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The Most Revealing Job Interview Questions

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

If you are someone who has the responsibility of conducting job interviews, this is the perfect article for you. That's because the purpose of it is to equip you with the kinds of questions that can reveal the most when it comes to discerning who would be the best fit for your company. The great things about these five questions are that it takes someone out of their mere resume qualifications so that you can see the kind of person who lies beneath:

"Why did you leave your last job?" When you're about to enter into a new romantic relationship with someone, you can learn a lot about them by asking why their last relationship ended. For similar reasons, this is why it's a good idea to ask your prospective employee why they left their last job. It also gives you a broader perspective should you also ask their previous employer why the person left.

"What would you be doing in a perfect world?" Yes, we know. Obviously, this is a very hypothetical question, but it's a poignant one nonetheless. You know how they say that what you would do for free is what you are really passionate about? When a person is encouraged to think about how their professional life would look without any boundaries or restrictions, it can help you to see if they are actually interested in your field of work or if will be more of a drudgery to them.

"Where do you see yourself in five years (in the workplace)?" There's nothing like getting the perfect employee, only to have them around for a few months. For instance, say that you have a few public relations jobs available and you ask the person on the interview this question and they say, "Living in another state and going to medical school." This may already provide you with a heads up that public relations is probably not their priority and so it can help you to make a more logical decision.

"What do you like most about you? What do you like the least?" There's a lot of good that can come from these two questions. One, if a person is quick to say what they like and they're hesitant about what they don't, it could speak to having some over-confidence. On the flip side, if they can rattle off their "bad traits" but can't think of much good, that could be a sign of some self-esteem issues. This doesn't mean that it's a no-win situation. It's just a clever way to discover people's strengths and weaknesses, not just when it comes to their answers, but their attitude and delivery as well.

"If you could be any animal what would you be (and why)?" OK, this one might really seem like a "wild card question", but that's actually kind of the point. It's one that a lot of people being interviewed would not see coming, it's a good way to shake up the routine of the interviewing process a bit and it's fun to hear what kind of answers they come up with. If they say, "A dog because he's loyal", that provides a very different perspective than "A tiger because she's aggressive". It helps you to understand their temperament while assessing the one who will be just the right fit.

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