Interviewing Past the Resume

Interviewing Past the Resume

In Leadership Resources by Brandt A. HandleyLeave a Comment

For potential job candidates, one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the interview process is wondering what kind of questions might be asked at the interview. We know that increasingly, leaders and hiring managers are looking for way more than the knowledge that is necessary for the job–they are looking for indicators that new hires will fit in with the company’s cultures and values.

For job-seekers, that begs the question, “What kind of questions might I be asked in an interview that reflect culture and values?”

Having spoken to hundreds of CEOs and hiring managers, and thousands of job candidates, I can tell you that many times, these questions are either about what you like to do in your free time or about problem-solving and conflict resolution. Some examples:

What are you reading? Are you curious, and always wanting to learn?
Tell me about your hobbies! Are you well-rounded? Do you love learning about things you’re interested in?
When have you failed, and what did you learn from it? How do you view failure? Do you view it as a setback or a growth opportunity?
If I hire you and six months down the line you’re ready to quit, what would be the reason?  What do you need to be successful? What would be a dealbreaker for you? Are you focused on yourself or your team?
Here’s a problem we’re having in the business right now. How would you solve it? Are you innovative? Can you think on your feet?
Tell me about a tough problem you solved. What skills, qualities or insights will you bring to our team that we don’t have already?
(Brandt please feel free to add more!) 

It might also look like a conversation. If you’ve made it past the initial stages and it’s clear you have at least the basic skills for the job, you might find yourself in an interview that feels a whole lot like a chat. The best thing you can do here is be yourself! The interviewer is trying to get a sense of who you are as a person to gauge whether you’re a good fit. Don’t try to be the person you think they’re looking for. They want to know you.

Authenticity is key throughout this process–the interviewer is looking for someone who will be a good fit. If that’s not you, it can be a little wrenching but it’s better in the long run not only for the company but for you, too. Culture fit is also about your happiness in your work and if it’s not quite the right environment for you–maybe it’s an open office and you prefer to be able to close a door to get to work, or maybe there’s a tradition of socializing outside the office and you have young children at home–then it’s not a good fit for you, either.

Looking for a new role, or want an interviewer who can get to the core of who potential candidates are? Book a call with ROI today. Visit us at 

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