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I really enjoyed the registered user podcast "Quick and Dirty Interviews" (you have to register to get it ... it is worth it).

I am defintiely going to rework my approach after listening to this cast.

The one question I thought was missing was "Why do you want this job?" I would think the answer to this could be very insightful.

Thoughts?

Steve

Mark's picture

Steve-

I can think of a thousand questions that would give answers that are insightful. The whole point of a quick and dirty interview is to choose the ones that are most HELPFUL in making a hiring determination, with extremely limited preparatory time and perhaps insufficient context. Why would you make this one of your top 5 or so questions?

Mark

sholden's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]I can think of a thousand questions that would give answers that are insightful. The whole point of a quick and dirty interview is to choose the ones that are most HELPFUL in making a hiring determination, with extremely limited preparatory time and perhaps insufficient context. Why would you make this one of your top 5 or so questions?[/quote]

My thought process on why I'd like to ask this addtional question was to make sure the person can articulate why the position was important to them (how much fire they may or may not have), and do they have an accurate idea of the role and the organization they were joining?

Like I orginally said, excellent cast. It really got my brain pumping. I totally agree one can only have a limited subset of questions available.

Steve

SWB's picture

Mike and Mark my name is Wesley I have just finished the Quick and Dirty Interviews podcast and I have a few questions

It was mentioned that you would ask what books a person has been reading and Mike said if they mentioned a fictional book he would give them a second chance wanting them to mention a non fictional i.e. business book. In Mikes mind are all fictional books created equal? For example if that question was raised and the person being interviewed said that he is reading a book by P.G. Wodehouse, Charles Dickens, or Jonathan Swift would that be a good response or would you rather he have said The World is Flat?

The second question is related during that same question in Quick and Dirty Interviews Mark you said that if the person mentioned they were reading a fictional book and talked about the characters and then related the characters to real life that would be great. Was that an honest response or was it a bit sarcastic?

I just want to thank you so much for the time that you guys spend each week for us.

juliahhavener's picture

[quote] Mark you said that if the person mentioned they were reading a fictional book and talked about the characters and then related the characters to real life that would be great. Was that an honest response or was it a bit sarcastic? [/quote]

Actually, I'm pretty certain he was sincere in the statement. I'm typically more impressed by someone who reads than someone who doesn't. Their choice of reading material is almost secondary. I read heavily, typically a book every couple of days. When I read fiction, I do relate a great deal to the characters in the book, regardless of genre. I can see similarities, differences, and have learn a huge assortment of random items from fiction books.

I think Mark's point is that someone who read fiction last isn't necessarily 'lesser' than someone who read non-fiction last. If they relate to the characters and draw some life-conclusions about the material from the book, it will display a good deal of understanding of relationships...what management is all about.

This question would be a difficult one for me (personally) to answer because of the wide range of reading I do. My bookshelves are equally covered with fiction and nonfiction and run the gamut from science fiction to historical biographies. I also tend to read one to three books at a time. Different books for different moods/places.

[quote]In Mikes mind are all fictional books created equal? For example if that question was raised and the person being interviewed said that he is reading a book by P.G. Wodehouse, Charles Dickens, or Jonathan Swift would that be a good response or would you rather he have said The World is Flat?[/quote]

That's another very weighty question. I can't answer for Mike, but I would take much more from what the person said about the reading rather than the actual title. Someone can read a Tale of Two Cities and get almost nothing from it. I would be less impressed by this person than by the one who read Hitchiker's Guide and gave a great deal of personal insight to it.

My two cents, anyway.

Julia

Mark's picture

Because reading is such a core part of my life, and if I'm not careful I will go on and on and on, I'll be brief.

No, there was no sarcasm there. Wow... sorry THAT wasn't clear. Goes to show that someone* was right: one must communicate not only to be understood, but so that one cannot be misunderstood. [* - I leave quotes off here, and I could swear I heard this attributed to Wellington, regarding military orders, but also other references are to Epictetus.]

I do NOT consider all fiction books equal (though I know the quote was for Mike). I suspect - though will be pleased to hear his take regardless - that he will say the same thing. There is an important distinction between the digital question - do you or do you not read? - and the analog questions related thereto - what do you read and why, and what have you learned from it?

Mark

poncho_57's picture

Q&D interviews

Podcast review
Useful - twice each month I am asked. I've never been this prepared.

Insiteful - changed my thinking and my strategy

Leverage-able - not sure if that's a word. I can't wait to see the reaction when I provide the interview feedback to HR/boss in MT format

Very nice.

As to the forum discussion thus far. M&M are right. Use it.

If you have time to re-invent the wheel...

I guess I should bow to your delegation skills.

Nice p-cast, good discussion.

Thanks to all,
- poncho_57

Mark's picture

Poncho-

Thanks. That delivery step really is a keeper.

Mark

madamos's picture

I performed a Quick and Dirty interview yesterday. Here is what I did.
1) Reviewed my Quick and Dirty interview form.
2) Picked information from the Resume to ask the 4 standard questions.
3) Asked the hiring manager if there were any specific behaviors they were looking for.
4) Made sure I was at the interview room a few minutes early.

I added 4 additional questions to the interview not mentioned in the podcast.
1) What do you consider your greatest achievement and Why?
I am looking for a few things here. Is the person passionate in talking about the achievement? Is it related to the job the person is applying for?
2) What is your greatest weakness?
After listening to the Weakness Question podcast, I couldn't not include this one.
3) Why do you want to work at my company?
Has the person reaserched the company? Do they fit into the culture?
4) Do you have any questions for me (close of the interview if there is time).

The interview went well. One problem I found was the speed at which the interview progressed. I had the person for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, we had gone through most of the questions. I started to panic a little bit. But I asked follow-up questions to his previous responses and got the conversation going again. We concluded the interview after 25 minutes.

I did get an interesting and surprising response to one of the questions. When I asked what the person considered their greatest achievement, he started to answer, but then asked if I wanted a personal of job related achievement. I was intrigued that he would think to give a personal achivement, so I responded that either was ok. I then got to see how proud this person was of having a family and having made it in the business world on his own.

It was really surprising to me. I thought the answer was great. It showed me how important family was to this person, and how much pride and satisfaction he had in his life. It certainly helped me guage the cultural fit in the compay. But after getting that answer I followed up and asked about his greatest job related achievement.

I sent my follow-up e-mail to the hiring manager and got feedback on how useful and well thought out the follow-up was.
I am sure this manager will ask me to help interview other candidates in the future.

MadAmos
DiSC 6-3-4-3 "Developer"

JohnGMacAskill's picture

I interviewed yesterday and used the Q&D podcast tools for the first time. I thought I would share the thinking, results and I have some clarifications.

It was my interview and ensured I gave myself sufficient prep time, but the ideas from the Q&D podcast was very useful. I incorporated the main questions; warm up, substance and behavioural into my question sheet.

I use a standard questions sheet with plenty more questions than time, so I edit and tweak depending on the circumstance. I took the other two interview managers through my script/plan and discussed roles and objectives.

I felt very prepared and confident, and thanks to the 'raising the bar' approach I was looking to ensure I found any reasons, not to hire.

The interview went well and I'm absolutely sure the candidate noticed the prep and effort, which reflects on professionalism of the company I may be wishing him to join.

[u][b]The clarification: [/b][/u]In the interview I did not feel that asking the two 'warm up' questions at the start: news item and book read was logical. After and initial discussion of the project, it did not feel right to use them then. I did use them, but later on.

Could Mike explain the reasons again for using them up front as I may be missing something.

Mark's picture

John-

Great post. Here are my thoughts:

We probably mis-named the warm up questions. They certainly aren't chit chat questions, designed to warm up...they're more of a bridge to harder stuff from the initial casual conversation.

The reason they are early is that they are not specific to the job, and you learn about a person's approach and professionalism. If they have bad answers and you are in a growth mode where you'll need people with breadth, they clue you in to look for that.

And, you can easily ask them later and they still tell you the same thing.

Well done.

Mark