Team Juno's Favorite Interview Questions
Being the recruiting nerds that we are, we put together a list of our favorite interview questions and why we love to ask them.
So whether you are a candidate preparing for an interview or a recruiter looking for some new material, we hope our expertise helps you! Let us know what your favorite questions to ask / be asked are.
Mikal C. Harden
Question: Tell me about your most epic failure and the lesson(s) you learned from it?
Why: The reason I like this question is it shows humility, self-awareness, and usually I can tap into a bit of the candidate's sense of humor. A good sense of humor is paramount, in my opinion - I'd hire funny over smart any day - (for certain positions - if you recruit Surgeons, dismiss this advice)...
Question: I love asking candidates what they like to do for fun.
Why: It gives me a better idea of who they are as a person, what kind of culture they would fit best in, any interesting hobbies they have that might be a conversation starter, etc.
Question: Can you tell me about the people you have managed in the past-- what are they doing now?
Why: I've used this as a chance to see how someone values the success of people they oversee and how they prioritize development as opposed to just supervision.
Question: Why do you want to work for this company in this specific role?
Why: Most people need to work to pay the bills and live, so a job is pretty much required. However, I do not want to hire people that want "jobs" to only to make money. I want to hire people that are passionate about the role, the organization and product or mission of the organization I am representing. Hiring people that want to work for your company improves moral, increases productivity, creates a stronger culture, improves retention and ultimately drives profitability. Their answer to this question tells me am I getting a need person or a want person.
Question: Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself, whether financial or otherwise and what you did to achieve it.
Why: I always ask this question because I think this tells a lot about someone’s priorities in life. It also can really gain insight into how hard they are willing to work for something they want.
Question: Tell me about some successes you have achieved in your career and why they mean a lot to you?
Why: I ask this to get a sense of what they have accomplished and what role they play in the team and organization. It’s important to find out if the individual is a team player or likes to work individually.
Question: What didn’t you get a chance to include on your resume?
Why: I like this question because while having a good resume is important, it can only tell you so much about a candidate. With this question, you can get a better feel of someone’s personality and also give them a chance to provide you with additional context to their background.
Question: If you could change one thing in your current (or past) role, what would that be?
Why: This helps to get to know how they prefer to work (and what they don’t prefer).
Question: In your first few months in the position, what questions would you first ask and to whom?
Why: I like this question because it gets to how someone (hopefully) values learning from a diverse group (peers, managers, other leaders, collaborators, direct reports) and hearing different perspectives and approaches. The idea is that you should be learning as well as doing, getting to know people, the culture, and how work gets done. Not to mention, challenge the norms, if that is what you are being hired to do.
Question: How would you describe your executive’s personality that you currently support and have supported in the past?
Why: The personality match between an Executive Assistant and an Executive is very important, so knowing the types of people that someone has supported is helpful. For example, knowing if someone can work independently or be micromanaged.
Question: Tell me your top 3 favorite aspects / functions within HR?
Why: This question helps me find out what type of HR role the candidate is a match for since our clients are typically targeting someone pretty specific.
Question: Tell me about a time a superior asked you to do something you thought was wrong, or even just inefficient.
Why: I like it because it’s open ended enough to allow the interviewee to draw from a wide variety of experience, and lets you see how s/he handles conflict - or how well s/he managed internal politics. Depending on the role, vastly different answers may be required, so there is no one “right” answer.
Question: I like to ask candidates to tell me what their favorite position and company was and why? What made it such a good fit?
Why: This question gives good insight into culture fit, what motivates them and what they truly enjoy about what they do.
Question: Do you have any questions for me?
Why: This is a question I tend to ask after I speak with a candidate about a job. If someone doesn’t ask questions, I’m concerned. The answer to this question also reveals what's important to the candidate. I’m trying to gauge whether the candidate is informed, interested, and engaged.