This essay analyzes three interview questions for an entry-level employee and explains why these questions are effective and appropriate. The first question is, “Tell me what you know about our company. ” The prospective employee should have done ample research on the company he is interviewing with. He should be able to briefly and cogently summarize the aspects of the company and its culture that appealed to him and made him think that his skill set would be an addition to the company and its short and long-term goals.
If he has not done research on the company, his answer will show that lack of effort and understanding very quickly and very clearly. That lack of effort and planning is probably a reliable indicator of underlying weaknesses in this candidate. A poor and vague answer to this question should draw a strong “red flag” in the interviewer’s mind. Next, the prospective hire can be asked, “How would you describe yourself? ” This is an open-ended question that every job-seeker should be thoroughly prepared for.
The candidate could go in any number of directions with her answer, but an effective answer will briefly and specifically detail the work and life experiences, attitudes and acumen that will allow this employee to contribute to her new company. The answer should mainly focus on her professional skills and work habits, and not on her personal life. A third effective question is, “What is the biggest mistake you’ve made? Every prospective employee should be prepared for questions that involve weaknesses. If this short, negative question seems to catch the candidate off-guard or if the question seems to unsettle the candidate or if it incites defensiveness, a “red flag” should be raised in the interviewer’s mind. A well-prepared and mature candidate will answer this question with a believable and understandable anecdote that conveys a weakness that was recognized and then remedied.