Probing Interview Questioning For Today's, Or Any, Environment

Posted by Brad Loetz on Jun 23, 2009 12:54 PM

Over the years, REMEDI has developed a list of interview questions that we use when hiring consultants, associates, and full-time placement candidates. Some of these questions have been developed internally, and some with the aid of interviewing best practice resources.

Although technical skills are very important when it comes to IT positions, we feel it is equally as important to determine how a person handles difficult situations, how they like to be managed, and to what they attribute their past successes.  Below is a list of questions that we have used to find this information out.

  • Tell me about your current job.
  • Tell me about your first job in this field.
  • Tell me about your career aspirations.
  • Tell me about your (college years) (graduate work).
  • Tell me about your leisure-time activities.

Preface with statements like the following:
  • You mentioned that...That's very impressive.
  • I see from your resume that...You must be very proud of that accomplishment.
Then ask one of the following:
  • What was it about you that enabled you to...?
  • How were you able to (achieve) (accomplish)...?
  • If I were to call up a former (boss) (professor) and ask what kind of ( ) you were, what do you suppose he/she would say?
  • What would you say is it about you that makes you successful at what you now do?

Problem Situation
  • What if you were in a situation where you had several important tasks to do and too little time to handle them all? How would you select which task(s) to do?
  • Have you ever had a situation where you had to resolve a conflict with a (client) (co-worker) (supervisor)? How did you resolve it?
  • Imagine a situation where you find yourself without the specific technical knowledge to perform a task essential to a project. What would you do?
  • Were you ever in a situation where you had to meet two different deadlines given to you by two different people and there wasn't time to do both? How did you handle the situation?
  • (Imagine you were) (Have you ever been) asked to set up a project for which there was no organizational precedent to follow(.) (?) How (would) (did) you develop your plans?
  • Where would you place yourself on a continuum from being a conceptual thinker to being an analytical thinker?
  • Where would you place yourself o a continuum from strategic planner at one end to pragmatic tactician at the other?
  • As you consider your most effective management style, place yourself on a continuum with managing ideas and concepts at one end and managing other people and their ideas at the other. Where would you place yourself?
  • How would you describe the energy you have as a point on a continuum: would it be marshaled intensively for specific projects or applied evenly across everything you do?
  • We all have our own way of getting things done - particularly when managing people. Someone once said that it all comes down to two basic styles: telling or selling. On a continuum, with telling at one end and selling at the other; how would you say out work with others to get results?
  • Would you prefer to work for a boss whose strength is technical skills or one whose strength is managing and delegating?
  • If you had your choice, which would you prefer: a job with a few big, solid long-term projects to concentrate on or one with many projects and shifting priorities?
  • Would you prefer to be in a situation where you were creating new markets or one where you were developing old ones?
  • When taking on a new project or task, do you generally like to have a great deal of feedback and supervision at the outset or do you like to figure it out for yourself and try your own approach?
  • When working with others on a project, do you generally prefer to communicate results and needs informally - phone calls or dropping by someone's office - or do you prefer to send memos?
Future Assessment
  • Let's imagine we've hired you and you are having your (sixth-month) (one-year) performance review. What might (your boss) (I) say about your work during that review?
  • It's a year from now, and you've been with our organization long enough to know your job, and the culture. You're asked to do a self-assessment describing how you "fit in" here, and how well you're doing. What do you think you might say?
  • If I met you three years from now and you were disappointed in your progress in this organization, what might the reasons be?


Source: REMEDI Electronic Commerce Group and "Getting Behind The Resume: Interviewing Today's Candidates" by Jim Kennedy.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Stay Connected

Recent Posts