Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Hiring Experts Say These Are The 3 Most Revealing Interview Questions They Ask

Monica Torres 

Prepping for a job interview means knowing how to handle curveball questions about your past jobs, boss and projects. Impressing an interviewer means not just having great career stories to tell, but also thinking two steps ahead to the kind of questions hiring managers like to ask.

So here’s a peek behind the curtain: We talked with recruiters and human resources experts about the go-to interview questions they ask when they want to know how a candidate really thinks. Take notes, job seekers! 

3. “Walk me through a project that you’re most proud of.”

Gabrielle Woody, a university recruiter for the financial software company Intuit, said her go-to question is asking people to share their proudest project or accomplishment.

“It’s a really great question. Candidates get really nervous, but if they’re talking about something they truly love, they’re more comfortable. They’ve already done the project. It’s not a hypothetical,” Woody said. “It just allows us to evaluate a lot of their impact ... and it addresses a lot of the key skills and competencies.“

Woody said this question can lead to follow-ups such as how they accomplished the project under constraints, what metrics they used, and how they measured success or failure.

Woody recommends preparing a story around two to three projects you are proud of that are related to the role you are applying for.

She said a great answer happens “if it’s clear to me that they are passionate about what they do and the project involves skills they would be using in their future role,” while a bad answer is “just very vague, or you can tell they’re just sharing what their team did and they might not have had many contributions to it.”

Here’s how to craft an answer to these type of questions:

If you are stumped on how to answer an interview question that asks for a story, Woody recommended the STAR method. She said this checklist helps you stay on track and be very clear about the situation at hand and what your individual deliverables were.

With STAR, you tell an interview story with these four parts:
1. Situation: Which job was this? When was this? You set the scene and describe the context within which you performed a job or faced a project at work.
2. Task: You remember to highlight which specific responsibilities you had in the situation.
3. Action: Share what actions you took and showcase how your contribution made an impact.
4. Results: You share why your actions mattered to the team or business. This can be said with data or by detailing steps you took to improve.

“I literally have STAR written down as candidates are answering interviewing questions, and that helps me probe more if they’re missing one of these areas,” Woody said. 

See questions 1 & 2 plus the complete HuffPost article



Wednesday, January 19, 2022

3 better questions to ask in your next job interview

By Patrick Mullane

Job interviews are stressful events. Even if the interviewer tries to put you at ease, you know you’re being evaluated. But many who throw themselves into prospecting for a new job forget it’s a two-way street: Not only is the company evaluating you, but you’re also evaluating the company. At some point in the discussion, they’ll turn the floor over to you and ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”

In my 30-year career, I’ve learned this is a critical moment that many interviewees flub. Candidates forget that when they’re given control of the discussion, it’s an opportunity to do two very important things. First, it’s a chance to learn something genuinely useful about the firm you might be joining. Second, you get to show that you’re thoughtful and conscientious. Both are hugely important as you look to make a change. Don’t waste the opportunity.

Here are three questions candidates typically ask, and their better alternatives—to help you achieve the two-pronged goal of impressing and learning in a job interview.

Common Question #1: “Can you tell me about the culture here?”

Better Question: “Can you think of a time when the company’s culture made you excited to work here or helped you during a challenging time?” 

It’s easy for an interviewer to answer the first question with platitudes you’d expect from somebody representing their company. You can already guess what the answers will be. “It’s collaborative.” “We like to work hard and have fun.” “It’s inclusive and supportive.”

The second version, on the other hand, gets to the intersection of employee and culture. Since that’s the intersection you’ll live in if you get the job, it’s important to understand how you’ll fit with that culture. Imagine how much more you’d learn if you asked the better question and got an answer like this: “I had an unexpected death in the family and my peers proactively contacted me, not just to offer condolences, but to assure me they’d cover for me while I was out.” Wouldn’t that answer help you instantly understand what the culture is like? 

See Better Questions 2,3, and the complete FastCompany article