I have conducted job interviews and I have hated it. In the beginning, I wanted to hire everyone who walked through the door. It took 3 bad disappointments to make me not want to hire anyone. For example, there was the guy who couldn’t figure out how to operate a cup. A drinking cup. A plain, plastic cup. He smelled like a chemical explosion occurred at his house 10 minutes before his interview but, to be fair, once I transferred his water to a mug, he got the hang of it.
I admit that I was burned out. Eventually, if someone showed up wearing a shirt and didn’t have anything too terrible on that pesky police record, they had a job. I once asked thoughtful questions. After a while, I queried: if you were a can of soup, what kind of soup would you be? Some laughed and gave me a random answer. Some stared blankly at me until I changed tact and questioned their attendance at their last job.
There’s no doubt about it – no matter what side of the table you happen to find yourself, it’s a hellacious experience. Obviously, asking about what kind of animal, soup or car one would be are stupid questions that don’t give any information about the person being interviewed. And, it must be remembered, that the person interviewed for a job is not necessarily the employee you’ll encounter 6 months down the road (I had a boss who was convinced that he had, in actuality, interviewed my classy twin sister). During interviews, we try to present ourselves as engaged, intelligent and super duper sweet. Overtime? Sure, no problem! Nooo, I don’t have an issue working a weekend here and there. We tend to agree to anything if the job looks good enough.
So, as an employer, how do you know what to ask that will really tell you something about your prospective employee? The February 2020 issue of The HR Specialist included some of their readers’ favorite interview questions. For example, “What is the biggest work disaster you’ve been a part of? What role did you play?” The person who posed this question pointed out that if you don’t get a straight answer, that tells you a lot. However, if you do get a straight answer, you “learn even more.”
Another good question, also provided to us by TheHRspecialist.com, asks “what kind of supervisor brings out your peak performance?” This is a great question because it forecasts to the employer what the prospective employee expects and wants in a boss. If the employee says that only a laidback, hippie boss will do and you happen to be an anal-retentive curmudgeon, you’re probably going to experience some friction if you continue with the hiring process. I think this question is probably the most important for both employer and employee.
Obviously, the first question to a would-be employee is: can you do the job? After that, you have to find out if your personality will match with the employee. Of course, this is difficult to ascertain within the confines of a 15-minute interview, but, come on, we all sort of know within 15 minutes if someone gets on our last nerve or not.
As someone who interviewed with both Christina and Bill, I can tell you that they’re not scary. In fact, all of our Bourke Accounting professionals are quite charming. They might ask some difficult questions, but it’s not to torture you. Like the adage that I just made up says: Tell your accountant and bookkeeper the truth or suffer the IRS. Your Bourke Accounting expert doesn’t want to cause you stress, they’re here to help, after all.
Written by Sue H.