Interviewer/Interviewee Questions

A feminist slack I participate in is having a conversation about job interviewing, and it reminded me of my old list of questions when interviewing candidates to hire. I also frequently use these questions (or a selection thereof) when reverse-interviewing a company I’m interested in working with. These are meant to be conversation starting points. In case they’re helpful to others, here you go!

If I’m interviewing a candidate:
What timeframe are you looking for? (How long before the position starts or the candidate is available?)
Can you describe your favorite and least favorite parts of your previous job?
What are your side projects and interests?
What career aspirations and goals do you have?
What’s the most common tasks you performed at your last position?
Tell me about a large project you recently completed.
What’s the most important lesson you learned recently?
Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
How do you handle conflict?
What are you passionate about?
What’s your superpower? (I believe we all have a superpower, and tell them mine while they ponder their answer.)
How do you learn new things?
How do you handle underspecified tasks?

If I’m reverse-interviewing an organization:
How does your current team make decisions?
What’s the size of your team? timeline for growth?
What has been the process of onboarding in this team?
What’s your transition plan to facilitate bringing me on board?
Who’s currently doing the tasks you’re looking to bring me in for?
What’s your corporate culture like?
What are your three biggest upcoming challenges?

In all cases, I always keep in mind what a dear friend told me were his guiding principles for hiring: I want to work with people who are clever, competent, and kind. I want folks who are clever and can pick tasks up quickly and ask smart questions. I want people who are competent for the job at hand and know what they’re about. I want colleagues who are kind because we are all human, and when stuff hits the fan, I would like to count on some compassion from those around me.

There you go, feminists! There’s my contribution to the list of questions. Feel free to comment with some of your own! 🙂

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