1. Instead of asking about strengths and weaknesses, ask about the candidate’s biggest blunder or failure on the job and how they coped with it. To err is human, but how the human handles that error is very revealing. Do they take responsibility? Do they blame a co-worker? MOST telling is what they learned from the experience. Someone who celebrates their mistakes as learning experiences is a truly rare find!
2. Ask the candidate to solve a problem that is directly related to the position and company. This type of question can show the candidate’s ability to innovate, adapt, learn and use their resources. It can also help the show how they work through challenges within the position.
3. While a candidate’s ability in a specific position is important, equally important is learning more about them as a potential member of your team. What are their most important job acceptance factors? What are the most effective means of managing them? A great way to get the “real” answer to the previous question is to ask them “If I were to call one of your previous managers what would they say your biggest strength and biggest weakness were?” Also, what motivates them? The answers to these questions can dig deeper into how the candidate will perform on a day-to-day basis. It will also provide important information for the hiring manager in terms of management response and motivation factors