It’s a big issue…picking the right people for your team, church or organization. One of the keys to picking the right people to get on the bus and in the right seats (Jim Collins) is doing excellent interviews. The quality of the people that you eventually wind up with (paid or volunteer) may well be directly related to the quality of your interview questions.

Following are thoughts from Arianne Cohen posted January 10, 2014 on great interview questions.

Interviews are often stressful, but being prepared never hurts. Below, eight hiring experts share the questions they love to ask in interviews. 

1. Who Do You Most Admire And Why? 

The answer reveals a lot about who the candidate is, who she aspires to be, and whether she has the DNA to be part of a company’s culture. It will also force the interviewee to make a decision between brutal honesty and telling the interviewer what she believes he wants to hear.

— Michael Yormark, President, the Florida Panthers and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment

2. In Your Last Employee Review, What Areas for Improvement Were Identified?

When candidates are honest, it illuminates self-awareness and potential weaknesses. It also helps ensure I get the best out of them. The response can easily be verified with the previous employer. I also ask what progress has been made.” 

— Andrew Shapin, Chief Executive Officer, Long Tall Sally

3. Why Are You Here? 

I always ask this the minute a prospect sits down. After the initial shock wears off, I hope to hear a passion for the hospitality industry and a deep respect for customer service. I find this to be a tremendously effective way to gauge whether the person is interested in working for us or simply seeking a job.

— Andrew Alexander, President, Red Roof Inn

4. So You’re A Yankees Fan. If You Were Their Owner, How Would You Make The Team Better? 

I ask the applicant about their hobbies, and then we do role-play. I want to see how they think quickly and compose coherent presentations. Are they recommending specific player changes? Can they quote stats to back up a position? Can they present a cogent argument in five minutes without dead air? You’d be surprised.

— Bonnie Zaben, Chief Operating Officer, AC Lion Recruiting

5. What Is Your Passion? 

Passion leads to success. I have turned folks away who could not frankly answer this. The people attracted to us must show absolute commitment to the practice of law and solving clients’ problems.

— Hilarie Bass, Co-president, Greenberg Traurig

6. You’re A Project Manager? Tell Me About A Time You Had A Delayed Project.

I always have a candidate provide a past situation similar to what they will encounter in a new position. The answer provides huge insights into their level of critical thinking, adaptability, awareness of their impact, and creativity.

— Susy Dunn, Vice President of People, Jama Software

7. Describe An Environment In Which You Would Not Thrive. 

The candidate is less likely to have a scripted answer, and you see some on-the-spot introspection. You can learn a remarkable amount about personality, as well as cultural and organizational impact, which is hugely important. If this question is asked early in an interview, it often yields color for a richer conversation.

— Larry Drebes, CEO, Janrain

8. If You Could Do Anything, What Would Be Your Ideal Job? 

A resume can tell you about their previous experience, but this question helps indicate the individual’s passions and strengths and whether they’re well-matched to the job. From aspirations in politics, to cafe ownership, to entrepreneurship, the answers are revealing.

— Liz Bingham, Partner, Ernst & Young