Friday, June 09, 2006

A pointed, but useful, interview question

Dan Sweet poses a hard-hitting interview question in Hiring outside talent: a good culture indicator:
One of the best interview questions that I know of is, “Why aren’t you filling this position internally?” Almost NOBODY asks this, but it reveals a LOT about the company.

I don't think I'd ask it that directly if I wanted the job, but it's a thought-provoking question that you might want to get at indirectly. It gets at the internal dynamics of the company in a way that you would want to know before joining them.

My personal favorite is, "What concerns do you have about me in this position?" It invites the interviewer to bring up unspoken objections so you can deal with them.


At 6/09/2006 11:36 AM, Anonymous Jim Durbin said...

Nathan, you're doing too good of a job here not to be noticed.

I'm making you next's weeks Blog of the Week.

At 6/16/2006 3:17 PM, Blogger Dana said...


You're right on with both of those questions, and I've always asked both. I also ask "what are your top criteria for someone in this role?", very early on in the conversation (when possible) to ensure that I tailor my pitch.

At 6/16/2006 3:27 PM, Blogger Nathan Gilliatt said...


I like that one. It's closely related to the questions about major challenges, top priorities, and short-term goals for the position, but it's different. I like the way it gets into the analysis that the hiring manager has done about what kind of person they want.


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