The Interview Questions I Wish You’d Ask

I believe in you and I believe that you can do better. Surely, you don’t think you’re going to select the right candidate with the standard questions right? I mean we’ve been rehearsing them for ages and will tell you whatever it is you want to hear. I have a question for you- think of your best and worst employee. What questions did you ask that were an excellent indicator of who they were as a person and an employee? Often times, questions are asked ask based on one’s skillset and ability to do the job- and rightfully so. Unfortunately, this means there are no holistic questions.

I have a good friend who is quite clever. Maybe even brilliant. He made a video of him interviewing himself. I thought it was genius. This is my take on that.

I’ve come up with some solid interview questions for me. Some will be legit, solid questions I find incredibly valuable. Others will be, for my own personal enjoyment.

  1. What’s the number one personal trait you have that qualifies you for this position? My perseverance. I know how to pivot and keep going instead of panicking. I’m from the school of figure it out, and I don’t give up easily.
  2. What’s your ideal work environment? Autonomy is important to me, but I also value having a team available to collaborate with. I enjoy being in an environment where leadership is hands on without micromanaging and makes themselves available to their work family. Due to Covid restrictions, remote or hybrid work options are preferred.
  3. What’s the first thing you’d do in your new role? I’d take a step back and do an assessment. I’d get a good big picture view of what the problems are, then come up with creative solutions based on the company’s need.
  4. How do you deal with racism? I quit.
  5. What skill would you like to improve on and how do you plan to accomplish this? I really would like to improve more in project management. I feel like it’s the heartbeat of any organization. I know they have softwares like Asana or Trello that are useful, but I would prefer to seek out mentorship either within the company or otherwise who can teach me how to implement new strategies. It’s such a high value transferrable skill, and I don’t see myself progressing without it.
  6. What/Who inspires you? Dwight Schrute. He’s a fictional character but here’s why he’s a work hero to me. Dwight was a beet farming, paper salesman. He had a secure future as a farmer, but still pursued his top passion- paper. Even when Dwight was let go, he switched companies, but was true to paper. In the end, Dwight found himself In his dream job he’s always wanted. Not without challenges, or learning a few lessons on the way of course, but he got there! He taught me it’s not necessarily where you go, but the work you do that adds meaning to your life. Chase the right work, chase the passion, and the rest will follow.
  7. What’s your biggest character flaw? True to my Capricorn nature, I’m naturally pessimistic. I’m balancing this by practicing daily gratitude, which has been surprisingly helpful, but the pessimism is still something I struggle with. It’s not that I see things in a negative light, I just see them for what they are. If there’s no silver lining, I don’t tend to pretend that there is. I just deal with that dark cloud.
  8. How do you handle stress at work? By not making it about me. Anytime I’ve felt true stress from a job, it was because I was internalizing what was taking place. Work issues are work issues, not Essie issues, so I try not to make them into any.

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