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Five Interview Questions That Reveal the Most about Job Candidates

Part of the Human Resources Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The job interview is perhaps your best opportunity to determine if a potential hire will succeed with your firm. But most applicants now have ready-made answers to standard questions such as "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Here are five questions that can help elicit more candid responses:

  • "What interests you about this job, and what skills and strengths can you bring to it?" The answer shows how interested the applicant is in the position and how well prepared she is for the interview. Strong candidates should be able to correlate their skills with specific job requirements.

  • "Can you tell me a little about your last job?" How a person answers this question can help you determine his passion and enthusiasm for his work and his sense of personal accountability. Be wary of applicants who bad-mouth their employers.

  • "How have you changed the nature of your current job?" A convincing answer shows adaptability and a willingness to take the bull by the horns, if necessary. An individual who chose to do a job differently from other people also may have qualities such as creativity and resourcefulness.

  • "What was the most difficult decision you ever had to make on the job?" What you're looking for is the person's decision-making style and how it fits into your company culture.

  • "What sort of work environment do you prefer? What brings out your best performance?" Probe for specifics. You want to find out whether this person will fit into your company.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Robert Half International, Inc., as to Author-Created Materials

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