1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
2. What do you know about our company, and why you want to work here?
3. What interests you about this job, and what skills and strengths can you bring to it?
4. Can you tell me a little about your current job?
5. I see that you've been unemployed for the past ____months. Why did you leave your last job, and what have you been doing since then?
6. What would you describe as your greatest strengths as an employee? What are your greatest weaknesses?
7. Who was your best boss ever and why? Who was the worst, and looking back, what could you have done to make that relationship better?
8. How do you think that "best boss" would describe you? What about that worst boss?
9. What do you think was your single greatest achievement on the job? What was your worst failure?
10. What sort of things do you think your current (past) company could do to be more successful?
11. Can you describe a typical day at work in your last job?
12. What sort of work environment do you prefer? What brings out your best performance?
13. Where do you see yourself and your career in three years?
14. Can you tell me a bit about an important decision you made and how you arrived at it?
15. How do you handle conflict? Can you give me an example of how you handled a workplace conflict in the past?
1. Make sure that the answers are consistent with the applicant's resume.
2. A candidate who can't answer this question is not terribly interested in your company.
3. The stronger candidates should be able to correlate their skills with specific job requirements.
4. Be wary of the candidates who bad-mouth or blame their employers. If they're not loyal to their current employer, how can you expect them to be loyal to you?
5. Candidates with a spotty employment history, at the very least, ought to be able to account for all extended periods of unemployment and to demonstrate whether they used that time productively.
6. Probe to see how those "strengths" contributed to specific accomplishments that the candidate's resume mentions. Candidates who say that they have "no weaknesses' you should red-flag.
7. A bitter, critical answer may indicate someone who holds grudges or simply can't get along with certain personality types.
8. You are probing here to uncover whether the candidate's attitudes toward work and supervision is a good match for the job and your workplace culture.
9. The candidates should present failure as "things that I could have done differently" not as "the world is against me" or "it was Joe's fault."
10. You are probing to find out whether the candidate has a clear understanding of his current or past employer's missions and goals and whether he thinks in terms of those goals.
11. See how the applicant's current (or most recent) routine compares with the requirements of the job in question.
12. You want to find out whether this person is going to fit into your company.
13. This question screen out "time-servers" and drones, as well as those whose career aspirations are unrealistic or reveal a lack of knowledge about your company.
14. What you're looking for is the person's decision-making style and how it fits into your company culture.
15. You want candidates who try to be reasonable but nonetheless stand up for what's right.
Human Resources Kit for Dummies, Max Messmer, 1999