Experience in the field is the most important consideration when hiring. Managers definitely need human communication skills along with some technical expertise.
Technical experts need a proven record of achievement and may lack managerial skills but should be able to communicate well. Graduates usually have book learning only and are unproven managers and technical experts who need a different set of interview questions.
There is also a big difference in hiring the brightest and best or just an adequate worker or manager who will do the job well but may not have ambitions to climb the ladder of success any higher. There is basically the adequate worker for the job and a rather ambitious one who wants to become almost indispensable to the organization in a position of leadership.
An experienced good leader will have risen up the scale of leadership in an organization and have taken on greater and greater responsibility or a greater number of workers under him or her with the passage of time.
Another sign of a good leader is one who changed organizations and each time landed a managerial job with more responsibility or more workers under him or her. A proven track record of increased leadership responsibility is a good sign that he or she will also try to increase responsibility in your organization too.
During the interview you will usually get a sense of how good a conversationalist the potential leader is. You will find out if the answers are largely impulsive or whether they think a little before answering some of the questions. You will find out if they are verbose or short and sweet and to the point.
Excessive verbosity, evasive answers, impulsive answers without slight pause on occasion, and incomplete answers may be a sign of flawed communication skills. Leaders need a good memory for details and names and any follow up questions which reveal this ability are good questions.
An experienced technical expert will show his or her prowess in the field of expertise by the sheer number of projects completed successfully during tenure in the organization. The more projects that he or she has completed is a sign of technical expertise. Leadership ability is not as critical if you are looking for a candidate to do a specialty job extremely well.
A leader with many jobs at the same level of leadership responsibility may be a sign of incompetent leadership and a technical expert with many jobs with similar challenges may also be a sign of mediocre expertise and one not capable of taking on new challenges in his or her field of expertise.
For a graduate seeking a managerial position in a company his or her social interests in high school and college are usually a good indication of leadership potential. If he or she was the president or leader of more than one club or organization in school then chances are their social skills are probably good, especially if they come from a family of three offspring or more.
If the graduate is interested in many things outside of work or has many hobbies then chances are they will be interesting conversationalists and frequently have something in common with the workers working under them.
Grades are important indicators for mental ability but the number of close friends and good family life of parents with relatively many friends is also a good indicator of social ability. Privacy is still important but if you can gain access to Facebook communications then this will reveal the number and types of friends that the prospective employee has and the style in which the communication occurs.
Graduates with technical expertise are preferred if they come from a technical college or university with a good technical staff. Computer programming or computer science along with an engineering degree are highly desirable.
Leadership questions where human skills or emotional intelligence and strategic planning is primary:
What are your reasons for changing jobs?
What were your biggest challenges and how did you handle them?
What major areas do you need improvement in and what are you doing about it?
What is your biggest weakness and how do you compensate for it?
What were some of your most challenging employee problems and how did your handle or resolve them?
What motivation tools do you use?
How do you encourage feedback from your employees?
What were some of the reasons you fired employees and how did you try to resolve the problem first before firing?
When you hire someone what questions do you ask?
What were some of your best and worst employees and why?
Have you had to tolerate lying, petty theft, or tardiness and absenteeism in an employee?
How do you handle an employee who is not a good team player but seems competent in other ways?
What were some intuitions that you had about employees which turned out to be true?
What percentage of your workers did you know on a first name basis?
How do you relax during and after work?
What would you like to ask me about your job?
You can end the interview with the question-Why should I hire you?
Technical questions are important during a technical interview but you also need someone who updates knowledge based on new developments in the field of expertise and is an efficient worker.
What are your reasons for changing jobs?
What was the project which was the lengthiest and was the most challenging and why?
Have you largely worked on your own or mostly with a team?
How do you keep updated in your field of expertise?
About what percentage of your projects took longer than expected?
What percentage of your new learning is on the job and at home?
How frequently have you had to take work home or stayed late on the job to complete a project?
What are your greatest weaknesses and what are you doing about them?
What tasks do you enjoy the most and which ones the least?
Ask some random technical questions which are absolutely needed for the job being hired for.
You can end the interview with- Why should I hire you?
Questions for graduates without proven experience are very open ended and should focus on determining the drive and ambition of the potential employee for a leadership position and test a memory for names and details. For a technical position focus on questioning for the technical expertise of a technical specialist.
Where do you see yourself 5 or 10 years from now?
What were your favorite subjects in school?
What subjects or courses do you think will be more useful in this job?
What are the characteristics of a good leader or manager?
What other companies did you apply to?
What made you choose this company?
Why should I hire you?
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