Originally published Jun 21, 2019

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Q: My firm is hiring for a new knowledge management role. In your experience, have you found effective methods in interviews to test candidates’ skills, say via a formal test of some kind? For example, developers often have to share samples of their code.

A: Testing is not relevant for many jobs, but it makes sense to ask candidates to provide examples of work products, writing, presentations, and any other deliverables relevant to the job you are filling. I asked candidates to write a brief proposal for why I should hire them, and this provided insights into their thought processes, writing skills, and effectiveness.

Here are some additional suggestions for interviewing job candidates.

  1. Tell the story of a difficult challenge you overcame.
  2. Tell the story of an accomplishment which you are proud of.
  3. How have you learned and developed in your field?
  4. Which books were important to you, and why?
  5. Who is someone that you admire, and why?
  6. If hired, how will you get started in your new job?
  7. What have you learned about this organization, and how did you go about learning it?
  8. How do you share what you know with others?
  9. The last time you had a question or needed help, what did you do?
  10. Who has helped you develop professionally, and whom have you helped?

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