17 Interview Questions Hiring Managers Love to Ask
What is your greatest weakness?
"An impressive and confident response shows that the candidate has prepared for the question, has done serious self-reflection and can admit responsibility and accept constructive criticism. Sincerely give an honest answer (but don't say too much), be confident in the fact that this weakness does not make you any less of a great candidate, and show that you are working on this weakness and tell me how". -- Joey Price, HR specialist and founder of Push Consultant Group, LLC.
Why do you want to work here?
"It helps me instantly find out if the applicant has done any research on the company and if they will take as much pride in their job as I do." -- Jordan Cherrington, Fuel Mileage
Tell me about the last spontaneous thing that you did in any facet of your life.
"I look for an unusual response with something fun, like a last-minute trip or driving to Atlantic City at 11 o'clock at night. Something that shows me the person has some personality to react positively in different (and crazy) situations that oftentimes occur in our line of work." --Alan Klug, Baltimore franchise owner.
If you could change one thing in your current position or company, what would that be?
"The question can reveal a lot of information, including the real reason the applicant is looking to make a change, what's important to them in their next position, whether they are really motivated to make a move and whether or not their expectations are realistic." -- Sue Sattler, president, Talent Network Group
Tell me about yourself.
"I just let them go on as long as they can. A good interviewee will have a 60-second commercial that clearly demonstrates why they are the best person for the job." -- John Paul Engel, author, Project Be the Change
Tell me what you would like me to know about you.
"With this question alone, I am able to discern what is most important to the candidate, what their hobbies and interests are, their communication skills, their sense (or lack of) humor, their presentation comfort level, their educational background, their grasp of what the position entails, and their work style." -- Lynda Cook Sawyer, executive director of PreparedKids.com.
What are you currently reading?
"I have found in nearly 30 years of experience, those who read are stronger employees, more creative and can be more objective." -- Jennifer Ryan, certified professional organizer
If there were three of your closest friends sitting right here, what would they say about you?
"This answer tells me more about the social skills of the applicant and their ability to get along with others in the office. It also gives me more insight into their real personality." -- Erica Moore-Burton, Esq., author of 'The Little Professional P.I.N.K. Book' and executive director for Special Counsel.
What exactly is it in your background that makes you feel like you are qualified for this position?
"The best type of response is an anecdote of an experience the candidate had which is germane to the requirements of the position." -- David Marceau, VP of Sales, Ridgefield One
Thinking back to your last performance review, what performance areas were reviewed and how did you fare on each one?
"This question tells me how serious the candidate's last company was about employee performance and whether the candidate actually cared about/paid attention to how s/he did in each area and was being rated." -- Greg Szymanski, HR director, Geonerco Management, LLC
Tell me a joke that wouldn't offend anyone.
"This breaks the ice, shows the ability to think on their feet and if they can enjoy working together. Whatever joke is told, it almost always leads to a story." Elke Govertsen, owner and publisher of Marmalode Magazine.
How do you drive?
"While there is really no right or wrong answer, I can often deduce the overall work style of a job candidate by their response. If they say they are a cautious, careful driver I tend to learn that they are a little gun shy when it comes to making decisions at work as it relates to their daily responsibilities. They often will need a secondary party before they can move forward. If they respond that they are fast or aggressive or they get where they need to when they need to and on time, I often deduce that the candidate has a more confident, determined approach." -- Jonathan Cutler, owner, Verse Strategic Communications
If you had to give a title to your life story up to this point, what would it be and why?
"This question gets people thinking and helps me see how someone reacts when caught off guard. The titles can be truly insightful, revealing struggles and challenges that they have faced and overcome." -- Rick Thompson, director of Talent Management, Rising Medical Solutions.
If money wasn't a factor, what job would you do all day?
"To be completely effective in any company, the candidate needs to feel passionate about what they are doing. Employees that settle eventually cost a company far more lost revenue than the hour wasted on interviewing the wrong person." -- Andy O'Dower, CEO, Beyond Credentials.
Where do you see yourself professionally in our organization in one to two years?
"I ask this instead of asking a job applicant where they see themselves professionally in five to ten years because their response allows me to determine the level of motivation and commitment for the position. If the response is overly ambitious, that's a red flag." -- Don Boshard, SVP & HR director, TC Bank Utah
Tell me about a time that conflict occurred in one of your work groups and what did you do about it.
"I find that how employees deal with conflict tells me a lot about them and how successful they will be. -- Nancy E. Glossa, HR manager, Valley Life.
If I yelled from my office, "Hey, bring me a cup of coffee!" how would you respond?
"I ask both men and women this question and I look for body language and their verbal response. If the question was met with a smile or a slight shrug, it indicates a sense of humor and an easy-going nature. In their verbal response I am looking for an applicant willing to do whatever it takes to help the team find success but always like to hear, "I'd get it for you -- and then show you how to get it yourself the next time." --Jim Rosas, VP, Associadirect
- 20 Ways To Put America Back To Work Again [The Huffington Post]
- What Keeps Your Boss Up At Night [Examiner]
- Resume Tips From Recruiters [Climber]
- Get Credit For Your Work [Ask Men]
- Who Is The Ultimate Game Changer in Business? [The Huffington Post]
Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, has over fifteen years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching, and organizational development.
Barbara partners with both Fortune 100 companies and individuals to deliver targeted programs focusing on resume development, job search strategies, networking, interviewing, salary negotiation skills, and online identity management.
She is the author of Happy About My Resume: 50 Tips For Building a Better Document to Secure a Brighter Future and #JOBSEARCHtweet and her award-winning resumes are featured in dozens of career-related publications.