How To Select Interviewing Questions

Below is a listing of sample interview questions to use as a guideline when developing questions you might ask a potential employee. The trend in developing these interview questions has been to make them behavioral based, allowing the interviewer to get the maximum benefit from the interview.

General

Tell me about your recent work experience(s).
Why did you leave your previous place of employment?
Why are there gaps in your employment history?
What strengths and weaknesses would you bring to this position?
What is your understanding of this position and what skills do you bring to the position?
What types of job responsibilities do you find to be most rewarding? Why?
What types of job responsibilities do you find to be most frustrating? Why?
Tell me about your computer skills and what type of software you are experienced with.
What type of management style do you prefer (hands-on, frequent supervision, minimal supervision, etc.) and why?

Behavior Questions

If you were given a handwritten list of 50 names and addresses, along with a letter that needed to be sent to each, how would you complete the task? Explain, in detail, using a mail merge function in word processing software.
Describe a situation when you had to take directions from several people at the same time.
Describe a time when you had to sacrifice quality for a deadline, or visa versa. How did you react to this?
Describe a tough problem that you have dealt with, tell me how you approached it and the outcome.
Tell me about a specific occasion when you conformed to a policy even though you did not agree with it.
Tell me about a time when your manager was unavailable and you had to solve an immediate problem. What did you do and what was the outcome?
Tell me about a project you have been responsible for and how you organized the necessary paperwork, tasks, goals, etc.
Have you ever intervened on behalf of an employee who was not being treated fairly? Tell me about it.
Describe for me two improvements you have made in your job in the past six months.
When you delegate assignments to others, how do you keep track of their progress?
Tell me about a decision you made that your supervisor disagreed with. How did you handle it?
What do you feel would be the most common errors made in a position such as this?
Tell me about a time when you were late or absent to work. How did you communicate that to your supervisor?
How do you deal with difficult or demanding managers/co-workers/customers? Describe a situation.
Tell me about a time when a supervisor asked you to complete a task that you thought was not necessary, or could have been done another way. What steps did you take to achieve the task?
Tell me about a time when you felt you had to break a company rule in order to get something done.

Customer Service

How would your supervisor describe your relationship with your peers?
Describe a customer compliant that you have resolved.
Describe a day when you were faced with multiple interruptions and had to assist in covering an additional position.
Tell me how you managed your day to accomplish your work.
Tell me about a time when you were given high priority tasks from multiple supervisors. How did you decide which to complete first?
How would the people you supervise describe your management style?

End of Interview

What aspect of your past employments did you enjoy the most?
Why should I hire you?
Do you have any questions for me?

Safe Interviewing

Don’t ask questions about or make any references to:
1. Age, religion, racial heritage
2. Languages spoken at home (if part of the job description, you can ask in what languages the candidate is fluent)
3. Family: spouse's employment, child care, marital status, where parents were born, where the candidate was born, if family lives locally, sexual orientation
4. Home ownership, car ownership
5. Arrest record (you may ask if candidate has ever been convicted of a felony, not if they've ever been arrested)
6. Handicaps (except as phrased in #26 above)
7. Citizenship If the candidate volunteers information on any of the above "no-no's", say something like "That isn't information I need for this interview" and move on to safer territory.
Do keep questions open-ended and job-related and ask all candidates the same basic questions.

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