Interview Questions

Types of Questions and Interviewing Techniques

To help you gather relevant and reliable information on which to base judgments, questions are designed and utilized as communication tools. The kinds of questions you ask largely determine the kind of interview you get back. Described below are different types of questions, which can be helpful in conducting interviews.

Open-Ended (Reporter) Questions

Questions that begin with “how,” “why,” and “what” invite an applicant to answer at length, and cause the interview to flow as a conversation, permitting the applicant to do most of the talking. These questions invite more elaborate response, either informational or attitudinal. Also, they yield the greatest amount of information and allow the applicant latitude in responding. They permit you to assess verbal communication skills and to observe the applicant’s pattern of body language. Most importantly, these questions provide information upon which you can build additional questions. (Be careful: if the applicant volunteers information that violates Employment Laws or has the potential for illegal use, bring the applicant back to the focus of the question).

  • What did you enjoy about your previous job?
  • What special aspects of your education, training, or work experience have prepared you for this job?
  • Describe one or two of the most important accomplishments in your last position.
  • What kind of supervision is best for you? Why?
  • Tell me about something new you developed at a previous job, like a product or procedure of which you are particularly proud. What was the outcome?
  • How would you describe your strengths and weaknesses in the workplace?
  • What are some of the more challenging aspects of your current job? How do you handle them?
  • How would you describe your learning style? Do you prefer to read manuals, attend a training class, receive one-on-one training? Explain.
  • Do you belong to any professional organizations related to your work?
  • What professional publications do you read and how frequently?
  • Describe a team project in which you participated and your role in the project.
  • How do you handle criticism? Can you give me an example?
  • When I call your previous supervisor for a reference, what do you suppose he/she will say about your performance?
  • What kind of work schedule do you prefer?

Closed-Ended (Interrogator) Questions

These questions should be avoided because they can be answered generally with “yes” or “no.” They often begin with words such as “did,” “have,” “do,” “would,” and “are.” These questions will put pressure on you to keep the interview moving along because they do not encourage the applicant to elaborate on a question since they only require a single answer.

  • Did you enjoy your previous job? (Instead ask, “what did you enjoy about your previous job?”)

Behavioral Style Questions

Based on the premise that past performance is the best predictor of future performance, these questions solicit examples of how the candidate has performed in the past.

  • Tell me about a specific time when you encountered a patient who was upset and/or dissatisfied. What was the situation and what did you do?

Competency-Based Questions

These questions measure the candidate’s knowledge in job relevant areas.

  • What is the correct way to…?
  • How would you know if…?
  • What are signs and symptoms of…?

Leading Questions

These questions should be avoided because they imply that there is a single, correct answer and lead the interviewee to the answer you are looking for or prefer. Remember that you want to ask the applicant, not tell him/her.

  • Would you say that you have the analytical ability that this job requires?

Informational or Broad-Brush Questions

These questions require an applicant to demonstrate an ability to think about a broad subject area, choose what to include in his/her response, and organize his/her thoughts. Do not allow a candidate to throw the question back at you as a way of avoiding the question. The following example will show you how to respond if this happens.

  • Interviewer: Tell me about your previous work experience.
  • Applicant: What do you mean?
  • Interviewer: Tell me about anything you think was significant about that experience.

Compare and Contrast Questions

Questions that ask an applicant to compare or contrast two situations or to choose between two equally attractive alternatives can reveal an interviewee’s analytical and reasoning abilities.

  • You may ask a person who has worked in two different, but related, jobs to compare his/her experiences in those jobs.
  • You may ask a candidate whether he or she would prefer to work on one major project for an extended period of time or several smaller tasks at once.

Loaded Questions

These are questions that force an applicant to choose between two undesirable alternatives. This puts the applicant on the spot and these questions should be avoided, as they do not usually provide any valid information.

  • Are you the union-organizing type or are you anti-union?

Self-Appraisal Questions

These force an applicant to reflect on his/her own personality and abilities and will provide you with an opportunity to understand the applicant as he/she sees himself/herself.

  • What do you think it is about you that allowed you to perform so well in your academic studies? (If an interviewee had a high grade point average) (Without this question, you are merely guessing what characteristics allowed the candidate to achieve success and you could form either positive or negative hypotheses)

Multiple Questions

Asking multiple questions at once only confuses the applicant and makes it difficult for you to get the information you are seeking.

  • Can you tell me about your position with your previous employer, what your responsibilities were, any promotions you received, what you liked and disliked, and why you left? (Instead, keep your questions simple such as “how,” when,” and “what happened next?”)

Hypothetical or Situational Questions

These are questions that oblige candidates to imagine how they would react in certain situations.

  • What would you do if you were asked to manage a number of different projects at the same time and knew you couldn’t accomplish them all?
  • You walk into a room and find a patient on the floor. The patient is unconscious. What is the first thing you would do?

Probing Questions

These are questions that allow you to delve deeper for needed information. They are usually short and simply worded. A one-step probe, beginning with the words “who,” “what,” “when,” and “where,” is designed to collect a limited amount of basic information. A two-step probe, beginning with the words “how” and “why,” explores a candidate’s qualifications in greater depth to gain an increased level of information. Applicants tend to feel defensive if asked too many probing questions consecutively.

  • Under what circumstances did that occur?
  • Who else was involved in that decision? (one-step probe)
  • Why did you make that decision? (two-step probe)

Pause or Silence

Compels the candidate to talk further on a given topic or to fill the void with further conversation.

The Echo

Interviewer simply repeats what the candidate just said in the form of a question.

The Compliment

Interviewer offers praise (must be sincere), encouraging candidate to reveal more information on the subject.

Use of Examples

Interviewer asks for examples to support a broad statement previously made by the candidate or to elicit more information on how something was accomplished.

Self-Disclosure

Interviewer says something of a personal nature about himself/herself to help the candidate feel more comfortable about a potentially sensitive topic area.


Guidelines for Developing Interviewing Questions

In many cases, where interviewers feel the need to decide whether a particular question is a good one or not – there is no easy answer. However, there are a few standards to use that will help guide your decision. Make certain the question does not violate EEO laws, you find it interesting, and are likely to obtain valuable information from it. If the question meets these standards, then ask the question. Otherwise, do not. Avoid asking questions that have the potential of being considered illegal or discriminatory.

Depending on your tone of voice and facial expressions (communication cues), those around you can interpret the question as a good, average, or poor question. Furthermore, the way a question is phrased and its temporal placement can have a considerable impact.

Don’t be overly influenced by what you were asked as a candidate for a position, when deciding on what questions to ask. Formulate your own questions that will help you seek the information you need to fill the position successfully.

Don’t shy away from asking questions regarding topics that you may have limited knowledge of. Such questions will enable you to determine whether the applicant can formulate his/her answer in an easy, understandable way.

Valuable information can be gained about a candidate from an experience or interest the candidate has even though it is seemingly quite remote from the job for which the candidate is interviewing.

It’s acceptable to vary your interviews slightly. Discuss something new with each applicant. Not only are you more likely to listen to something new, you are also less likely to get rehearsed answers. You are more likely to conduct an effective interview if you try to learn about the particular candidate in front of you rather than asking only prepared questions. However, it is extremely important that the same general format is followed and the same general question content is asked of all applicants.

If you want to test a particular question, ask yourself whether it is:

  • Specific to the candidate
  • Based on the candidate’s past experience
  • Open-ended
  • Nondiscriminatory
  • Job-related
  • Nonleading

In all likelihood, you will be asking a good, acceptable question if you’ve answered “yes” to each of the above questions.


Questions to Avoid During the Interview

See also examples of acceptable/discriminatory questions.

  • Questions that you would not ask of all applicants.
  • Questions of applicants because you think your clients or customers may have certain prejudices.
  • Questions that make improper assumptions.
  • Questions about age, race, color, place of birth, national and family origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or ancestry.
  • Questions about the date a candidate graduated from high school. You may ask number of years attended and degree(s) obtained.
  • Questions about past, present, or future marital status, pregnancy, plans for a family or childcare issues. You may ask if the applicant has any commitments that would preclude the applicant from satisfying job schedules or performing job-related travel. If such questions are asked, they must be asked of both genders.
  • Questions about the candidate’s state of health or handicap/disability (physical or mental).
  • Questions about the workers’ compensation history of a candidate.
  • Questions on the basis of sexual preference.
  • Questions that pertain to a candidate’s appearance (height and weight).
  • Questions about financial status or a candidate’s credit rating.
  • Questions about proficiency in English or questions about a candidate’s native tongue or how foreign language ability has been acquired. You may ask about foreign language skills if the position requires such ability.
  • Questions about whether a candidate has filed or threatened to file discrimination charges.
  • Questions that would reveal arrests without convictions. You may ask about convictions (but not arrests) for crimes that relate to the candidate’s qualifications for a position.

Examples of Acceptable/Discriminatory Questions

See also questions to avoid during the interview.

Interview questions should be focused on obtaining information necessary to assess the skills and qualifications of the candidate and/or the candidate’s ability to perform the essential functions of the position. Interviewers must avoid questions that request information that is illegal or has a discriminatory impact. The following are examples of questions that are acceptable or should be avoided.

Questions about Name that Should be Avoided

  • The fact of a change of name or the original name of an applicant whose name has been legally changed.
  • Maiden name of a married woman.
  • Name of a spouse.

Questions about Name that are Acceptable

  • Whether or not the applicant ever worked under another name or was the applicant educated under another name (Allowable only when the data are needed to verify the applicant’s qualifications).
  • Examples:
    a) Have you ever worked for your present company under any other name?
    b) Is there any information relative to a change of name that would help us in conducting a reference check?

Questions about Birthplace and Residence that Should be Avoided

  • Birthplace of applicant.
  • Birthplace of applicant’s parents.
  • Own home, rent, board, or live with parents.
  • Citizenship.
  • Address of applicant’s spouse and children who are dependents.

Question about Birthplace and Residence that is Acceptable

  • Inquiry about address sufficient to facilitate contact with applicant.

Questions about Creed/Religion that Should be Avoided

  • Inquiry concerning religious preference, denomination, or affiliations of applicant.
  • Church, parish, pastor, or religious holidays observed by applicant.
  • Examples of discriminatory questions:
    a) What is your religion?
    b) What religious holidays do you observe?
    c) Which church do you attend?
    d) What do you do on Sundays? From your resume, I noticed that you are involved in your church. Would it be a problem to work on Sundays?

Question about Creed/Religion that is Acceptable

  • Unions or professional organizations, as long as that information is not used to violate the National Labor Relations Act or other federal statutes.
  • Example of an acceptable question:
    a) This job requires people to work on weekends – can you meet this requirement? (Employers have the obligation, according to EEOC guidelines, to make “reasonable accommodations” for employees whose religious convictions may conflict with scheduling requirements of the business.)

Questions about Race or Color that Should be Avoided

  • Applicant’s race.
  • Color of applicant’s skin, eyes, hair, distinguishing physical characteristics, scars, markings.

Questions about Photographs that Should be Avoided

  • Photographs with application.
  • Photographs after interview, but before hiring.
  • Any request for submission of photograph at any time prior to employment (You may request a photograph after employment for identification purposes).

Questions about Age that Should be Avoided

  • Date of birth or age of applicant, except when such information is needed to:
  • Maintain apprenticeship requirements based upon a reasonable minimum age.
  • Satisfy the provisions of either state or federal minimum age statutes.
  • Avoid interference with the operation of the terms and conditions and administration of any bona fide retirement, pension, employee benefit or insurance plan or program.
  • Verify that applicant is above the minimum legal adult age (18 years) but without asking for a birth certificate.
  • Age specifications, limitations or implications in a newspaper advertisement that might bar workers under or over a certain age.
  • Obtain driver’s license number (contains driver’s age) to meet the qualifications of position being sought.
  • Examples of discriminatory questions:
    a) What is your age or date of birth?
    b) How old are you?
    c) Are you between the ages of 18-24, 25-34, etc.?
    d) Will you mind being the oldest one working here?

Question about Age that is Acceptable

  • Applicant may be asked if he/she is over the minimum legal working age.
  • Example:
    a) If hired, can you offer proof that you are at least 18 years of age?

Questions about Language that Should be Avoided

  • Applicant’s mother tongue.
  • Language commonly used by applicant at home.
  • How the applicant acquired the ability to read, write, or speak a foreign language.
  • Examples of discriminatory questions:
    a) Was English your first language?
    b) What language did you speak as a child?

Question about Language that is Acceptable

  • Languages applicant speaks fluently (only if job-related).

Questions about Relatives that Should be Avoided

  • Name and/or address of any relative of applicant.
  • Names of applicant’s spouse and dependent children.
  • Names of persons with whom applicant resides.

Questions about Relatives that are Acceptable

  • Name and address of person to be notified in case of accident or emergency.
  • Inquiry into whether applicant has relatives employed by the University of Florida.
  • Example:
    a) Do you have any relatives already employed by UF/ this college/this department? (To be used for purpose of discovering any nepotism issues.)

Questions about National Origin and Ancestry that Should be Avoided

  • Applicant’s lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent, birthplace, parentage, or nationality.
  • Nationality of applicant’s parents or spouse.
  • Examples of discriminatory questions:
    a) Are you a United States citizen?
    b) Of what country are you a citizen?
    c) Where were you born? Where were your parents born?
    d) What nationality are you?
    e) Was English your first language?
    f) What language did you speak as a child?

Questions about Citizenship that are Acceptable

  • Whether applicant can be lawfully employed in this country because of visa or immigration status.
  • Whether applicant can provide proof of legal right to work in the United States after being hired.
  • Examples:
    a) Can you show proof of your eligibility to work in the United States?
    b) If you are not a United States citizen, do you have the legal right to remain/work here?

Questions about Military Experience that Should be Avoided

  • Applicant’s military experience in other than the United States Armed Forces.
  • National Guard or Reserve Units of applicant.
  • Draft classification or other eligibility for military service.
  • Applicant’s whereabouts in 1941-45, 1950-53 or 1964-73.

Questions about Military Experience that are Acceptable

  • Military experience of applicant in Armed Forces only when used for employment history.
  • Whether applicant has received any notice to respond for duty in the Armed Forces.

Question about References that Should be Avoided

  • The name of applicant’s pastor or religious leader.

Questions about References that are Acceptable

  • Names of persons willing to provide professional and/or character reference for applicant.
  • Name and address of person to be notified in case of accident or emergency.

Questions about Sex and Marital Status that Should be Avoided

  • Sex or marital status or any questions that would be used to determine same.
  • Any inquiry as to whether an applicant is married, single, divorced, separated, engaged, widowed, etc.
  • Number of dependents, number of children.
  • Spouse’s occupation.
  • Questions posed of one gender and not the other.
  • Examples of Discriminatory Questions:
    a) Are you married or single?
    b) Do you wish to be addressed as Mrs., Miss, or Ms.?
    c) What is your maiden name?
    d) With whom do you live?
    e) Do you share an apartment with anyone?
    f) What is your spouse’s name and/or occupation?
    g) Are you divorced?
    Questions about Pregnancy that Should be Avoided:
  • Any inquiry related to pregnancy, medical history concerning pregnancy, and related matters.
  • Examples of discriminatory questions:
    a) Are you pregnant or do you plan to be?
    b) Are you planning to have children right away?

Questions about Arrest and Conviction that Should be Avoided

  • The number and kinds of arrest of an applicant
  • Example of a discriminatory question:
    a) Have you ever been arrested?

Questions about Arrest and Conviction that are Acceptable

  • Convictions that bear a relationship to the job and have not been expunged or sealed by a court.
  • Example:
    a) Have you ever been convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor or felony? (You must state that a conviction will be considered only as it relates to performing the essential functions of the job being sought.)

Question about Height and Weight that Should be Avoided

  • Any inquiry into height or weight of applicant, unless justified by business necessity. (Inquiries pertaining to physical appearance can be made if they are bona fide occupational qualifications.)

Questions about Disabilities that Should be Avoided

  • Any general inquiry as to whether applicant has any physical or mental disability. This includes an inquiry about the nature, severity, or extent of a disability. (Refer to Interviewing Applicants with Disabilities.)
  • Examples of discriminatory questions:
    a) Are you disabled?
    b) Have you ever been treated for any of the following diseases?
    c) What is the nature or severity of your disability?
    d) What kind of problems does being disabled cause you? Do you think you have the physical strength for the job?

Questions about Disabilities that are Acceptable

  • Does applicant have any disabilities that would prevent him or her from satisfactorily performing the job? (Must be accompanied by job descriptions and mention of reasonable accommodation.)
  • Example:
    a) Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodation? (Show/Read the applicant the position description so he/she can give an informed answer.)

Miscellaneous Questions that are Discriminatory

  • Do you have any children? How many children do you have?
  • What are your childcare arrangements?
  • Do you have a car?
  • Have your wages ever been garnished?
  • Do you have a good credit record? Do you have any overdue bills?
  • Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
  • Have you ever filed for workers’ compensation? Have you had any prior work injuries?
  • Do you smoke?

Miscellaneous Questions that are Acceptable

  • This job requires heavy lifting. Can you lift/move fifty pounds? (This is legal provided that this is in fact a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
  • Are there specific times that you cannot work or adhere to this schedule?
  • What professional or trade groups do you belong to that you consider relevant to your ability to perform this job?
  • Our smoking policy is such…. Can you adhere to it? (Be aware of any state laws that relate to smoking such as the Florida Clean Indoor Act).

Advantages of Using Prepared Questions

  • Preparing questions prior to the interview helps to prevent overlap among interviewers.
  • Questions prepared in advance can help the interviewer(s) avoid illegal questions.
  • Prepared interview questions help the interviewer(s) make a positive impression by not duplicating issues thus helping to provide a broad base of data about a candidate.
  • With interview questions prepared in advance, the note taking process is less stressful and more organized.
  • Standardized, prepared interview questions help to create a system that treats all candidates fairly.

Behavioral Interview Questions

Some interview questions may be “behaviorally based,” implying that the questions you ask should examine past or present behavior. Such questions attempt to measure how a person is likely to behave in certain situations. Behavioral questions should be designed to help evaluate an applicant’s ability to perform certain elements or key competencies deemed critical to the performance of the position. The following are some examples of behavior-based questions that reflect situations an applicant could encounter on the job. The competencies they measure precede the questions:

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • With which of your past work groups did you most enjoy working? What factors most influenced your positive feelings? With which of your past work groups did you least enjoy working? What accounted for your lack of enjoyment? What did you do about it? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when you had a major conflict with another employee. What was the cause of the conflict? What things did you do to alleviate the problem? What were the results?
  • Provide me with a specific example of a time when a co-worker or supervisor criticized your work in front of others. How did you respond? How has that event shaped the way you communicate with others?
  • Tell me about a time when you felt it was important to take it upon yourself to disclose “bad news” to your supervisor. How could you have handled the situation differently? How would you handle the same situation in the future? What kinds of outside influences affected the outcome of your actions? How would your supervisor have evaluated your decision in that situation?

Assertiveness

  • Give me a specific example of a time when you sold your supervisor on an idea or concept. How did you proceed? What was the result?

Job Performance

  • Describe the system you use for keeping track of multiple projects. How do you track your progress so that you can meet deadlines? How do you stay focused? (commitment to task)
  • Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What things did you fail to do? What were the repercussions? What did you learn? (time management)
  • Give me some examples of things you have done that go considerably beyond what is required by your job. (drive and motivation)
  • Tell me about a situation that required you to learn something difficult or unfamiliar. Why was it difficult to learn? What did you have to do to learn it? How long did it take? What was the end result? (ability to learn)

Creativity and Imagination

  • Tell me about a time when you came up with an innovative solution to a challenge your organization/department was facing. What was the challenge? What role did others play? What was your idea? What were the alternative approaches you considered? Why was this a particularly creative solution?

Decision-Making

  • Describe a specific problem you solved for your employer. How did you approach the problem? What role did others play? What was the outcome?

Willingness to Take Risks

  • In past positions, when do you most regret not having taken a particular risk? What was the nature of the risk? Why didn’t you pursue this risk?

Political Astuteness

  • What was the most difficult political decision you have had to make? What were the sensitivities? What were the risks? What factors needed to be considered, and why? What tact did you elect to take? What was the result?

Integrity

  • Give me an example of a situation that required you to compromise one of your basic principles. What was the situation? What principle did you compromise? Why did you compromise? How did you feel about it?

Teamwork

  • Give an example of your involvement in a successful team effort. What role did you play? Why was the effort successful? Give an example of your involvement in a team effort that failed. What role did you play? What factors led to the failure?
  • Describe a time when you encouraged co-workers who disliked each other to work together. How did you accomplish this? What was the outcome?

Customer Service

  • Describe the behaviors of a difficult customer and what you did. (Look for the applicant’s ability to notice and act on specific behaviors.)
  • Was there ever a time you violated organizational policy in order to better serve a customer? What happened and how did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time when you went the extra mile for a customer. What were the circumstances and what did you do?

Operating Style

  • What are the basic work principles by which you try to operate? How are these basic work principles reflected in your work and job accomplishments? Give me some recent examples of how these work or operating principles benefited your performance. What principles did you employ? How did you behave? What was the result?
  • Give me an example of where you abandoned one of your basic work principles and it backfired on you. What was the circumstance? What principle did you abandon? Why did you abandon this principle? What was the result? What did you learn from this experience?

Management Style, Philosophy and Effectiveness

  • Describe your process for monitoring and controlling overall department operations and performance. What are the performance benchmarks? What are your monitoring techniques? What controls do you exercise?
  • Describe your approach to employee development. How do you determine development needs? How are these communicated? How is accountability assigned? What successes have you had? How could you be more effective in this area?
  • How do you go about evaluating individual employee performance? What is your basis for evaluation? What standards do you use? How do you measure against these standards?
  • What are some of the techniques you have used or continue to use to motivate poor performers? Give me some examples of how you have used these techniques. What results did you get? How could these have been improved?
  • What is the toughest decision you have had to make as a manager? Why was it tough? What did you decide? What were the results?

Questions to Ask Support Staff

Strengths

  • In viewing your candidacy for this position, in what areas do you feel you would be a particularly strong performer? Why?
  • Describe your three greatest strengths and tell me how you used them to bring about improvements in your current or most recent position.

Weaknesses

  • In what areas could you improve your overall performance? (Make sure you demonstrate what action you would take.)
  • As you view your overall qualifications for this position, what do you see as some of your development needs?
  • In what ways could you improve your interpersonal skills and effectiveness?

Education

  • How appropriate do you feel your education has been in preparing you for your profession?
  • What specific courses have been most helpful to you in your career/current position? How have you used them?
  • What led to your decision to get a degree in __________________?

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

  • With what kind of people do you most enjoy working (have difficulty working with)? Why?
  • Tell me about a time when you had a major conflict with another employee or customer? (Mention the cause of the conflict, what things you did to alleviate the problem, and the results.)
  • Are you more skilled at verbal or written communication? Why?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to communicate negative information to your supervisor or a customer.
  • Explain your experience in making verbal presentations to groups or individuals.

Planning and Organizational Skills

  • Describe your planning process. How do you establish priorities?
  • Describe a situation in your professional experiences that required a number of deadlines to be met at the same time.
  • How did you handle that? What was the result?

Traits and Characteristics

  • How do you take criticism?
  • How do you handle stress on the job?

Analytical Ability

  • Please give some examples of decisions you have made in your professional experiences. What were the ramifications of these decisions?
  • Please describe a problem you recently encountered. How did you rectify the situation? What did you learn?

Teamwork

  • What has been your experience in working as part of a team?
  • Give an example of your involvement in a successful team effort. What role did you play? Why was the effort successful?
  • Give an example of your involvement in a team effort that failed. What role did you play? What factors led to the failure?
  • Have you ever had to build motivation or team spirit with co-workers or peers? How did you accomplish this?
  • Do you prefer working alone or with others?

Service Excellence or Customer Service

  • What is your philosophy of customer service? How do you make a customer feel important?
  • Describe the behavior of a difficult customer and what you did. (Emphasize your ability to notice their dissatisfaction and how you acted on their specific behavior).
  • How have you dealt with a customer who has a legitimate gripe but one you can’t fix?
  • Was there ever a time you violated organizational policy in order to better serve a customer? What happened and how did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time that you went the extra mile for a customer. What were the circumstances and how did you handle it?

Ambition

  • By what standards do you measure your success?
  • What immediate and long-term career goals have you set for yourself?

Persuasiveness and Job-Related Questions

  • Is there anything else I should know about your qualifications that would help me to make a hiring decision? What do you feel separates you from other applicants for our opening?
  • What can we expect from you if you work for us? What unique talents will you bring to us? What can you offer our organization?
  • Do you have any questions about the job and/or the demands of you?
  • Do you have any questions about our organization?

Questions to Ask Supervisors/Managers

  • What do you believe are the characteristics of an effective manager? What are the key attributes? Which are most important and why?
  • What aspects of your management style have made you particularly effective in the motivation of others?
  • What do you see as the key difference between a leader and a manager? Which are you?
  • What is the toughest decision you have had to make as a manager? Why was it tough? What did you decide? What were the results?
  • Describe your approach to employee development:
    • How do you determine development needs?
    • How are these communicated?
    • How is accountability assigned?
    • What successes have you had?
    • How could you be more effective in this area?
  • How many subordinates have you supervised and what types of work were involved?
  • Tell me about a time when you delegated work. How did you decide what to delegate and to whom to delegate it? How did it turn out?
  • Think of some projects or ideas that were implemented or carried out successfully primarily because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?
  • Give me an example of a good decision you made in the last six months. What were the alternatives? Why was it a good decision?
  • Have you ever had problems in getting your subordinates/peers to accept your ideas or goals? What approach did you use? How effective was it?
  • Tell me about a situation where you had to pull a team together successfully.
  • How would you typically confront subordinates when results are unacceptable?
  • Give me an example of your ability to facilitate progressive change within your organization.