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THE INC. LIFE

20 Interview Questions That Will Reveal a Superstar Job Candidate

Don’t make the typical mistake of asking the wrong questions when assessing for people skills.

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BY Marcel Schwantes - 09 Feb 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

It's quite common for hiring managers to ask the wrong interview questions to size up job candidates for job/culture fit and the people skills that lend to success on the job.

Whether you're new to the practice of interviewing or not, if you're not employing the science of behavioral interviewing in a cross-functional, panel format with scorecards and measures in place at the end of your interviewing process, you're truly risking disaster by bringing in the wrong people.

Ask these behavioral interviewing questions to assess your future superstars.

If you want a clear edge to safeguard from those job hoppers that will deliver prepared stories or scripted answers, here's your starter's kit for asking questions based on two critical job attributes most companies desire: motivation/drive and the ability to communicate well.

10 questions for assessing motivation and drive.

  1. Describe a time when you recognized that you were unable to meet multiple deadlines. What did you do about it?
  2. Tell us about an idea you started that involved collaboration with your colleagues that improved the business.
  3. When you had extra time available in a previous position, describe ways you found to make your job more efficient.
  4. Tell me a time when you identified a problem with a process and what steps did you take to improve the problem?
  5. What techniques have you learned to make a job easier, or to be more effective or productive?
  6. Tell me about a time when you went beyond your manager's expectations in order to get the job done.
  7. Tell me about a time when you identified a new, unusual or different approach for addressing a problem or task.
  8. Describe a project or idea (not necessarily your own) that was implemented, or carried out successfully primarily because of your efforts.
  9. If you find yourself working with a team that is not motivated, how do you keep yourself motivated and motivate others?
  10. Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.

You can find more questions on motivation here.

10 questions for assessing good communication skills.

1. You have a small disagreement with a co-worker. How would you resolve it independently of your immediate supervisor?

2. Describe a time when you were required to work with a coworker that did not want to share the work and how you resolved the situation.

3. Tell me about the most difficult co-worker experience you ever had to handle, perhaps a difficult or controlling person. What did you do to help the situation and what was the outcome?

4. Please provide details of a time when you had a miscommunication with a co-worker. How did you resolve the issue and what steps did you take?

5. Give me a recent example that best shows your ability to communicate effectively.

6. Describe a time when good listening skills helped you overcome a work-related problem.

7. Tell me about a situation when you had to speak up (be assertive) in order to get a point across that was important to you.

8. Give an example of a time when you persuaded a co-worker to your point of view, even when that individual may not have agreed with you.

9. Give an example of a complex process / situation you had to describe to someone. What specifically did you do to make sure the information was clear?

10. Think of a situation where you distrusted a co-worker/supervisor, resulting in tension between you. What steps did you take to improve the relationship

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