Best Interview Questions from Top Execs

As much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions, so use your interview questions wisely. Here are a couple questions from top executives, who steer away from the cliché questions.

Hannah Paramore, president of Paramore, asks the question "How old were you when you had your first paying job?" She says - "I'm looking for how deeply instilled theirwork ethic and independence are versus entitlement."

Jenny Ming, president and CEO of clothing store Charlotte Russe asks candidates “Tell me about your failures.” She states that this question can be very telling and is “looking for somebody who's very comfortableadmitting when something didn't work out."

PayPal cofounder, Peter Thiel, asks “Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on.” He loves this question because "It sort of tests for originality of thinking, and to some extent, it tests for your courage in speaking up in a difficult interview context."

The thought process you make the candidate go through is sometimes more important than the answer. 

Look out for Red Flags

25% of the companies surveyed say that a bad hire in the last year has cost them at least $50,000. Screening is a crucial part of hiring; the key to avoiding bad hires is to never interview a candidate who failed the screening process. A Fortune 500 company estimated they could have eliminated 97% of their bad hires, if they had a better applicant screening process.

A narrow range of job and life experience can show an unwillingness to step outside their comfort zone. Another red flag may be their potential impact of your company. Unless you are hiring a temporary position, most companies would rather have an employee who can make a large impact beyond simply being a good fit for the position they were hired.

Asking too few questions is indeed a red flag. It’s possible but highly unlikely that you have covered every question, and your candidate has done all their research. What’s more likely is that they are uninterested, or not passionate about the role. This is ok because not everyone is a good fit, but do not allow them to continue in your hiring process.

Beyond the Normal – Something Different – Be Real

Consider job matching and utilizing a simple work value assessment – 57% of large U.S. employers use pre-hire assessments. Hold an interview in a slightly informal setting, the traditional environment will almost always yield the same standard answers. An interview is time well spent, except for when they are not. Don’t schedule an in-person interview until you have asked them to complete a task for you–possibly give them an example task of what they may be doing for your most difficult client. 

Hiring is part science and part art. There is no one way to get the best candidates, but if you are looking for the best today has to offer you need to make sure your hiring practices match those you want to hire. 

Bio: Sean Pomeroy

While selling other companies software solutions, Sean worked with Michael Warden to design over a dozen applications for different organizations and industries over the years. Sean now focuses on the vision for the company, business development, and continues involvement in the software design of Cyber Recruiter, applicant tracking system and Cyber Train, learning management system. Want to see what Visibility Software has to offer? Take a demo now.

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