Interview Questions (deliberately veering from techie vsnon-techie...) -Reply

Subject: Interview Questions (deliberately veering from techie vsnon-techie...) -Reply
From: Lisa Comeau <COMEAUL -at- CSA -dot- CA>
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 11:03:05 -0400

>>> "Eric J. Ray" WROTE >>>
Interestingly, one of the key interview questions for my first
tech writing job was about what I read and liked to read, both
books and journals.

Does anyone else have "interesting" culling questions, either
from the interviewer or interviewee standpoint?

Actually, I have been on both sides of that street (although the
interviewing side was mostly retail oriented, it is still similar in that good
communication with customers is key).

Some questions I liked to ask were:

"What was the last newspaper article you read that sticks out in your
mind?"
"What was the most effective television or magazine ad you've ever
seen?"
"Have you ever come up against a language barrier on the job? How did
you get through it and communicate your point effectively?"
"What is your favorite trade publication? Why?"
"What is your favorite novel?"

In my recent interview for the job I hold now (it's my 1-month anniversary
here today!) they asked alot of good probing questions like:

"What was your best subject in University?"
"How do you keep abreast of industry information?" (I'm primarily a
software instructor)
"What subscriptions to trade publications do you currently hold?"
"What was the last trade publication subscription you cancelled and
why?"
"What operating environment do you prefer? Why?"

The number one question I have asked and been asked is

"What do you know about our company/organization? How did you find
out this info?" (Fortunately, I check out a company BEFORE I even think
about applying there...)

This is a great question for people in a technical field, because the more
they tell you, the more interested they are in the company, and it gives
you (as an interviewer) and idea of the candidate's research skills. If a
potential employee doesn't do any research on the company, how can
they possibly know if the job/organization is right for them, and that they
are right for the position?

I have a ton of these kinds of questions if anyone is interested; some of
them are a little like the Rorschach test for personality traits, but those
are important too, don't you think?

Lisa Comeau
IS Super-User/Trainer
Certification & Testing Division
Canadian Standards Association
178 Rexdale Boulevard
Etobicoke, ON
(416) 747 2597
comeaul -at- csa -dot- ca
"A mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially on a waste of time."




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