I’ve done a lot of interviewing over the years. From designers to account managers and developers to social media strategists, I think I’ve interviewed just about every type of role out there. I’ve had great interviews that left me wanting to hire the person mid-interview and I’ve had bad interviews. I also had one interview where a young candidate tried to explain to me that Eleanor Rigby was in fact, NOT a Beatles song.
When you interview you’re trying to get a feel for:
- Does this person have the right experience?
- Can this person do the job?
- Are they a good cultural fit?
- Will they make our team better?
Part of getting to those answers is asking about their education, work experience, key projects and how they’d approach the job they’re interviewing for. Some companies, like Target, have very specific scripts that you follow, while others are less formal. Many organizations have classes or coaching sessions to help you interview better. I’ve found these to be extremely helpful.
When you interview someone, there’s a list of questions you can’t ask…legally, a list of questions you probably shouldn’t ask and of course questions you should definitely ask. For example, did you know that legally you can’t ask someone if they are a U.S. Citizen, but you can ask them if they are legally authorized to work in the U.S. It’s a nuance, but it’s an important one.
Well, given that the person you hire is someone you may be spending a lot of time with, shouldn’t you want to get to know them? I mean, really know them? If I could and it was acceptable, here’s 10 questions I wish I could ask in an interview:
- Favorite movie? With a quick follow up of…what’s the best Star Wars movie?
- In the Wonder Years, should Kevin and Winnie have ended up together? What about Dawson and Joey, Kelly and Dylan and Zach and Kelly?
- If you could pick 5 people, alive or deceased, to have over for dinner, who would you pick?
- Favorite commercial of all time?
- Who would play you in a movie about your life?
- Beer, wine or cocktails?
- If you could live your life over, what 3 decisions would you change?
- Go to karaoke song?
- Is Bigfoot real? What about the Loch Ness monster?
- What’s your real dream job?
There’s no science to these questions, I just find them interesting.