It’s another day. You have your coffee on your left, and a number of resumes on the right. You go through the resumes to orient yourself better with the candidates’ basic information. Right outside the room is the first one to arrive. You’re ready. You know you are. You’ve practically done this for years. You set your mind to it and refresh your memory with basic interview questions. And right before your clock strikes eight, you ask yourself – what interview answers will you be looking for?

While the resume gives you an insight on the skills and experiences your candidates have, getting to know them in the interview will help you determine if their personality and working habits fit or at the least, is compatible with the company’s. There are no perfect interview answers, of course, but interviews create a platform to bring out and assess the candidates’ characteristics of a good answer. The responsibility of interpreting the truths behind rehearsed or organic responses, lie on you. So obvious rule: do not give them hints. Try as much as possible to ask questions that do not lead them to answers you want to hear. Allow the applicant to tell you how he or she managed and pulled through a difficult situation, instead of asking how they succeeded. 

One of the most important interview answers you need to look for is the candidate’s compatibility to the company culture. Was he or she able to work with the team in that difficult situation? Does he or she know how to handle conflict? A ton of conflicts in teams often result from miscommunication or misunderstandings. Can the candidate get along well enough and communicate with the team? Think about it. Your candidate’s ability to be a team player greatly contributes to his or her possible success in the company. 

Another interview answer to look for is their lives outside work. Some do, others don’t. What do they do for leisure outside work? What are they passionate about besides getting this job? Their answers to these kinds of questions will give you a look into who they could work well with in the team. It also gives an insight on their personality traits you can assess based on the needs of the job. And, it also works well as a set up to the next question which is…

What motivates them? Expect a variety of answers for this and that’s okay. The interview answer you need to hear is their ability to motivate themselves through what surrounds them. Do you think your candidate would be motivated enough by your workplace? If not, then how will you expect them to provide solutions to any problems they may face? You need someone who is motivated enough to motivate others in a time of need too. 

The clock strikes eight and you see the candidate enter the room. You take a sip of your coffee and welcome the candidate in with a smile. Now, how do you start this interview?

About Simon Lader

Simon Lader

I am an almost twenty year veteran of the IT industry. I started recruiting for IT sales and presales people in 1997 and I’ve been doing it ever since. Originally living in Manchester, UK, I now live in Las Vegas and specialize in helping startup and high-growth software vendors find the best sales and presales people in North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA. My three kids and long suffering wife keep me sane (or as close to it as possible) - which, as a Manchester United supporter, isn’t always easy! I probably watch too much Netflix and drink too much Single Malt Whisky, but what’s life without a little misbehavior now and then.
Click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation phone call with me; or click here to send me a message.
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