Share By Giovanna Fabiano
If you’ve ever been in the hot seat during a job interview, you’ve likely had to answer the same round of questions you’ve heard before: “What is your best quality?” “What’s your worst?” or the dreaded, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Interviews can be as monotonous as a factory assembly line, but are managers actually learning anything about a job candidate by following the same old script?
As more millennials enter the workforce — with a different mindset than their older counterparts — employers may have to change their interview style to find the right candidate.
Here are six questions career coach Heather Huhman suggests asking to turn the tables on the traditional job interview:
1. What’s one thing you’d change about your last job and why?
Real life experiences are the key to figuring out whether the candidate’s goals are in line with the company’s. The answer to this question can help a manager learn about the prospective employee’s salary requirements, desired hours and how he/she gets along with others.
2. What would the person who likes you the least in the world say about you?
This question, like the more common weaknesses inquiry, only works if the person is honest. But it also backs the employee into a corner: not saying anything negative about oneself in response to a question like this is a no-no.
3. What TV character describes your work ethic?
This is a fun one that can be customized, depending on the company. For example, if the candidate is going for a job at a small or midsized firm, cultural fit is even more important. If you work in an environment that’s similar to The Office, and someone responds by saying they’re a combination of Angela Martin’s work ethic and Jim Halpert’s personality, you may have found what you’re looking for.
4. If you could work in one TV sitcom office, which would it be?
This question, like the one above, helps you connect with the candidate and see if your personalities mesh. Just don’t hold it against her if she says “30 Rock” and you’re more of a “Murphy Brown” fan. It’s probably a generational thing.
5. Tell me about a time you’ve failed.
Everyone makes mistakes. If you’re a manager, you want to make sure employees can honestly cop to their failures and learn from them.
6. If you could be an emoji, which one would you be?
Just remember, use this a guide to determine whether a candidate’s personality is the right fit for your office. But only fire off these questions after you’ve scrutinized LinkedIn profiles and checked references. Nothing beats work experience and proven success in similar positions, says Bill Belknap, a career coach for the Five O’Clock Club.
“Companies that have a good interview process are ones where you have to talk to several different people in the company, including people outside the department you’re interviewing with. That’s how you get a perception of whether a person can do the job, as well as ‘cultural fit’ — do people see themselves able to work with you?”