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5 Interview questions that reveals (almost) everything.

We are often asked for a sheet with standard questions, and although it really not exists. I do realize that when I go an interview I seem to ask 5 questions over and over again. The reason being they give me so much information about the candidate, how they work, what their preferred work environment is, that I often use these questions to truly start a conversation.

  • I have read your resume and although that provides me a ton of information about your professional background I do realize it doesn't provide me the full picture about who you as a person are. What can you tell me about yourself?
    • This provides the first change to tell about the person, what are their interests, what is for them so important to tell, that they start with this. Pay attention. Their answer might be the decision maker when it comes to hire or not.
    • Pay attention to the question. It started with an introduction. Just the question, might not give you the answer you are looking for.
  • You have worked for some very interesting companies, and done some incredible work. What is the project that you are most proud off?
    • A follow up question can be. I am sure you had some challenges, what were they, how did you overcome them.
  • Over the years you worked for very divers companies, we talked already about the work you have done, tell me over the years, who is your manager that you wish you could work for again?
    • This provides you insight in the management style that your candidate prefers. It is important to figure out if the management style of her new manager is similar. You can ask a question, like who is the manager you found very difficult to work with, to find the style they don't like to work for. As we all know, if manager and employee don't work with each other, a long term employment is very uncertain.
  • We all know the dream job does not exists, but if you could have your dream job, what would it be?
    • This answer provides you insight if the candidate is really passionate about the position, or just need a job to pay the bill. It also provides you insight in their long term goals, and sometimes what your employees interests are outside work.
  • I am pretty sure that you are not a person that is just looking for a job to "clock in and clock out", what makes our organization so special that you want to work for us? What makes the job so appealing to you? Simply a reality check. Does the candidate know the company and what the job entails?


The five questions, might not give you all the answers in regards to the technical qualifications, but it will get your on your way to find out if they are the right cultural fit.

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