10 Best Interview Questions to Reveal True Character

  • By Brittany Guyton
  • 22 Dec, 2015
Hiring a new employee is a lot like a first date – both parties are presenting their most attractive image and the day-to-day interactions to follow are often very different. You will have some basic information about the person's background, but how can you be certain that the person who shows up for an interview is going to bring the same standards and character to work everyday?
You don't have to be psychic to predict the future and pick the right candidate, but you do need to have the right questions and be perceptive to the tone, ease and insight of the interviewee's response.

Here are 10 best practices for interviewing to help find the right match.

1. What’s your story?
            This casual question provides insight to the candidate’s personal view of themselves, their ambitions and their values.

2. What do you consider you greatest professional achievement?
            This question reveals what the candidate values and opens the door for follow up questions about their work career.

3. Tell me about a time that something at your job didn’t work how you wanted.
            By asking for a previous disappointment, you can often interpret how the interviewee handles defeat, if they accept responsibility or are victimized, and if they turn it into a positive result with opportunity to grow and learn.

4. What part of this job do you like the least?
            Honesty, if you can obtain it, will reveal where this person will need more training or time. Be persistent and ask it in a different way later if the opportunity arises.

5. At what point in your life have you been most satisfied?
            Professional life and personal life may be separate entities at your company, but there will still be evidence of the qualities that the candidate values and if those align with the environment of your company.

6. What do you think our company is doing right and what can we be better at or improve?
            This demands honesty and can also provide insight to weaknesses in your marketing, transparency and public representation. You will see first hand how the candidate delivers critiques and also reveal the strengths of the candidate (the suggested improvements are often the areas that he or she are most skilled and confident).

7. Have you had a good manager in the past? Tell me about that relationship.
            Understanding the dynamics of a previous working relationship will highlight what this candidate needs to be successful and the qualities of work environment that make them thrive.

8. How do you see this job will contribute to your advancement in your career?
            Similar to the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” question, this question will get a more direct and relevant answer about the ambitions and path of their future achievements.

9. What is your understanding of the job requirements and what do you think would improve the position if we were give you an offer?
            You may be hesitant to offer false hope, but pay, hours and benefits are the determining factors for a long-term employee. You will have better success if you open the conversation for expectations early.

10. Would you be open to a drug screening and background check about your educational history, employment history and criminal history? Is there any thing that may come up on that report that I should be aware of?
            Statistics from many sources reveal that 50-60% of applicants provide false information. A background check can reveal inconsistencies and presenting this common practice to the candidate openly will reveal more about his or her character.





Industry News and Trends

By Brittany Guyton 18 Apr, 2016

“Ban the Box” is an international campaign advocating on behalf of ex-offenders, seeking employment. Their goal is to persuade employers to remove the “check box” from hiring records that asks if applicants have a criminal record. Followers of the campaign advocate that this change will allow employers to consider a candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a criminal record.


New York City and Austin Texas are among some of the cities who have recently proposed amendments and ordinances regarding this issues.


The New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) recently issued proposed rule amendments regarding the Fair Chance Act. Although this may be a step toward compromise regarding the “Ban the Box” issue, the amendments pose severe compliance challenges for employers. Some potential violations include; 1) Requesting permission to conduct a background check and 2) Using any standard form across multiple jurisdictions that includes a criminal history question regardless of if the form specifies NYC applicants should not respond.


Requiring employers to use a different employment application or form for hiring in NYC creates a significant compliance hurdle that could cost employers thousands of dollars in penalties.

These proposed amendments also prohibit employers from conducting their own search with terms such as “arrest,” “mugshot,” “warrant,” “criminal,” “conviction,” etc. It is unclear if these provisions prohibiting employers from searching for the specified terms or websites are barred from doing so at any point in the hiring process or just prior to extending a conditional offer of employment. These requirements would leave employers without adequate resources to conduct a criminal history search when needed.



A ban the box ordinance was also proposed in Austin, Texas. Although this ordinance is mostly straight forward, there are major concerns regarding a listed requirement to notify applicants in writing if the adverse action decision is based on criminal history.


Employers that conduct background screenings via Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires a specific process to be followed any time an employer is potentially making an adverse decision (i.e., denying employment, terminating an employee, deciding not to promote an individual) based on information contained within a background report – which may or may not contain criminal history information.


Requiring employers to specifically state that the individual’s criminal history is the basis for an adverse decision, extends beyond the federal requirements which presents potential compliance challenges for employers that hire in multiple jurisdictions


Learn more about the Ban the Box campaign and the concerns surrounding it at http://napbs.com/


Call Courthouse Concepts for detailed, and thorough background screenings!


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