The Single Most Important Interview Question


The Single Most Important Interview Question- Orestes Sotta- Recruitment Specialist
Interviewing is never an easy process. Whether you are interviewing for a new job or conducting the interview in search of a new candidate, there is one particular question that matters the most. Many people have been asking me lately to share my insights on getting a new job, particularly interview tips.
After interviewing over 5,000 people in the past 5 years, and spending countless hours researching the best practices I am able to share the single most important interview question of all time. The answer to this question reveals so much about the candidate that it can easily become the determining factor to whether they get hired or not.
This is not the only question to ask of course, but it is by far the most important and revealing one. The value behind this question lies in all of the possible follow-up questions that go along with it.
Here is that question:
What is the single most significant accomplishment in your career up to this point?
The reason why this question is so important is because it opens the door for digging deeper into the answer with the following questions that can generate a conversation that can easily last for half of the interview.
Let's say you are the candidate applying for a job, think of how you would respond to the original question and then to these follow-up questions:
• Why do you consider this to be your biggest career achievement?
• Tell me more about your team for this project and your role on the team.
• Tell me about the 3 most challenging issues you faced during this project and how you dealt with them.
• Can you quantify the results and why do you consider this to be a success?
• Looking back at it now, what could you have done differently to make it more successful or achieve the same results more efficiently?
• Why do you think you were chosen for this project?
• Why are you proud of this accomplishment?
• Tell me more about the dynamics of the team you worked with to complete this task.
• Walk me through the plan, how you managed it, and why it was successful.
• What did you like most about this project?
• What did you dislike most about this project and how did you deal with it?
• How were you managed? What did you like and dislike about it?
• Describe some of the biggest mistakes you made, how you dealt with them, and what you learned from them.
• Please give me 5 specific examples of how you led, managed and influenced others.
• Explain to me how others on your team helped or influence you?
• How do you feel about the way you and your team were recognized for this accomplishment?
• How did this experience help you grow as a person?
• How would what you learned through this experience help you in a role like the one you are applying for today?
Imagine how much an interviewer would learn about you and your abilities after a detailed 20-30 minute conversation about this single career accomplishment. The power is not in the initial question, but in the 20 to 30 minutes of follow-up questions that an experienced interviewer will ask you. After this in-depth conversation they will be able to much more accurately determine how well your skills and abilities fit the job and company that you are applying for.
Even if the interviewer does not ask you this question or any of the follow-up questions, by preparing your answers to the questions above you will be very well equipped to answer many other important questions. As a result of your preparation to this question, you will have an arsenal of specific examples from this situation at your disposal to assist you in answering other popular questions like "Provide an example of a tough situation you were faced with and how you overcame it." or "Tell me about a few projects that you were required to work on with a team." or "Describe your management style to me." and many many more.
About the writer:
Orestes Sotta is a Senior Recruitment Specialist with expertise across multiple verticals. Supporting a portfolio of clients across East Africa to attract and retain talents. E-mail sotta@smartsms.co.tz
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