By Bruce Dingman (Open as PDF)
Everyone has regrets, but after a bad hire, those “should have asked” questions pile up quickly!
While typically an employer thinks ahead of time what questions they want to ask someone in the
interview process for a leadership role, hindsight can be painfully accurate. Here are some questions
we as recruiters have heard employers muttering to themselves downstream from a bad hire:
1. What else should we know about you?
2. When we talk to your references what issues might they raise about you that you would want us to hear your side first?
3. What have you done for self-improvement in the last five years?
4. What have we not asked that we should have?
5. How does this job fit in your career development? What experiences have most prepared you
for this next step?
6. For a few people Emotional Quotient (sometimes defined as the capacity of individuals to
recognize their own, and other people’s emotions) is natural but for most it needs to be honed
and developed. When we ask the direct reports from your last job on a scale of 1 to 10 to rate
your EQ, how might they respond? What score would we hear if we asked colleagues from your
first job? How would you explain your growth in exercising your EQ?
7. Thinking back on the bosses you’ve had, what were the characteristics you liked and disliked?
8. What kind of tasks should your superiors not give you, those you don’t enjoy or areas at which
you do not excel?
9. Why might this be the right job for you? And what concerns do you have about it?
10. As you look back on your last three jobs, please list several employees you have mentored, and
what has happened to them since?