10 deep-dive interview questions for your unconventional business

Get beyond the 'glimpse' with questions that get at whether applicants will truly immerse themselves into the business.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

"Weak leaders hire the right experience to do the job. Strong leaders hire the right person to join their team."

-recent tweet from Simon Sinek

It's really difficult to get a good picture of how a job applicant will perform on your team from a half-hour interview, or even series of interviews. At best, you are only getting a glimpse of the prospect.

Photo credit: Joe McKendrick

But there is factor that helps you cut through the herd very quickly. I once heard a career counselor provide this bit of advice to job seekers: everyone works hard to seem interesting to employers, but the best prospects are those who appear to be interested.

So how do you draw out the level of "interest" a prospect has in your business? In a recent post at OnStartups.com. Dharmesh Shah suggests a list of questions that will help you get at whether an applicant will truly immerse him or herself into the business. And these aren't just questions suitable for startups -- even the largest organizations should look for qualities that will boost entrepreneurial and unconventional thinking.

Again, it's all only a glimpse -- but questions such as these will help provide a more informative glimpse:

1. “What concerns do you have about our company?” This may unveil the candidate's interest and capacity to move your company forward.

2. “What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?” Get a sense of how they employ data and resources to get things accomplished.

3. “Tell me about a time when you had to slog your way through a ton of work. How did you get through it?” Keyword here is "slog"... did they view it as such, or approach it as something more meaningful?

4. “What were you doing the last time you looked at a clock and realized you had lost all track of time?” This unveils passion for a project. You want someone who experiences this a lot, not "clock-watchers."

Some additional questions suggested by Shah:

5. “Describe a time you felt you were right but you still had to follow directions or guidelines.”

6. “Tell me about a time you felt company leadership was wrong. What did you do?”

7. “What movie, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch when it’s on?”

8. “Tell me about the last time a co-worker or customer got angry with you. What happened?”

9. “What business would you love to start?”

10. “What would you most like to learn here that would help you in the future?”

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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