My Favorite Interview Questions

To me, hiring and developing an effective team is the most important part of a manager’s job. Here are my five all time favorite interview questions:

1. If you could land a dream job, what would it be? Believe it or not, someone once told me “getting paid to watch Family Guy.” Not quite the answer I was looking for. I love using this question to uncover long-term career goals and motivating factors for the candidate.

2. Let’s say there are only two types of sales people in the world, openers and closers. Of course, everyone is a bit of both, but if you had to pick one, which would you say you are and why? This is my “style” question. I like using this question to learn about the candidate’s selling strategy.

3. Tell me about yourself. This question is about preparation and communication to me. I usually start the interview with “tell me about yourself.” It’s a great first impression question, and I can quickly find out if the candidate can clearly communicate.

4. What are your core strengths that you think have driven your career so far? For sales, I look for persistence, persuasion, or empathy. The worst answer: I’m a people person.

5. So, at your last performance review, let’s say your manager says this: “Jack, you’re doing a great job with [insert strengths], but this year I’d like to see you work on this to improve.” What would your manager say you need to work on? This is the best version of the “weakness” question I’ve heard. It avoids the “I work too hard” type of response. I’m asking them about an actual event, their last performance review, and real feedback their old boss gave them.  This usually gets you a real weakness.

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