Oct 22, 2009

Hiring: Interview Questions

Image from Microsoft Office Clipart

The hiring process is littered with "dead bodies." I considered myself having a high "batting average" in getting great hires but unfortunately I also have my own share of wrong decisions.

From my perspective, hiring is a probabilities game. In order to increase the probability of getting great hires, I need to expand and refine the various tools and techniques I am using in the hiring process. The first one I would like to share here are the questions I use during the interview process.

Interview applicants are always showing their best feet forward during the interview process. As a result, it is my responsibility to ask the right questions in order to peel through these layers and probe deeper to reveal their true personalities and tendencies. I know volumes of books have already been written regarding this topic so I will not be focusing on them anymore.

My focus will be on the list of questions that I amassed through the years. I got these questions from a speed-dating website. It will come as a surprise to some but for me it made a whole lot of sense. In speed dating, a couple is only given 5 minutes to ask questions and assess if there is a fit or "click" between the two of them. As a result, these questions are quite pointed and the answers provided to them can serve as a foundation to deeper, probing questions.

Listed below is a sample of these questions and a small description about their rationale in a job interview situation.

Pursuit for Skills and Knowledge
I would like to know if the applicant is motivated in expanding his skills and knowledge outside that of the domain knowledge he is getting from work. This is usually reflected on the activities he is doing during his sparetime and the kind of books he is reading.
  • When you have spare time, what do you do for fun?
  • What do you do during weekends?
  • What's the latest book you have read?
  • What's the latest technical book you have read?
Attitudes and Values
I would like to know the priorities in life of the applicant, what drives or motivates him to work, who drives and motivates him, who influenced him to be him now.
  • What do you cherish the most in life?
  • What person has most influenced you in your life and why?
  • What attitude do you have right now you want to change?
  • How do you think you are viewed by others?
I usually hire fresh graduates. As a result, I would like to know how did they perform in college since this could be a reflection on what would be their performance at work.
  • Why did you decide to take up {course}?
  • Tell us a little about how well you did in school.
  • Tell us a little about your extracurricular activities.
  • What were your best and worst subjects (favorite and least favorite)?
  • Did you have a job while in college? If yes, can you describe the job and your responsibilities.


  1. Hi

    Tks very much for post:

    I like it and hope that you continue posting.

    Let me show other source that may be good for community.

    Source: Time management interview questions

    Best rgs

  2. I certainly agree, does anyone know a good site about Speed Dating Questions? any help will very much appreciated