1. The question: So you're a Yankees fan. If you were the team's owner, how would you make them better?

The expert: Bonnie Zaben, chief operating officer of AC Lion Recruiting, told Bloomberg Businessweek that was her top choice.

The reason: "I ask the applicant about their hobbies, and then we do role-play. I want to see how they think quickly and compose coherent presentations. Are they recommending specific player changes? Can they quote stats to back up a position? Can they present a cogent argument in five minutes without dead air? You’d be surprised." Seven more options from hiring experts.

2. The question: What three to five things do you need to be successful in this job? What are the deal killers?

The expert: Kristi Hedges at Forbes.com suggests this one.

The reason: This question effectively shifts the conversation from what you know the job is to what they understand the job to be—is there a gap?—plus, it covers how they’d do the job. As Hedges writes, this will help you determine "culture fit, expectations, work style." Five more interview questions you never ask.

3. The question: If you ran your current company, what are some things you would change?

The expert: Spencer Rascoff, chief executive of Zillow, offered this one in Adam Bryant's Corner Office column at the New York Times.

The reason: "What I'm looking for with that question is whether people 'level up.' Usually their answer is very narrow and focused on their particular area. Successful interviewees have broader and more strategic answers."

4. The question: How do you feel about a trial period?

The expert: Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic, in a Harvard Business Review blog post suggests not interviewing and instead asking candidates to, essentially, test-drive the job.

The reason: "Before we hire anyone, they go through a trial process first, on contract," Mullenweg writes. "They can do the work at night or over the weekend, so they don't have to leave their current job in the meantime. We pay a standard rate of $25 per hour, regardless of whether you're applying to be an engineer or the chief financial officer … It tells you something you can't learn from résumés, interviews, or reference checks." To find out how many try-outs his company hires, check out the full post.

More Ways to Prepare for a Job Interview


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