Best Practices and Behavioral Questions

For the interview process, best management practices include:

  • Creating a list of written interview questions before interviewing begins
  • Writing the questions based on the job description—specifically, the skills, abilities, and experience required for the position
  • Asking the same questions of all candidates
  • Making objective and factual notes of each interview
  • Selecting the candidate who is the most qualified or at least equally qualified as other candidates compared to the selection criteria you established

Effective interviewers:

  • Are completely prepared
  • Give the candidate undivided attention
  • Put the candidate at ease
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Listen at least 80% of the time

Sample Questions

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Attention to Detail

  • Can you give an example of a time when an important detail was missed in your work? What was the result? What did you do to correct the situation?
  • When you have come across errors in your own work, what have they been and how did you handle it?


  • How much creativity is possible in your work?


  • Let's say you need to make a decision about __________. What steps would you take?
  • What kind of decisions did you have to make as a ____? Do you think you made the right choice? Why?
  • Tell me about the most difficult decision you have had to make in your position at ___.


  • Rules sometimes have to be bent or broken. Can you tell me about a time when you had to do this?
  • How far have you bent your standards to succeed in previous jobs? Give me an example.


  • Did you have duties in your job as a ____ that were not included in your job description?
  • Have you ever done more than was required for a job?
  • Did you take on any new responsibilities in your last job?
  • What are some projects that you initiated? Why?
  • Were there any rules or policies at ____ that you didn't agree with? What did you do about it?


  • How have you kept on top of the current trends in ______?
  • What job-related conferences, seminars, etc., have you attended recently and what did you learn from them?


  • How did you learn the duties of your previous position and how long did it take before you could comfortably perform them on your own?
  • What formal training have you had? How did you do?
  • What subjects or courses are the hardest for you to learn and why?
  • What subjects or courses are the easiest for you to learn and why?


  • Is there something about your management style you would like to change?
  • What have you done in your previous supervisory positions to make your subordinates' jobs easier or more rewarding?


  • What did you enjoy the most about your previous job and why? Least and why?
  • All jobs have their frustrations. What duties or conditions have you found most dissatisfying in your previous job and why?
  • What has been your greatest work achievement and why?
  • What factors do you consider most important in evaluating the success of your work?


  • How do you keep yourself organized?

Performance Standards

  • How do you define doing a good job in your current position?
  • How is your performance in your current job? How do you know?
  • Have you ever been displeased with your own performance? When, why, and what did you do about it?
  • Have you ever disagreed with you supervisor on your performance evaluation?
  • Can you give me a couple of examples of times when you've produced work above standard and below standard?


  • What were some of the more complex assignments you were given? Describe some of the steps necessary to complete the assignment.
  • If you find errors in your work, how do you handle it?
  • Have you ever identified a problem before your supervisor? What did you do?


  • What achievements are you most proud of? Why?
  • What factors do you consider when evaluating your success?
  • What parts of your job as a _____ did you enjoy? What parts did you not enjoy?