From the Ask Tom mailbag
I am interviewing a lot of college hires that possess limited if any relevant work experience. While I am very comfortable interviewing candidates with experience, I find it very difficult to translate the Hiring Talent approach to those without any real experience in the field I am interviewing for. In some cases there is barely a internship to ask questions about.
They have work experience, they just didn’t get paid for it. Work is comprised of these two things –
- Making decisions
- Solving problems
Here is the sequence –
Look at the typical task assignments in the open role.
- Identify the Level of Work.
- Identify the critical role requirements, keying in on decision making and problem solving.
- Create questions based on the critical role requirements.
“Tell me about a time when” – this could be a student project, coursework, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, a hobby, a contest.
Let’s say the critical role requirement is to create and maintain work schedules for seven people on a project team where the duration of the project is thirty days.
- Tell me about a time when you had to maintain some sort of written schedule on a project?
- What was the project?
- What was the purpose of project?
- How long did the project last?
- What did you have to schedule (people, project elements)?
- How many elements (people, materials) did you have to schedule?
- What information did you have to gather before you entered elements into the schedule?
- After you created the initial schedule, did it ever change? How often?
- Before you changed the schedule, what information did you have to gather?
- Were your schedule changes ever challenged? How did you resolve the situation?
I am listening for decisions they made and problems they solved. And I don’t care if it was a pageant for the school choir or volunteer work at a hospital.