September Web Extra: Interview Questions for green industry managers

Departments - Web Extras

Hiring the right candidate calls for a different kind of interview.

September 17, 2010
Larry Fish
Web Extra

Questions to reveal integrity/honesty/trustworthiness

  1.  What would you do if someone asked you to do something unethical?
  2.  In what business situations do you feel honesty would be inappropriate?
  3.  If you saw a co-worker doing something dishonest, would you tell me?
  4.  What would you do about it?

Questions to reveal personality/temperament /ability to work with others

  1. If I call your references, what will they say about you?
  2. Describe a situation where you had to take a risk.
  3. What kinds of people would you rather not work with?
  4. What are your impressions about working with a family business?
  5. Tell me about some of the groups you have had to get cooperation from.  What did you do?
  6. What job was the most satisfying/frustrating and why?
  7. What does your employer owe to you?

Questions to reveal past mistakes

  1. Tell me about an objective in your last job that you failed to meet.
  2. What have you learned from your mistakes?
  3. Tell me about a situation where you "blew it."  How did you resolve it or correct it to save face?

Questions to reveal creativity/ creative thinking/ problem solving

  1. What was the wildest idea you had in the past year? What did you do about it?
  2. Describe a situation where you had a difficult management problem.  How did you solve it?
  3. Describe a sales presentation when you had the right product/service, and the customer wanted it but wouldn't buy it. What did you do next?

Miscellaneous good questions

  1. What do you think it takes to be successful in a family business such as this?
  2. What do you expect to find in this company that you don't have now?
  3. Is there anything you wanted me to know about you that we have not discussed?

These are all good questions, but the objective is to ask them in such a way where the hiring authority is eliciting a certain response to an issue that the candidate may experience once they are on the job. In addition, there is no problem with the hiring authority requesting a trusted family member or senior manager to conduct the interview jointly.

However, more than two people interviewing can create a most stressful environment for the candidate and the end result will be a less genuine exchange of information and guarded behavior. When more than one interviewer is present, make sure there is a plan prior to the interview determining which individual will ask what question, while the other interviewer is assessing behavior and documenting the responses of the candidate.