When you are sitting down for a hiring interview your goal is to find out if the person in front of you will be a good employee. Some interviewers ask questions about the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses while other interviewers ask more problem-solving questions. Microsoft may be the company best known for asking unique questions during their interviews. Some challenges reported as Microsoft interview questions include, “How would you design an ATM for children?” and “Design a cell phone for a blind person.” While these questions may not be relevant to your job interviews you can incorporate some problem-solving questions into your hiring process. Here are some potential interview questions that are helpful for narrowing down the pool of potential employees:
What is your greatest flaw? This question is considered the all-time gotcha of job interviews and I dislike answering it as much as the next person. Of course no one wants to talk about their greatest flaw, or their biggest mistake, or their greatest failure during a job interview. However, a good employee is self-aware enough to know where their strengths and weaknesses are and confident enough to admit that they cannot possibly be good at everything.
What is one challenge you anticipate in this job and how would you solve it? This is a problem-solving question that is more relevant to the typical work environment. It tests how well potential employees understand the job duties involved and if they can anticipate challenges that may come down the road. You will also see how they are likely to handle challenges that arise in the work environment.
What is the most recent book you have read? This is a question that will often enable you to find out something unexpected about the person you are considering hiring. A person who says that they do not read books may not necessarily be a poor employee but a person who reads to challenge themselves or to explore a new interest or hobby is likely someone who will be committed to learning and growing on the job.
What makes a good supervisor or leader? Whether or not you are hiring for a supervisory position, it is helpful to know how your job candidates view leadership. If your candidate’s preferred leadership style is different than the one that pervades your company culture then you know that your candidate may not be a good fit for your organization.
Describe a conflict from a previous job and how you resolved it. This is a common question during job interviews because it gets at management styles and how your candidate reacts to challenging situations. You will find out if the person you are considering hiring tends to try and problem-solve independently or goes to a supervisor for every little issue.