interview but then in our little preparation, we had talked about, what kinds of questions could you ask them? And so we sat and brainstormed ,what are your biggest challenges? what has happened within this position before that hasn’t worked for you that you want to be different this time? and really, what are the expectations? And so she went to her second interview and she said, within 10 minutes they were done asking their questions. And they said, okay you can go now. And she just asked, could I have permission to just ask you a few questions? and she said she started into the questions that we had prepared for them and her interview went almost another hour. And at the end of the interview she just looked at them and said, I know you’ve interviewed people that are more experienced than I am that are older than I am, but I’m passionate about your mission and I want to help you to accomplish it. And guess what? she got the job. So, make sure you leave room so that you can really get to know your candidates. It’s important to know, are they going to fit into your culture? are they going to fit into your team? and that’s hard to know if you’re only in a structured situation. So leave room to let them ask you questions as you also have the opportunity to ask them questions. One other tool that we’ve used is you probably familiar with the tool that Gallup has developed it’s called the strengthsfinder. So there’s a book, there’s an online assessment that you can do and this is a really awesome opportunity to just really be able to identify the strengths of your team. And so what we did was, we took everybody’s results from a StrengthsFinder and then we put it on a spreadsheet so we could literally map it out and see these were where different people’s strengths are. And in doing that you’re able to identify where the gaps are. So be able to find the gaps of the things that maybe you still need to find to fit into your organization. And so there’s different assessments that you can use. The strengthsfinder I highly recommend. But by using a combination of these things, I’m using assessments, using good interview questions and allowing them to ask you questions so you can really learn about them and how they’re going to fit into your culture, you’ll have a better chance of being able to find to recruit and retain those great employees that will help your company to grow. I hope you found this episode of hero TV helpful. Thanks so much Sydney for all your wisdom as usual. We Put a lot of information in the description below so you can find those details there. Be sure to subscribe and there’s actually a semi new feature on YouTube if you see that little image of a bell and you can click on it, they’ll get alerts every time we upload a new episode. Remember to live on purpose, make a difference.

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