Management and Supervision Answers

How Do I?

How many questions do I ask in an interview?

Twelve to 20 experience based questions is about all you can ask in an interview that lasts from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. However the number of questions you ask is based on the number of distinct skills that you are looking for. For each interviewer on your team, you should prepare at least two questions per skill that the interviewer is responsible for assessing. For example, if my team was made up of three interviewers and we were all gathering data about the same six skills, I would need to develop 36 questions (3 interviewers x 6 skills x 2 questions/skill).

Also, Don't give any two interviewers the same questions to ask. The idea is to get as much data from a candidate as you can without giving the candidate and opportunity to rehearse. If more than one interviewer asks the same question, you can see how this might compromise the quality of the data you get.  From Del J. Still, best-selling author of "High Impact Hiring" and

How do I make sure the interview isn't too easy or too hard?


How do I ask the right job interview questions?

Exclusive from

If you’ve written the job announcement or job advertisement, you may have included any or all of the following -  a description of the job, job applicant qualifications and desired qualities.  The description, qualifications and desired qualities are the keys in preparing effective interview questions.  Here's a description for a supervisory job:

"The ideal candidate will possess excellent leadership, managerial, communications and inter-personal skills. The candidate should be a self-starter, team player, as well as promote teamwork among others, have a strong customer orientation, is approachable, and effective and creative problem solver, and establishes and maintains effective working relationships . . ."

The underlined words are the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's) that have been  identified for this job.  These are qualities that you should be interviewing for and the topics that you should ask questions about.  Use the sample interview below to accelerate the hiring process.  Phrases in italics and underlined should be replaced with the terms specific to the job that you're trying to fill.

  1. Tell us about yourself.

  2. How have you prepared yourself for the position of position that you're interviewing for.

  3. One of the responsibilities of this position is skill or ability.  Give us an example of your ability to skill or ability in your current position.

  4. Give us an example of your ability to work effectively in a team environment.

  5. What do you know about our company/organization?

  6. What can you contribute to our company/organization?

  7. Where do you see yourself in our company/organization five years from now?

  8. Tell us about the last time that you were stressed on the job.  How do you deal with stress?

  9. What experience have you had with essential skill or hot topic in your industry?

  10. What do you do when you encounter obstacles or when things don't go well?

  11. How much do you think we should pay you?

  12. A growing trend in the industry is hot topic.  Tell us about your experience in hot topic.

  13. Why do you want to leave your current employer?

  14. This concludes our interview.  Do you have anything to add?

Need help in writing questions for various skills and abilities?  Access the Interviewer's Guide from with over 500 skills and abilities questions plus over 300 behavioral questions.  Match your underlined words (KSA's) to the categories in the Interviewer’s Question BankTM.  

How do I know if the interview candidate is lying? 

There is a tried and true way to determine if an applicant is lying. Ask the applicant to describe a work experience they have had that is related to a specific job related skill you are attempting to evaluate. As the candidate responds, probe for detailed information. Be sure to take notes as the candidate responds. Then say, "Who can I talk to in order to verify the information you have just given me?" Be sure to contact this person as part of your reference checking process.  From Del J. Still, best-selling author of "High Impact Hiring" and

How do I tell an applicant that they didn't get the job?

Before you contact the candidates that have not been selected, be sure that your selected candidate has been presented with and accepted your offer in writing.  Following this, it's up to you to decide whether to contact the others by telephone.  In any case, you should followup with a letter.   It's not necessary to explain why the person was not hired unless you feel compelled to do so. In any case, your followup letter should remind the candidate that your company may be interested in talking with them should an appropriate opening become available.

Here's a sample script for a telephone contact.

"Hello <candidate>, this is <name> from <company>. I'm calling to bring you up to date on the selection process for the position of <position> you applied for. We were very fortunate to have an opportunity to talk with you and the other candidates and thank you for your inteviewing with us. <candidate>, I have selected another candidate for this position based on the best match between this person's qualifications and the requirements of the job.   I wish you all the success in your current job search."

Here's a sample letter.


Dear <candidate>:

Thank you for your interest in <company> and interviewing with us.  We were fortunate to have interviewed a number of candidates for the position of <position>.  I have selected another candidate for this position based on the best match between the job requirements and the person's qualifications. We will keep your resume on file should another opening come up that matches your qualifications.  Best wishes in the future and for your current job search. 


<your name>

From Del J. Still, best-selling author of "High Impact Hiring" and

How many staff should report directly to me? 

The number of people reporting to you is also called the "span of control".  The answer typically given is six.  The practical answer is whatever number is right for you.  You want to create a balance between dividing your attention among your direct reports versus determining how to keep on top of activities in your organization.

What Do I Say?

I'm reorganizing my staff and will have one group that previously reported to a direct report now report directly to me.  How do I  write the official announcement to minimize the uproar?

First, notify your direct report and the supervisor of the group being moved of your intent before you issue an official announcement.  Second, refer to the groups instead of the individuals in your announcement.  Emphasize the synergies and positive impact of the move.  For example:

Effective immediately, the XYZ will report directly to me.  This change is in recognition of the fact that now more than ever, the ABC, DEF and XYZ functions are of increasing importance in accomplishing our Division objectives.


FranklinCovey. Experts at getting organized.

Sign up now for a subscription to Soundview Executive Book Summaries and receive 5 of our most popular summaries FREE!

training and development 
on-line training
training providers

certification and education

job hunting 

money & finance
after work

Anderson Replacement Windows

2007 NCAA

2007 BET Awards

2007 NBA Mock Draft

Home Remodeling Chicago

Free Cover Letter Example

Sample Resume Writing

Pella Window and Door

Green Card Interview Question

John Legend DVD



Copyright 2004 by GBIZ - Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the conditions