If you think, “So, where do you see yourself in five years?” is one of the most popular questions from a potential employer, you need to read this blog to brush up on your interview skills. We asked professionals in manufacturing, traditional business and technology to let us know the top interview questions they always ask and how these questions help them find the right candidate.
“Overall, for salaried positions, I try to ask questions that are more behavioral based to see if a candidate is a good match for our culture. My favorite question is, ‘Describe the boss you most liked working for or least liked working for and why?’ If they say that they don’t like micro managers, or that they’ve never really had a good boss that might be a red flag. If they mention, ‘Someone who showed me how to do things and took the time to be fair,’ that’s an indication they want to learn. I also ask, ‘What is the single most important thing that has to be there in your job?’ In the manufacturing industry, I’m really looking for safety, but some say co-workers, or the right tools to do the job. I also ask people to share how they go about establishing credibility with a new team. Their answer often indicates if they going to be a little hesitant, or jump in, work hard and ask questions.”
“There was a time when hiring managers tended to ask nothing but technical questions. Now, they’re asking more questions related to interpersonal skills. I like to put people in scenarios and ask what a person might do if a certain thing happened. I might ask, ‘Tell me about a time you couldn’t meet a deadline on a project, how did you deal with that?’ We want to hire people with both strong technical and interpersonal skills. Some of the scenarios I bring up involve ethical situations. I might say, ‘In your job in human resources, you receive a complaint and the person says not to tell your boss. I would expect the candidate to say they would take care of the issue if it were a complaint they can resolve on their own, but if it’s something like discrimination or harassment, then they need to share it with their boss. While it’s still important to have adequate skill levels, people can always be taught additional skills. However, it’s much harder to teach them ethics and how to deal with people.”
“In every interview, I ask these two questions and the first one tees up the second. ‘If you were reviewing your manager right now, what does he or she do that would warrant a promotion and what is the one area where there’s room for improvement?’ It’s a tough question that nobody’s really ready for, but how the candidate answers is important. I can tell if it’s an honest answer. If they don’t have an answer, it shows that this person was not plugged in to their employer, and that usually places them out of contention for the job. The second question is, ‘What would your manager say about you?’ This puts them in a place to talk about their experience in an open and honest way and it becomes super obvious if they give a bad answer. For me, the number one factor for employee success is the ability to communicate and this line of questioning helps me determine if this person would to be a good fit for our company.”
As illustrated by this cross section of industries, job candidates need to be prepared to answer more behavioral-based questions, showcase their ability to communicate clearly and think on their feet. There are no standard answers, but how you reply to a question could determine your chances of landing that job. Good luck!
Your new career is a click away. Complete your free profile on Louisiana Job Connection today.