Every hiring manager has a favorite list of interview questions. They fortify the give-and-take of an interview while testing knowledge, skills, personality and interpersonal skills — all in an effort to predict a job candidate’s suitability.

I’m always friendly and polite in interviews, and I’m genuinely interested in other people. But I like to get down to business by asking, “What questions can I be helpful answering?”

In most cases, the response to that first question indicates within seconds how relevant, prepared and interested a candidate is. The questions a candidate pose signal to me whether I should expand the discussion or wind it down.

In fact, I find that the questions a candidate asks — and doesn’t ask –are often far more revealing than responses to questions I ask. A candidate’s questions are one of the best indicators of intelligence, reasoning and curiosity — and the ability to frame and advance a problem with others.

When screening job candidates, certainly apply your own questions. But pay equal attention, if not more, to the questions they ask you.

This article also ran in MediaPost. Photo: JBLM PAO.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.