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Interview Questions
There is a standard set of questions that many companies ask candidates. They include:
  1. Why did you apply for this position?
  2. Why are you applying for our company?
  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
 
These are good, high level questions that are considered conversation starters. They can give you a general idea about the candidate’s qualifications, his/her intentions and the level of understanding related to the position’s requirements. It will also allow you to gauge if the candidate put in sufficient amount of effort into preparing for the interview. Inability to answer them may either indicate lack of passion or interest, or basic critical thinking skills. Both of which are red flags.

Majority of candidates, however, will be able to provide straightforward answers. If you see a smooth and polished (often prepared) response, try not to waste too much time here. Dig deeper. Many good hiring managers, those who are well aware of their team dynamics, company’s culture and mission, look for specific qualities in candidates and try to get answers to three important questions outlined below. If the candidates meet the three criteria, you may consider them to be strong, let them get into the next round and potentially extend an offer. If not, thank them for their time and move on to another candidate.  

The interview questions which you want to find answers to are as follows:
 
  1. Is the candidate a good person? What you want to find out if the candidate is somebody who will help a blind person cross the street or stop and pick up groceries if another person dropped them. The answer to this question is extremely important because good people make every effort to do the right thing and decision. You want your team to do the right thing, because it may be key to every part of your business. This is particularly important for hiring in ‘front-end,’ customer-facing roles, such as Sales, Sales Support, or Customer Service. Customers remember when you do the right thing. That is the key to building and strengthening your reputation. Your candidate may be #1 in many other dimensions – in intellect, industry experience and being personable. However, if he/she is not a good person, then you may not want to have this person on your team. Remember that great people equal great company. Be honest with yourself and determine if you want to be surrounded by anyone other than great people.
  2. Is the candidate passionate about this job? Make sure the candidate wants the job he/she is interviewing for. You don’t want to have a person coming into your company to do this job in the interim, but really eyeing a different job. You want to find a person feeling passionate about this particular opportunity. You may talk about other opportunities down the road, if the candidate excels at this particular job.
  3. Does the candidate have the talent to do this job? You need to determine if the candidate is good or if he/she has a talent. Talent is different from skills:  talent is developed over a long time, whereas the skills can be taught fairly quickly. The talent is what will make the candidate excel at this job.
Talent is not easy to find. It requires a lot of effort. Get the feedback from previous employers, especially the tough ones (if interviewing for the Sales position, ask the toughest accounts this person used to handle). Determine if:
 
1.    The previous employer liked and trusted this person
2.    This person made his previous employer look good
3.    When something went  south, this person took care of his employer
4.    This person is creative, proactive and exceeds expectations
5.    This person effectively managed expectations, was genuine and transparent
6.    This person had a great reputation within other people

 

 
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