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Interviewing Guide

Meeting the Candidate

At the outset, act friendly but avoid prolonged small talk - interviewing time costs money.
  • Introduce yourself by using your name and title.
  • Mention casually that you will make notes
    (You don't mind if I make notes, do you?)
  • Assure candidate that all information will be treated in confidence.


  • Ask questions in a conversational tone. Make them concise and clear.
  • Avoid loaded and negative questions which will force complete answers: "Why do you say that?" (who, what, when, where, and how?)
  • Don't ask direct questions that can be answered "Yes" or "No".


  • Attempt to determine the candidate's goals. Try to draw the candidate out and allow him to talk. Don't sell-interview.
  • Try to avoid snap judgements.

The Interview

You will find two columns of questions. The left hand column contains questions to ask the candidate. During the interview it is suggested you continually ask yourself "what is this person telling me about himself or herself? What kind of person is he/she?" In other parts of the interview you can cover education, previous experience and other matters relating to specific qualifications.


Ask Yourself
  • Can compete without irritation?
  • Can bounce back easily?
  • Can balance interest of both company and self?
  • What is important to him/her?
  • Is he/she loyal?
  • Takes pride in doing a good job?
  • Is he/she cooperative team player?

Ask the Candidate

1. Ever lose in competition? Feelings?
2. Ever uncertain about providing for your family?
3. How can the American was of business be improved?
4. Do you feel you've made a success of life to date? How?
5. Who was your best boss? Describe the person.
6. What duties did you like most in your last job? Least?
7. How do you feel about working with other employees?


Ask Yourself

  • Is settled in choice of work?
  • Works from choice, or necessity?
  • Makes day-to-day and long-term plans?
  • Uses some leisure for self-improvement?
  • Is willing to work for what he/she wants in face of opposition?

Ask the Candidate

1. What ambition does your spouse (or others) have for you?
2. What have you done on your own to prepare for a better job?
3. What mortgages, debts, etc., press you now?
4. How will this job help you get what you want?
5. What obstacles are most likely to trip you up?


Ask Yourself

  • Is he or she a self-starter?
  • Completes own tasks?
  • Follows through on assigned tasks?
  • Works in assigned manner without leaving own "trademark"?
  • Can work independently?

Ask the Candidate

1. How did you get into this line of work?
2. Do you prefer to work alone or with others?
3. What do you like and dislike about your kind of work?
4. Which supervisors let you work alone? How did you feel about this?
5. When have you felt like giving up on a task? Tell me about it.


Ask Yourself

  • Is he or she excitable or even-tempered?
  • Impatient or understanding?
  • Does he or she show likes and dislikes freely?
  • Does candidate use words that show strong feelings?
  • Is candidate poised or impulsive; controlled or erratic?
  • Will he or she broaden or flatten under pressure?
  • Is candidate enthusiastic about job?

Ask the Candidate

1. What things disturb you most?
2. How doyou get along with people you dislike?
3. What children's actions irritate you?
4. What were your most unpleasant work experience?
5. Most pleasant work experiences?
6. What do you most admire about your spouse? (or others)
7. What things do some people do that are irritating to other people?


Ask Yourself

  • Ability to plan and follow through? Or will he depend on supervisor for planning?
  • Ability to coordinate work of others?
  • Ability to fit into company methods?
  • Ability to think of ways of improving methods?
  • Will he or she see the whole job or get caught up in details?

Ask the Candidate

1. What part of your work do you like best? Like least?
2. What part is most difficult for you?
3. Give me an idea of how you spend a typical day.
4. Where do you want to be five years from now?
5. If you were the manager, how would you run your present job?
6. What are the differences between planned and unplanned work?


Ask Yourself

  • Realistic in appraising self?
  • Desire for self-improvement?
  • Interested in problems of others?
  • Will he or she take constructive criticism?
Ask the Candidate

1. Tell me about your strengths/your weaknesses.
2. Are your weaknesses important enough to do something about them? Why or why not?
3. How do you feel about those weaknesses?
4. How would you size up your last employer?
5. Most useful criticism received? From whom? Tell me about it. Most useless?
6. How do you handle fault finders?

Social Skills

Ask Yourself

  • Is he/she a leader or a follower?
  • Interested in new ways of dealing with people?
  • Can get along best with what types of people?
  • Will wear well over the long-term?
  • Can make friends easily?

Ask the Candidate

1. What do you like to do in your spare time?
2. Have you ever organized a group? Tell me about it.
3. What methods are effective in dealing with people? What methods are ineffective?
4. What kind of people do you get along with best?
5. Do you prefer making new friends or keeping old ones? Why?
6. How would you go about making friends?
7. What must a person do to be liked by others?

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