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The best interview questions (Intermediar 22 June)

29 June 2012

The best interview questions of 9 top managers and entrepreneurs

Nowadays it’s hard to find a job. But how do you stand out of the crowd? Research shows that once you are invited for an interview, the chance is one out of three that the interview determines the selection. Intermediair Magazine asked nine CEOs, top managers and entrepreneurs what they see as the ultimate interview question and why (Intermediair, no 29, 22 June 2012, p. 14-17). You’ll find the questions and answers translated freely and summarized below.


1. What is your goal?

 The life goals of the applicant should match the goals of an organization. Real goals are beyond you. Van Brakels goal is to make the Netherlands more enterprising.

Arko van Brakel, Founder of ‘Ondernemersadviesbureau Nieuwe Heden’, per September ‘Director of De Baak centrum’


2. If I would call your best friend and ask him to describe you, what would he tell me? And what about your mother, what would she tell me?

These questions produce the most spontaneous and authentic reactions about someone’s personality. The questions should have different answers because both persons would describe a person from a different perspective.

Ronald van Es, CFO Macaw


3. What makes you happy and what would you do if you where the boss?

People respond to this question purely from the inside and come up with the most surprising answers. It gives me the opportunity to see if the applicant is right for the job. If the motivation is different from what we are looking for we give the applicant the advice to look for more suitable jobs. Jobs that fit the applicant’s passions.

Carmen Breeveld, Chairman of de Federatie Zakenvrouwen & Director of Team Care


4. How do you bring diversity to the company?

I’m not looking for a super specialist with years of experience. I’m looking for someone who is flexible with good social skills. When I say diversity I mean it in the broadest sense of the word. So, in what respect do you differ from our work force?

Annemieke Roobeek, Director MeetingMoreMinds, Professor Strategy and Transformationmanagement Nyenrode Business University.


5. Could you give me an example of an innovation that could be effected on your initiative? How did you convince the others that your innovation was good?

Continuous innovations are important to us. We are looking for people that are open to new ideas and thoughts, innovations and dare to change.

Peter Driessen, CEO Spil Games


6. What is the most important aspect of your success? Why and could you give me an example?

There is no wrong answer to this question. I’m also not looking for one kind of answer. The answer gives me an idea of how a person sees his or her life. It is important that we can live up to his or her expectations.

Jeannine Peek, General Director Dell Netherlands


7. How much do you love your parents?

The question concerns the entire life of a person. What have you learned, from whom? How did you develop yourself? If a person’s dares to share this information with you, they will dare to tell you more. It’s a personal question but that’s the point. We are trying to establish a connection with the applicant.

Salem Samhoud, Founder &Samhoud


8. When was the last time your where so ashamed of yourself that you wanted to hide?

I ask people to describe the situation, how did they solve it and what have they learned from it. From their answers I get some insight in the personalities.

Geraldine van den Berg, Senior client manager ManpowerGRoup Solutions


9. Tell me about your life. Why did you make your choices so far?

The answer tells me everything I need to know. Does the applicant create his or her own future or is it just something that happens to him/her? It is not an exciting question but for me it produces the desired results. It’s also very useful for predicting the future behavior of the applicant in the organization.

Raimo van der Klein, Founder/director Layar


Last modified:06 September 2016 1.33 p.m.

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