The Big 3 Interview Questions I’m Really Asking

Here are the big 3 interview questions you should always answer - even when they're not asked.

Doing well in an interview at Double Forte should be pretty for the people who apply for open positions. Why? Because we TELL PEOPLE WHAT WE WANT on our website, in our podcasts, and in the articles, we post on various blogs and LinkedIn. We even outline the types of interview questions you will get from us. But still, people who look good on paper, bomb interviews all the time with us, because they don’t bother to read or listen to what we so explicitly put out there.

It’s not a hard “must do” list:  be early to the interview; don’t chew gum; dress appropriately; leave the headphones and ball cap off the head; and, come prepared.

Come prepared means know something about our company (who’s the president? What kind of clients do we represent? Where are our offices? What’s our thought about rehiring people?), understand how to answer interview questions about yourself, your experience, what you want to do in life, understand what we value in terms of work ethic and teamwork. How would you know these things? By going to our website, stalking our Instagram, reading our blog and LinkedIn posts. Things that you have to do to be good at the work we do. Easy peasy.

The Interview Questions I Want Answers To

And I’m going to share some more here. The interview questions I’m really asking people when they come in to interview with me, although I don’t ask them this way:  Do you take initiative? Are you trustworthy? Can you and do you actively learn?

  1. Do you take initiative? We (and by we, I mean any manager or leader) want to work with people who take initiative and don’t sit around waiting to be told what to do. (Of course, you need onboarding and training – that’s not what I’m talking about.) Do you come early and prepared to meetings? Do you do your research on the topic of a meeting? When you see a typo on a printed document, do you let the author know? When the fridge is out of milk, do you let the office manager know? When you don’t know what to do, do you ask? Taking initiative is code for do you actively participate in the work at hand and the daily life of your colleagues? We want people who answer yes to both questions.
  2. Are you trustworthy? Working with untrustworthy people is in credibly stressful. Will they do what they said they would? Will they leave me hanging at the client deadline with empty hands? Will they blame someone else for something they did wrong? Instead of sharing the extra load, will they stay strictly in the lines of their job description (I know this is tough for represented workers who often have their job descriptions prescribed to minutia)? When they don’t know something will you say so? If I make a mistake will they bring it to my attention so that I can fix it and not prolong it? Trust is the foundation for an efficient and positive workplace. Without it, we waste time, produce mediocre work, and compromise our sustainability.
  3. Can you and do you actively learn? Most jobs will be done a different way than it’s done today in three to five years. A learning team creates a sustainable business, ready to adapt to new situations, technologies, and processes. If you’re not learning you’re losing ground – I don’t think stasis exists anymore. Nothing is sadder for me than having to move people along because they won’t or don’t learn new things. Learning doesn’t have to be all work related either! Doing new things (pottery, spinning, cooking, language), reading authors with different backgrounds, listening to podcasts about a wide range of topics – this is all learning. It expands your point of view, gives your reference points for the world around you, keeps your mind fresh, keeps YOU and the business you’re in relevant in the marketplace.

If people take initiative, do what they say they’re going to do and help their team achieve, and keep learning, the world is their oyster. If not, they’ll be left picking over the shells. For Double Forte (or insert any company name here), people with these three traits are the key to a strong and sustainable business. We can teach you the rest.