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The 16 Best and Most Revealing Interview Questions Ever

Conducting a successful interview is crucial in identifying the right candidate for a position. To ensure a comprehensive assessment, these questions can be tailored to the specific role and individual. It’s essential to mix tough questions with more relaxed ones to create a comfortable atmosphere and encourage genuine responses.

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins

  1. What are the biggest strengths you will bring to this organization?

This open-ended question allows candidates to showcase their abilities and relevant past achievements, helping to identify their strengths before discussing them in detail.

  1. What are the things you do not like to do, and not want to work on?

Asking about weaknesses in a less intimidating manner, this question tests the candidate’s honesty and willingness to address areas they may need support in.

  1. Please walk me through a typical day at your current/previous job and about your boss and relationship with them?

This question assesses how well their job responsibilities align with their actual duties, providing insights into their level of supervision and autonomy in decision-making.

  1. What adjectives would your references use to describe you?

Short and insightful, this question helps determine the candidate’s self-awareness about their strengths and weaknesses, which can be compared to reference feedback.

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” – Ernest Hemingway

     5. “Think of someone you have had problems with within your career, as we all do, who you would NEVER use as a reference. Tell me the adjectives (to keep short) they might use to describe you and why they had this perception? Then we can discuss how you dealt with the situation.”

This thought-provoking question is a backdoor to identifying weaknesses and past challenges. It encourages candidates to be honest about potential issues that may not be evident otherwise.

  1. Tell me what are the first 5 things you would do if you got this position?

This question delves into the candidate’s problem-solving approach and how quickly they will immerse themselves in the role. Their response reveals their level of research and sensitivity to the organization’s history and specific needs.

  1. What accomplishment in your career to date are you most proud of?

  2. What level is the accomplishment at? Is it big or small? Does it show skill, luck, focus, hard work, long-term career objectives?

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These questions help assess the candidate’s proudest achievements and the traits that contributed to their success.

  1. Where would you like to be in 3-5 years in your career? What would you like to be earning?

These questions reveal the candidate’s ambitions, planning abilities, and how well their career goals align with the company’s objectives.

  1. Tell me how you would go about _________ (installing a new system, implement a new procedure)?

A position-specific question to evaluate technical or managerial knowledge, this test highlights the candidate’s understanding of the technical landscape.

“I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.” – Jeff Bezos

  1. What do you think are the most important five (3-7) things for you to be successful in this position?

This question invites candidates to cite what they believe to be their strengths, providing valuable insights into their priorities and how well they align with the company’s goals.

  1. What are some things your current employer could do differently to be more successful?

This question offers insights into the candidate’s ability to provide constructive criticism and their level of critical thinking.

  1. Why are you interested in this job? What do you know about our company?

Gauging the candidate’s genuine interest in the role and their knowledge of the company helps assess their commitment and preparation.

  1. What have been the biggest failures and frustrations in your career?

This question delves into the candidate’s attitude towards failure, risk-taking, and accountability.

  1. Why have you decided to leave your current position?

Follow-up questions on their answers help to understand the reasons behind their decision and how they approach challenges.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs

  1. What risks did you take in your last position?

Discussing risks reveals the candidate’s propensity for optimism, a trait associated with higher success rates. It’s essential to consider their risk-taking approach, especially in early-stage organizations.

In conclusion, conducting interviews with these insightful questions can help identify the best fit for a position. The right combination of technical, behavioral, and motivational inquiries provides a comprehensive view of the candidate’s potential to thrive within the organization. Honest and thoughtful responses offer valuable insights into their capabilities and future performance. Remember, a well-conducted interview is an essential step in building a successful team and organization.

Bob Norton is a long-time Serial Entrepreneur, CEO and investor who founded six companies with four exits that returned over $1 billion to investors for a 25X ROI. Two others are still in development. He has trained, consulted and advised thousands of Entrepreneurs, CEOs and boards since 2002. ™. Mr. Norton works with companies to 2X to 10X growth rates and valuation using AirTight Management™, the world’s most comprehensive Leadership Operating System™. He also helps companies raise capital to fund growth. He is also the Founder of The CEO Boot Camp™ and Entrepreneurship University for early-stage companies that have not reached product-market fit and $1M ARR.

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