Hiring the right candidate calls for a different kind of interview.
Questions to reveal integrity/honesty/trustworthiness
- What would you do if someone asked you to do something unethical?
- In what business situations do you feel honesty would be inappropriate?
- If you saw a co-worker doing something dishonest, would you tell me?
- What would you do about it?
Questions to reveal personality/temperament /ability to work with others
- If I call your references, what will they say about you?
- Describe a situation where you had to take a risk.
- What kinds of people would you rather not work with?
- What are your impressions about working with a family business?
- Tell me about some of the groups you have had to get cooperation from. What did you do?
- What job was the most satisfying/frustrating and why?
- What does your employer owe to you?
Questions to reveal past mistakes
- Tell me about an objective in your last job that you failed to meet.
- What have you learned from your mistakes?
- 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
- What was the wildest idea you had in the past year? What did you do about it?
- Describe a situation where you had a difficult management problem. How did you solve it?
- 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
- What do you think it takes to be successful in a family business such as this?
- What do you expect to find in this company that you don't have now?
- 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.