Employers often ask us at HRwisdom for good interview questions to select good candidates.
We have gone one better.
Thanks to long time HRwisdom Community contributor, Robert Watson, we have come up with a Top 10 List of Interview Questions to ask at job interviews.
However, rather than just give you some excellent questions to ask, Robert also gives you the type of answer you want to hear back from your ideal candidate.
And believe us when we say that Robert knows what he is talking about.
Although he started out as an engineer and quality systems expert, Robert also had many years in the HR field perfecting recruitment & selection systems for a variety of businesses.
Robert even did extensive travel overseas for the express purpose of studying world’s best practice for establishing greenfields (brand new) business operations in Australia – this included how to hire people for their skills, knowledge and attributes (and not just the stuff listed on their CVs).
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So far we’ve seen:
- Good Interview Question 1
- Good Interview Question 2
Let’s look at the third question . . .
Good Interview Question 3
Q3. Describe a time when you worked on a team. What were some of the difficulties that this team had?
When asking someone to describe the time when they worked on a team, what you’re trying to do is find out what their attitude was to the team and how they got on with other people.
As you can imagine, most teams of people will have mostly average people plus a couple of really good people and perhaps a couple that aren’t pulling their weight.
Preferred Interview Answer – What You Want To Hear
When you get them to talk about the time when they worked on a team, that’s fine.
But the difficulties that they had, you need to listen carefully to the answer to find out whether they are describing difficulties that the team had almost from an external perspective or whether they’re describing difficulties that the candidate had with some other person on the team.
Listen for things where they’re blaming somebody else or pointing the finger or something like that.
So as an example, a good answer a candidate might give you might be “Well, we’re a mixed bunch of people. If one had their strengths and weaknesses, so and so always used to do the minutes so they didn’t really contribute anything to the meeting but that was okay. Someone else had some good ideas and someone else always helped us to speed along our decision making process.”
An answer like that helps you to understand that the person can identify the different roles and accept that different roles are important in a team.
A poor answer would be if the candidate says “Well we had this team and, you know, Joe is always sounding off and complaining and moaning about the boss and that this wasn’t right and that wasn’t right and in the end, I just told him to shut up and sit down and get off the team.” With an answer like that, the candidate might genuinely give you an answer expecting that you will cheer them because they helped to get rid of an obnoxious member of the team.
That might be fine.
However, they’re also giving away part of the game which is that they might not have a level of patience and tolerance.
At the end of the day, teams are made up of different people and they’re not all going to be perfect. But everyone on the team does need to have an appreciation that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and hopefully everyone has strengths and weaknesses, not simply weaknesses.
Want More Good Interview Questions Right Now?
Stay tuned for the next question in our Top 10 Interview Questions With Answers series.
- Can’t wait to see the rest of the questions and answers?
- Like to know Robert’s thinking behind these questions and how they fit into the overall interview process?
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