The basic interview questions have become stale. Sure, you want to know the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, etc. But digging deeper will provide you with a great deal more insight into how a candidate will handle stress, pressure, technology, and the daily demands of the job at hand.
Here are some questions that will help you drill down on whether a candidate is a good fit for you. Many of these are behavioral interviewing strategies.
1. Tell me about a time when you did not meet a deadline for a project. This will show how well a person can explain a situation under pressure. It has happened to all of us. Would the candidate be able to best maintain composure, while being honest, in a high stress situation?
2. Tell me about what types of projects you handled on (name of) software. This question will identify how much or little a person knows about the software, as well as how diversified he/she is. Some organizations require a specialized knowledge of one area, while others expect a more wide range of reporting, administration, or application. Many times, a candidate will write that they know the software, and you want to know the level of familiarity.
3. Name an example of when you made an unpopular business decision. This shows how well a person works with a team, as well as their skills surrounding diplomacy and communication, all of which are required in positions today.
When presenting at local employment fairs, I meet many individuals who are "career unemployed", that is, individuals who have been out of work for at least 2 to 3 years. Before they speak, I am able to pick this group out of the crowd. Their body language is dejected. These people are no longer excited about being somewhere or talking to another person about a job. These 3 steps should help.
1. Dress professionally! Really professionally! Just because a track suit has the word "suit" in the name does not mean that it is a good wardrobe choice. Leave your shower shoes at home. I am saying this because last week, these were actually issues at the job fair where I spoke.
Do not dress for the entry level position for which you are applying. Dress for the job you would like to eventually grow into. If you want to be the manager in 5 years, look as though you would present well to clients and subordinates. Please be aware that the tattoo on your neck or the piercing in your cheek many not be appealing at a certain level of job. I am not against either, but there is a time and a place, and your job search should target your most professional persona.
2. Smile! The easiest way for me to pick the career unemployed people out at the job fair is because they look like they showed up at gunpoint. I know that you may be thinking: "Another job fair and very little prospect. Great! I got dressed up because my unemployment counselor told me to, and no one is that interested..." No one is that interested because you are not interesting. You are feeling sorry for yourself!
Put your best foot forward in every interaction. There are a handful of people there who are engaging every recruiter at the job fair. They are being personable and likeable. People hire who they like!!!
Even if the people who are hiring are not in your field, have a brief conversation. Give them a resume and personal business card. Set yourself apart. Ask for referrals. Network with the professionals who are there. They may know someone who can assist you.
3. Be confident! A firm (not bone crushing and not a limp fish) handshake, good eye contact, and strong posture will go a long way. Fake it 'til you make it. Come off as professional and people will want to have you on their team.
In short, be engaging, prepared, professionally dressed, and cheerful. Be the person you would want to work with. Be the person you would eventually want to work for. When you present as a successful professional, people believe you. And the money comes rolling in!