What Interview Question Do You Always Ask?

Quick Question Series

In our Quick Question Series, industry leaders from your favorite brands share insights into the most-asked questions about recruiting the right talent, finding the right job or a little bit of both.

What interview question do you always ask?

Leaders from outdoor, plus food and beverage share their favorite question and what the responses tell them about a candidate.

Outdoor Research – Dan Nordstrom, CEO Emeritus and Founder of Roundhouse Collective
When you were researching in preparation for this session, what did you find out about our company that surprised you?

That question informs me about the degree of prep they did. It also gives me insight into how they perceive our company without asking directly, which is too easy to tell me when they think I want to hear.

A to Z Wineworks – Amy Prosenjak, President
What are you reading right now?

It’s a great conversation starter at the beginning of an interview and can allow you to circle back on a personal note at the end too. I like to know how curious people are about all sorts of topics inside and outside of business. Liberal arts grads (not that I’m biased or anything!) have a sense of curiosity that lends to problem solving in business situations. Also, reading can give you some expertise you might lack on a subject, like when I joined the winery with no previous wine business experience.

Pearl iZUMi – Chris Sword, President
Why are you attracted to this role and company?

I want to dig into their honest and credible interest in the company and role. This is hard to fake, partly because the answer needs to include insightful knowledge about us. When looking at candidate for Pearl iZUMi, it’s also critical to dig into alignment with our five values.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea – Jane Marvin, SVP People and Culture
Tell me something that you are passionate about.

It goes to the whole person. If there is nothing that you are passionate about, chance as you are not a very interesting individual. It’s also a great way to break the ice and get the candidate to open up. Most people love to talk about stuff they truly believe in.

REDSUN Consulting – Stu Redsun, Chief Marketing Officer and former CMO of Columbia Sportswear
What do you like to do when you are not working?

This question always shows me additional insight into the candidate’s passions and also how quickly they think, since the question is not directly related to the role.

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