Our first question is "Based on what you know about our firm and the role in which you are applying for, what is your strongest skill or quality that you could bring to the table that will help us move forward tomorrow." --That tells us(in terms of first impressions)
1- Have they done their research on our company/role?
2- Do they know their strongest asset/skill?
3- How well can the sell themselves, more specifically their skills?
4- How can we rate their professional self-confidence?
From there we obtain a broad sense of where this candidate stands which will not send us any shockers as we move through the rest of the more detailed interview questions.
Hope this helps
Would you say you are either.... "Fiery and passionate" or "Cold and calculated"??
Sit back and see how creatively they try to tell that they are both.
I like asking them what their top 3 movies or music are... you can tell a lot about a person from these choices.
I like to ask what they enjoy doing in their off time. Since you spend more waking hours with colleagues than family and friends it helps to know what they enjoy doing outside of work. Gives you an idea of what makes them tick and whether you have common ground (and potentially see eye-to-eye).
If I were you and you were asking the interview questions, what would you ask to find out if you are right for this position? Allow them complete freedom in the answer, you'll be amazed at what people come up with. Some will challenge themselves with tough questions, some ask themselves totally lame questions, that's clear they are serious about the job they just want to look good at that moment. Some will display incredible insight into what you are looking for in an employee and masterfully ask a question to demonstrate they have that skill set. That's your keeper! If they can think on their feet with grace under pressure grab them fast and pay them well!
What was your most significant professional accomplishment?
Tell me about it in detail and keep asking for more and more detail to get insight into work ethic.
Thought v. fact questions. Thought questions, those without simple 'Yes'/'No' or fact statement responses tell me much more abouty how the interviewee thinks and processes information. Thought questions also give me a sense of the person's level of creativity, resourcefulness and innovative ability. As the focus of my consulting is Strategy and Open Innovation, I am concerned with the person's critical thinking skills. Can they only parrot facts, information or case studies that they learned in school or on the job or can they truly think through scenarios in order to identify which solutions will be optimal.
I prefer to have a dialog with every candidate and get to know who they are. i want to know what drives them to get out of bed everyday
Why do you want to work for me? Or Our Company? This shows if they really did their due diligence on researching the company and the position they are there interviewing for. I look for people that make decisions - the doers not the ones that need micro managing - but that is because I am not a micro manager - I am a doer - really know the type of person you are looking for - and let them bring examples of their work that shows they are a good match
What's the greatest adversity you have faced in your life and how did you get through it? Who helped and how long did it take? Addresses toughness, dealing with stress and how long it take them to bounce back from set backs. Also tells you if they internalize or use others to help them through tough times. Every job has tough times.
"If I met your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend what would he/she about you/' Tests how they deal with people.
In the middle of competency based questions I always throw in my favourite non competency "feeling" questions which is "which 3 words would you use to describe yourself?" It amazes me how many people can't stick to 3 words or use "corporate" speech because they are in full interview mode. Some ask clarifying questions like "do you mean at work or at home?" All answers give me so much more than then 3 words...
The right personality and attitude outweighs the perfect answer to one single question. Most things can be taught when one can learn / adapt quickly, providing they have a brilliant attitude and desire to learn and embrace new work challenges.
"Whats the worst failure youve ever made?' - I like using this question to judge how people learn from mistakes.
Although I am out of the hardcore tech world, my favorite question is from an interview I had at Microsoft ~1998. Looking back on it, the value I see i it now is in the real time talk describing the layout of the problem solution. Defining knowns and unknowns, etc.
You have a pan balance and nine visually identical balls.
One ball is heavier. Again all of them look and feel the same.
Only by using the pan balance will you be able to determine which ball is different from the other eight.
You can use the balance three times - maybe only twice.....I still get a kick out of that question.......