I ask it because math is a fundamental skill that employees need when it comes to analyzing the success of advertising campaigns.
The best response is when they answer the question confidently and correctly. The worst is when they say I'm not very good at math or take wild guesses at the answer.
A COO is going to have to communicate a lot: with clients, employees, and myself. It's extremely important that whoever is chosen for the position knows how to communicate effectively with many types of people.
After all of the necessary job questions, I like to ask which TV character the candidate is like, especially since we're a TV/movie tour company, and I want to know more about their personality. There isn't any really bad response, unless they name a very unlikeable TV character.
I use this question to find out how much research the person did prior to the interview. The best people we've hired have all had well-informed answers to this question that addressed our company's goals and what they could do to contribute.
I like asking this compared to “do you have any questions for me” which is open ended and normally ends in no.
If they still reply no, I say I can wait until they do and I'll remain silent. We can learn a lot about someone by the questions they ask and by forcing at-least 3 to be asked, a lot can be learned. I've found that after hiring around 200+ employees a year in my previous business, that the better employees always had great questions that showed they cared and their potential commitment.
This question allows you to brag on yourself, but keep in mind that the interviewer wants strengths relative to the position. For example, being a problem solver, a motivator, and being able to perform under pressure, positive attitude and loyal. You will also need examples that back your answers up for illustration of the skill.
It's important for a future chief operating office to be talented, but finding someone who fits in with the company culture is what really makes the hire successful. That's why it's important to consider your company's brand and ask question that help you determine whether or not the candidate shares your company's vision.
As a long-time search consultant for nonprofit organizations, I always suggest that during the first interview my clients ask, If you were offered this job would you accept it?
While that may seem like an odd question to ask off the bat, the response of the person being interviewed will reveal volumes about whether or not they are enthusiastic about the position. This is especially true if the candidate is from out-of-state.
Tell me about this job, why you think you would be good at it and, if it is the right job for you, what your career here looks like in 3-5 years?
With this question, I'm trying to get at a few things: how well the candidate understands the specific job they're interviewing for, how well the candidate understands the career path and the company, the candidate's own goals, and whether he or she has thought longer term about a career at our company.
In most employee interviews I ask this question: “What scares you the most in life?” The reactions are fascinating. Up until this point, most humans speak too much; they chatter like chimps, crowding the world with verbal noise even when they have nothing to say.
But this question almost always brings pause.
A thoughtful silence enters the room. Eyes look off into the distance and the most remarkable responses flow out of mouths. It's often at this point that I start to see what I came for…a little bit of the truth.
I ask this question because being part of a startup is incredibly scary and there is no room, or time, for posers. I want to hire someone who has looked into the dark corner and can name the monster. I want to see depth. I want to see gumption. I want to know that when it gets tough and there's another heartless lap to go, she will go back out into the dark where it is lonely and scary. One step at a time. Until it is finished.
I find this question helps me understand what motivates a potential hire and sheds light as to whether she would be a good fit. I am a big believer in ‘fit' and this question goes a long way. People draw motivation from different sources, and understanding that from the outset is very helpful in building a successful relationship.
This is a simple question to ask, but it tells me if they ever thought critically at their last job or if they were just there to get a paycheck.
Although this would seem like a simple question, it can easily become tricky. You shouldn't mention salary being a factor at this point. If you're currently employed, your response can focus on developing and expanding your career and even yourself. If you're current employer is downsizing, remain positive and brief. If your employer fired you, prepare a solid reason. Under no circumstance should you discuss any drama or negativity, always remain positive.
I'm hoping to learn about how a candidate persevered through a tough situation. Did they quit or pull it off? There's a hiring adage along the lines of ‘hire for character – train for skill,' and this question definitely probes into that notion of what is this person really made of.
This is a fantastic question because it requires them to not only think on their feet but it shows if they have done their due diligence and know what our company is all about!
There needs to be a balance between these two factors. See what the prospective COO considers to be more valuable.
I love this question because it forces the candidate to talk about their accomplishments without trying to sound too humble. You can also tell a lot about a person by how they answer this question. If they start to brag or sound too modest, it says a lot about their personality.
I've always loved the health care industry, but my interest in nursing really started when I volunteered at a neighborhood clinic. I knew our department capabilities were amazing but that the staff could practice better patient care. So I worked with management to come up with a strategy that increased our patient satisfaction rates by 25% in a year. It was great to be able to contribute positively to an industry I feel so passionate about, and to help promote a clinic I really believed in.
It's a non-technical question that let's me have some insight into very technical (engineers) people.
A great answer will show creativity, relevance to the business and position, and personality and self-awareness. For instance, consistent and clear communication with clients is a phenomenal super power for someone in engineering. Occasionally we even find people more fitted to other positions than that for which they're interviewing, due to the passion in their superpower!
A poor answer is overly literal, overly technical, or opposing the needs for the position. I once had someone say flying, with no hint of humor and no further comment. While I prodded for more information, we work in an exceptionally fast-paced environment, and need quick thinkers who can handle the challenges of emerging technologies with a little humor!
Why am I asking? - What I'm looking for is really to hear what the person says without a pre-prepared script. I want to get info the person's head for a short tour. That's what I'm looking for :
☛ Can a person come up with one?
☛ How comfortable is the person improvising?
☛ What story was chosen?
☛ How does he/she structure her thoughts?
☛ Can he/she link sentences and ideas, so they make sense to the audience.
Here is my favorite question to ask when interviewing sales candidates:
I'm not sure if you're the perfect fit for this role. I'm curious to hear why you think you'd be a great candidate.
This is a great question because it's an objection. I want to see how they handle objections like they would from a potential client or from a co-worker with a contrarian opinion.
It's also a way for me to see if they've done their homework on my company and their depth of understanding for what it would take to be successful in this role.
☛ How do you evaluate your ability to handle conflict?
☛ Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
☛ What have you been doing since your last job?
☛ What do you think you can bring to this position?
☛ What relevant experience do you have?
☛ What can you do for us that other candidates cant?
☛ How do you keep track of things you need to do?
☛ What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision?
☛ How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?
☛ Give examples of ideas you've had or implemented.
☛ Tell me about a difficult experience you had in working.
☛ What was the most complex assignment you have had?
☛ What are your expectations regarding promotions and salary increases?
☛ Tell me about an important goal that you set in the past.
☛ How do you feel about taking no for an answer?
☛ Your greatest weakness in school or at work?
☛ Time when you made a suggestion to improve the work.
☛ Tell us about the last time you had to negotiate with someone.
☛ How do you see your job relating to the overall goals?
☛ What are your salary requirements.
☛ Describe a time when the management board was struggling to reach a decision. What did you do?
☛ Have you ever implemented any correction moves to improve company procedures?
☛ Give me an example of a time-saving solution you suggested and implemented.
☛ Describe a situation where your team accomplished a specific goal. How did you motivate them?
☛ What's the biggest challenge you've faced so far? How did you handle it?
☛ Do you prefer to work in a small, medium or large company?
☛ Who was your favorite manager and why?
☛ What do you feel is the best educational preparation for this career?
☛ How well did your college experience prepare you for this job?
☛ What is your greatest achievement outside of work?
The most important thing you should do is make sure to relate your answer to your long-term career goals. Provide truthful answers to Chief Operating Officer (COO) interview questions and exude confidence when speaking. Do not forget to ask for the names of interviewers. And then, remember to give them a polite thank you.
☛ Situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise.
☛ Give me an example that best describes your organizational skills.
☛ How would you weigh a plane without scales?
☛ Where do you see yourself in five years time?
☛ How did you react when faced with constant time pressure?
☛ What have you done to support diversity in your unit?
☛ What support training would you require to be able to do this job?
☛ What major challenges and problems did you face?
☛ What is a typical career path in this job function?
☛ Who has impacted you most in your career and how?
Don't talk about previous experience that is not related to the position in question. Discuss any attributes that may set you apart from other job candidates.
Have a good questions ready about the position, opportunities for training or skill improvement, and other questions related to the job.
☛ What are the most important aspects of a company's culture?
☛ How do you deal with disagreements with the company CEO?
☛ What's your decision making style? Give an example of a situation where you had to make a quick decision.
☛ Describe your typical daily tasks. How do you prioritize?
☛ What analysis software tools have you previously used?
☛ How do you prepare forecasting reports for quarterly office costs?
☛ Which are the most effective performance appraisal systems?
☛ How can you contribute to fundraising ventures?
☛ What company policies would you suggest we implement?
☛ We've found a new vendor for hardware supplies, who'll decrease costs but their shipping is less reliable. What would you do?
☛ How do you keep track of a company's progress? Are there specific metrics you've found useful?
☛ What's the most effective way to give and receive feedback?
☛ Have you done this kind of work before?
☛ How long would you stay with our company?
☛ Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
☛ Have you ever had to deal with conflicting deadlines?
☛ Are you planning to continue your studies?
This COO interview question explores how they utilize their limited resources. The question also dives deep into how the candidate prioritizes tasks – a must for operations leaders.
The question(s) I ask every candidate is specifically related to my industry (Digital Marketing).
☛ What blogs and resources do you follow online to keep up with the industry? I like to understand if they are keeping up to date with the leading resources online to know what is happening in our industry and the “hot topics” vs. the fads.
☛ Take me through your process of how you would manage a project in xxx (in my case an SEO project). I look for structure and an articulated process with technical and practical know how.
☛ A good response will shine with confidence, flow naturally, show experience from past failures or trial and error and well-articulated.
Many highly qualified CFO and COO candidates will be coming from businesses where they oversee a large support staff, but chances are that your church team and/or your finance department is much smaller. The new CFO or COO will need to be able to work in this environment and be willing to do more hands-on work than he or she has done in previous roles.
We don't want our organization to remain stagnant, so we want to make sure our leaders can take us in the right direction. That's why we ask them what they see for our organization's future and how they want to get us to that point.
This is a good question to use when determining whether or not a candidate fits into the company culture. If the things they dislike about their current job could also come up in this position, it definitely raises a red flag. I also notice if they have more “dislikes” than “likes.”
Showing a time where a managerial decision didn't pay off is a great to see what their thought process is, and how they learned from the mistake.
This question is like a loaded gun, tricky and dangerous if you're not sure what you are doing. It's not uncommon for people to end up talking salary before really selling their skills, but knowledge is power as this is a negotiation after all. Again, this is an area where doing your research will be helpful as you will have an understanding of average salary.
One approach is asking the interviewer about the salary range, but to avoid the question entirely, you can respond that money isn't a key factor and you're goal is to advance in your career. However, if you have a minimum figure in mind and you believe you're able to get it, you may find it worth trying.
In other words, what kind of leader have you worked well with and what kind of leader have you struggled under? What is your ideal decision-making environment? This set of questions is designed to help you better assess whether a candidate will be a good fit with your church or ministry's staff culture. Would he or she thrive under the leadership of his or her supervisor, or would there be an inevitable personality conflict if you hired him or her? Would personal characteristics hinder his or her ability to do the job well? Would he or she feel excluded from the decision-making process?
My favorite question to ask as an interviewer comes at the end of the interview. It is usually the last thing I ask. The question is, Do you have any questions or concerns about your ability to do the job? This often works better than the open ended, “Do you have any questions for me?” because it focuses in on the responsibilities associated with the job. If they say yes, it gives you the chance to help address their concerns and assess their fit for the job.
As both a manager and a peer interviewer, my favorite question to ask is, Tell me about a time when you failed. Why did it happen? What did you do next?
I ask it to try to truly get at the person's experience level, problem solving abilities, and intercommunication skills. It shows their ability to think critically about themselves.
A good answer provides an example, either of a reasonable risk or a situation beyond the person's control. How the person dealt with the situation reveals a great deal: Do they try to solve things on their own? Do they enlist their teammates' help? Do they simply give up and pass the situation on to their manager?
A bad answer is I've never been in that situation. Anyone who has never failed has never tried anything new and isn't the type of person I want working for me or with me.
My last boss taught me the importance of time management – she didn't pull any punches, and was extremely deadline-driven. Her no-nonsense attitude pushed me to work harder, and to meet deadlines I never even thought were possible.
Early in an interview I like to to ask, *“What was it about this job description that caught your eye?”* (Suitable for most jobs and levels of experience) You quickly learn whether candidates are focused on this particular job at this organization or if they are desperately trying to find any work.
A good response connects a personal passion to the job's primary responsibilities. An answer that demonstrates admiration for the organization's mission or reflects some prior research makes a good impression, too. A generic or vague response may indicate a lack of initiative, creativity or passion.
*“Tell me about a favorite boss you've had in the past.”* As a manager this question helps me understand what kind of backing candidates need in order to shine. It also sheds light on their level of independence and their favorite work environments. A bad response, and this happens all too frequently, is a sigh followed by complaints about a previous boss. A better response is a personal success story tied to the support of a supervisor.
The candidate's answer to this question will reveal whether he or she has a strategic perspective on problem-solving and his or her ability to then implement initiatives to achieve strategic goals.
This question lets me know how the candidate deals with constructive criticism. Can they take it well, or do they take it personally? What kind of criticism motivates them, and what just hurts their feelings?
Everything in operations is about efficiency. This COO interview question explores the ways the candidate has positively impacted previous employers.
A more analytical question, this tests how they see operations and the market as a philosophy. The applicant has to show their intelligence and their knowledge of overall trends.
The end goal in these COO interview questions is to get a well-rounded picture into the thought process of the candidates. Asking different types of questions can peek into how they would react to the problems your company faces. If a particular applicant is attractive on the basis of operations knowledge, examine if they are culturally aligned to be sure that they will make a comfortable transition. If they have both the functional expertise and are culturally aligned with your organization mission, then chances are you've found yourself a finalist.
What you're looking for when a candidate answers this question is whether he or she has the right kinds of experience for your church's or nonprofit's needs. You'll be able to match candidates' responses against a checklist or assessment of what you need your CFO or COO to manage and accomplish.
These are crucial questions to ask. Many candidates have not thought through the impact that working in a church or ministry will have on their professional and personal lives or how it may affect their families.
Having consulted on hundreds of hires, my favorite interview question, one I've never heard anyone else use is, When I speak to your last [or present] boss, what is he or she going to say about you?
Since people are trying to cover themselves for anything that boss might say, it's amazing the things they'll reveal. They'll very often tell you things that last boss would never have brought up, even if the last boss would be allowed to deal with a reference which often they aren't.
I learn a couple of things from this. Is this an organization that communicates well and has developed their story. And then of course, the story itself is usually very insightful.
I learned of this suggestion ages ago, so it is not my invention, but it is so powerful, especially for those working in communications, where story-telling is key.
I like to ask this question for a few reasons:
First, some people get confused and do not understand the question at all – no matter how many times I try to rephrase it. This shows me their comprehension/intelligence level.
Second, their answer gives a ton of insight as to what type of employee/worker they will be.
☛ If they answer something like: Forward the email to the appropriate team member so they can handle this is not a terrible answer, but shows that they are not willing to go above and beyond to help a customer.
☛ If they answer something like: Reply to the client so they know I received the email and let them know I will forward their request to the appropriate team member to help them this answer is better because they are taking initiative to reply back.
☛ If the answer something like: See if I can find out the answer quickly and reply back to the client with the answer and cc the team member noting that for any additional questions their account manager will be happy to assist them then this is the best answer of all because no matter if this is not their account they took it upon themselves to find the answer, reply to the client and notify the team member who handles this.
Efficiency and effectiveness are important in every area of your ministry, but especially so in finance and operations. You want a CFO, COO, and/or Executive Pastor who can create organized, streamlined processes for your departments to prevent avoidable problems due to an unnecessarily complicated system.
This can be a tricky question to respond to, if you suggest you have no weaknesses you're going to appear as a lair or egotistical. You should respond realistically by mentioning small work related weaknesses. Although many try to answer using a positive skill in disguise as a weakness, like “I expect co-workers to have the same commitment” or “I am a perfectionist”. However, it is recommended that there is some honesty and the weaknesses are true, and then emphasize on how you have overcome it or working to improve it. The purpose of this question is to see how you view and evaluate yourself.
A numbers-specific question allows for a correct answer. But thinking even bigger can show a deeper aptitude. For instance, considering other factors such as revenue per customer and speed of delivery could make USPS still a more feasible option.
You should do your research prior to the interview. Look into background history of the company, this will help you stick out. Learn about main people, have they been in the news lately? The interviewer doesn't expect you to know dates and certain people, but showing that you have enough interest to research the company is a positive impression.
No one has all of their ideas accepted all of the time, even the chief operating officer. This question tells me if the person uses failure to push themselves more, or if they like to learn something from each missed opportunity.
A person's role model can tell you a lot about them. People pick role models who have qualities they would like to see in themselves and in others. By asking about their inspiration, you learn a lot about the personal characteristics and skills that person finds important.
I like to ask them what their reasoning was behind each of their career decisions, from their college graduation up until this point. Their answer shows me how the candidate strategizes and prepares for the future.
I love this question because it makes the person I'm interviewing thing critically about their work experience. It also tells me a lot about what responsibilities they find the most challenging. If they had a hard time doing a job similar to the one I'm interviewing them for, I may think about whether or not that person is right for this position.
This question lets me see what the candidate considers success. It could be anything from getting a certain salary, earning a certain title, or reaching a specific goal. It also tells me if they get their biggest sense of accomplishment at the office or through their personal life.
In order for your organization to grow, your employees have to grow along with it. A good operations leader knows that time must be allocated to employee improvement, and asking this question explores their self improvement philosophies.
This question needs to be carefully answered as it is your opportunity to stick out from the rest of the applicants. You should focus on skills that you have, including those not yet mentioned. Simply responding “because I'm really good” or “I really need a job” isn't going to work. You shouldn't assume the skills of other applicants or their strengths, focus on yourself. Tell the interviewer why you are a good fit for the position, what makes you a good employee, and what you can provide the company. Keep it brief while highlighting achievements.
This is another question looking towards job commitment. Some people go through jobs like socks because they don't have a life plan, and your answer can show insight into this. It can also be used for finding out if you are the type that sets goals at all in life, because those that make long-term goals are usually more reliable. Also, your goals can provide insight on your personality too.
You should respond with an answer that shows progression in your career is on track with your route in the company. It's important to do your research on company prospects, this way you understand what to expect and if it's in your long-term goal. Interviewers don't want to set you on a path that won't provide the results you want, resulting in you resigning.
How do you build relationships with people you oversee? Like the previous questions, these will help you figure out if a candidate would work well with his or her subordinates and also offers insight into how relational a candidate it.
What do you feel is your best work trait?* This question really opens the candidate up to being vulnerable. It will give you some insight into how they view themselves and what their confidence level is. It really helps to set some candidates apart from others. When asking this question, a lot of times it brings up areas that they don't feel they are strong in as well.
I like to ask the following: What 2 or 3 things would be most important to you in your ideal job, and why?
I ask this question to understand the candidate better. It can let me know several things: What are their priorities / What are their pet peeves / What are their must-haves to feel like they're in a good position.
I have a better scope of the candidate once they expound on this question.
From the side of an applicant (high-level administration), I always ask those interviewing me, Why is this position open? I think it's a fair question. I like to know what circumstances I will walk into: was someone let go? did my predecessor retire? is it a new position?Always good to know.
One of my favourite questions when hiring a new employee is ‘If you owned the company, what would you change?'. This is particularly awesome as you get to watch the interviewee think of a logical answer without offending the company itself. Of course when the question is asked, I'm looking for a genuine answer, it this question which will sometimes decided who is hired and who isn't.
The employee should understand this is business and it is cut throat, if they see a flaw in something they should speak up
I've learned a lot from my current role, but now I'm looking for a new challenge, to broaden my horizons and to gain a new skill-set – all of which, I see the potential for in this job.
A friend told me that this is a question often used in interviews at Google. It forces the candidate to get creative and explain something out of the ordinary.