Menu Close

Can You Answer These 5 Interview Questions?

By Shelcy V. Joseph |

With the current unemployment rate the lowest it’s been in over a decade and companies looking to hire more candidates, they find it critical to hire based on personality and work culture, versus hiring just for the sake of hiring. So I’ve learned from speaking to a few executives across different industries about their hiring process.

While your qualifications are a key factor in getting you a job, there is more to the outcome. Things like personality and cultural fit are gaining weight. The approach to interviews is different. Interviews are shifting from the traditional Q&A to a more friendly conversation, which helps employers assess those new factors.

To help you better prepare for these changes, I asked the business leaders for insights on their interview process. They’ve shared some unique interview questions that they believe attract the right candidates and delve into their personality a bit more—for better assessment of their fit.

Do you have an answer for these questions?

“What would you do during a zombie apocalypse?” – Ashley Morris, CEO of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop

Sounds almost silly, doesn’t it? But actually, your answer to it says a lot about you! Ashley asks this question to every prospective employee of his sandwich shop. Although there is no right answer, he believes this question reveals a great deal about a person’s character, how they react under pressure and if they would fit in with the company’s culture. Ashley advises candidates to be creative and thoughtful with their answers, highlighting their thinking skills and imagination.

“What does work-life integration mean to you?” – Neil Gill, CEO of Dogtopia

In an interview, Neil likes to gauge candidates work styles by asking them their definition of work-life balance. He advises candidates to respond with their gut, show personality and be honest with their answers to ensure both the candidate and the company are a good fit for each other.

“Can you tell me about your past?” – Larry Sutton, CEO of RNR Tire Express

No, Larry is not asking for your life story here. To get a good grasp on a potential candidate, he likes to ask interviewees to discuss their favorite job, their least favorite job, and explain why. This helps to highlight what a candidate enjoys about work and what they don’t —revealing if they’d be a good fit for the position they’re interviewing for. Larry advises candidates to be 100% honest to make sure expectations are set from the beginning.

“What do you look for in a company’s culture?” – Susan Boresow, President of TITLE Boxing Club

To make sure personalities align, Susan likes to ask candidates what their ideal company culture would look like. This helps her determine whether or not they would happy and successful at her company. Susan advises candidates to come well prepared to an interview (with resume copies and the ability to talk about their qualifications), but to be transparent and answer questions truthfully.

“What did you enjoy most about your previous employer?” – Al Scobell, COO of Caring Transitions

To gauge what a prospective employee is looking for in management style, Al likes to ask them what they enjoyed most about their recent manager. This is an easy way to see if they can work with the person they’ll be reporting to. Al recommends not to sugar coat the answer (by for example, overly-emphasizing the positives), but to simply be honest.