3 Effective Interview Questions

After our last post about interview questions and their effectiveness, I had some conversations and received questions along the lines of “So what should we talk about, smarty?” (paraphrase). That, of course, got me thinking, so I thought I’d share my response.

Ultimately, interviewing is part of a larger recruiting plan that includes posting your jobs, candidate screening, pre-employment testing, and finally interviewing (followed by on-boarding). There is one common thread that needs to weave throughout the entire process:


If your job posting is inaccurate or misleading, that creates the wrong expectations and attracts the wrong candidates. If candidates lie during the screening process, that has detrimental effects (mostly that they’ll be unhappy in the job and you’ll have to manage your way through all that). It’s pretty hard to lie on our pre-employment tests, so we’ll look at that as maintaining the truth theme. And finally interviewing.

The Point Of The Interview

You want to find out the truth about the candidate and they need to be shown the truth about your company. Again, as soon as people start lying, everyone loses. If you hype your company up to be the best place on earth (“We have free beer and disco Fridays!”), then you’d better meet those expectations. Conversely, if the candidate makes a bunch of claims about how awesome they are, ask them to prove it.

So here are my 3 interview questions:

1. What do you think of our company culture?

Tell them the truth about how you guys roll. Do you really have disco Friday? Great! Have the interview on a Friday and show the candidate. Or does everyone just walk in, put in headphones, and not say a word to each other? That’s fine, too, just make sure to walk the candidate around and let them experience all that first hand.

Be brutally honest, then gauge their reaction the whole time. Are they super pumped to work in the environment you’ve described, or will they white-knuckle their way through it all? If the candidate isn’t identifying with the culture, you’re doing both of you a favour by not bringing them on board.

2. Here’s what your average day will look like. Does that excite you?

Show the candidate the specifics of their job. Take them to where their desk would be. Introduce them to people. Again, honesty. Is the job 70% boring with a few moments of excitement? Tell them. Show them. You want a candidate that is excited not only about the company, but their specific role within the company.

3. Prove that you can do XYZ

This is potentially the most awkward question/request. Did the candidate claim they can solve a rubik’s cube in 10 seconds? Have them prove it. Did they claim to have perfect grammar? Have them proof a document (or just check their resume). Programmer? Write some code. Marketer? Give me a tagline. You get the idea.

Don’t Be Stuffy

This whole process can still be fun for both of you. It doesn’t have to be all solemn and serious. Just explain that you want to be direct and have honest conversation so that you’ll both be as happy as possible—you with your awesome new hire and your awesome new hire with a job that’s perfect for them.

“This content originally posted on www.prevuehr.com/blog

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