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Category: Brand · 3 min read

Insightful Interview Questions to Consider

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on December 13, 2018

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on December 13, 2018

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Are you hiring (or going to be soon)? Then it’s time to start thinking about the interview process and how you can be sure to hire the right person for the job. Your office employees play a key role in your business, from marketing and accounting to administration and finance. Every employee matters, and can make a big difference to your overall business. One way to set yourself up for success and hire quality employees is to prepare your interview questions in advance.  

Often, interviewers try to wing it and think of questions as they go, on the spot. And while some flexibility in interviews is necessary, going in with a set of chosen and thought-through questions to ask the candidate is the best way to gauge if the person will be a good fit for the job and your business. To help, here are some interview questions to consider using. 

Going in with a set of chosen and thought-through questions to ask the candidate is the best way to gauge if the person will be a good fit for the job and your business.

Use Open-Ended Questions 

The goal of an interview is to learn about how the candidate thinks and behaves, which means they get to do most of the talking. To help them open up and share, ask open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer. These help reveal if they would be a good fit in your workplace.  

To help them open up and share, ask open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer.

Here are some good examples:  

  • Professionally speaking, what are you most proud of? 

  • We all make mistakes at some point. What’s a mistake you’ve made in the past? What did you learn and what would you do differently the next time? 

  • Tell me about a disappointment you had and how you pushed past it.  

  • In your current or last job, what was the best day you ever had at work? What was the worst? 

 

Ask Behavioral Interview Questions 

Have you heard of the behavioral interview concept? These are interview questions that ask the candidate to explain how they’ve behaved and handled real-life situations, and it shows how they would most likely react in future instances. 

Here are some frequently-used behavioral questions you can ask: 

  • Describe a major issue you faced and how you resolved it.  

  • What class did you like the most? Why? 

  • Tell me about a time when a co-worker wasn’t doing their part. How did it make you feel, what did you do about it, and what happened? 

The goal here is to learn how they behave, and evaluate if that would fit well in your company’s culture or not.  

 

How to Evaluate the Answers 

Sometimes, you can walk away from interviewing a candidate and not exactly know how you feel about them. When that happens, use these types of responses as a gauge to tell if a candidate was prepared and would be a good fit:  

  • They’re honest and specific. Did they tell the truth, even if it wasn’t the best answer they could’ve given? Did their stories sound real? Both of these are important to the interview, as it cuts to the candidate’s integrity. Candidates could try to make up a story on the spot, or tweak the truth to sound better. Ask more questions to get the full story, and if they’re being honest, it should be simple for them to provide more information.  

  • Their stories have a logical beginning, middle, and ending. A lot of times, the stories that candidates tell can ramble and not lead to an overall conclusion or ending. But, if their memory recall is good and they’re properly prepared, they should be able to form a logical structure to the story and answer the question.  

  • The story’s end is positive. Did they focus on the negative, or did they explain a positive side to the whole story? It’s easy to remember the bad things that happen and the hardships that occur, but a prepared candidate should also be able to share a positive result that came from the hardships.  

Don’t interview a candidate without a list of questions planned, either on paper or in your head, and use these questions as a guide to perfecting your interview. The end goal here is to hire employees that will do great things for your business, so treat the interview as such.  

 

For Financial Professional use only, not for use with the general public. #18-0829-110819

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Written By

Mark Williams

President and CEO

Mark Williams is the President/CEO of Brokers International. Over his more than 25 years of financial services experience, Mark has been both a producing independent agent in the field and a home office leader consulting to agencies and field marketing organizations. Currently, Mark is focused on the future of the insurance industry, from the disruptions of InsurTech and robo-advisors to the changing demographics and needs of customers. He also is an avid mentor, helping financial professionals navigate the industry.

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