I was co-teaching a workshop on managing a multi-generational agency this week and one of the topics we covered was “interview questions for millennials” but I’m here to tell you — these are killer questions for candidates of any agency or potential position.

Remember to be a better interviewer, you need to be a better listener, which means talk less and listen harder/deeper.

The problem is, you need to ask better interview questions to get better answers. So here are a bunch to get you started on the path of becoming a better interviewer:

  • What are the two or three criteria you’re using in selecting your next company or position? What’s important to you at this point in your career?
  • What would the ideal opportunity look like in terms of the industry, company, or title that you’re pursuing?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What do you think this job requires?
  • What do you expect or hope to get out of your next job?
  • How do you like to learn?  What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned lately?
  • Tell me about a time you failed.  How did you react to the failure?
  • What’s the one thing you’d change about your last job and why?
  • Would you rather be an inventor or a leader?
  • Would you rather have a small team, a shoestring budget and a lot of autonomy or a big team, big budget and multi-layered decision making processes?
  • Tell me about a time when you felt helpless but you knew you would pull through
  • Tell me about a time when you worked with a diverse group of people with different opinions
  • Tell me about the volunteer or charity work you do.
  • How do you like to receive feedback?
  • Tell me about a time you were passed up for an award or promotion you felt you deserved.
  • What kind of a relationship do you expect to have with your boss?

Hiring wisely and well may be one of the top five skills of a successful agency. Your ability to earn new business, keep the business you have and grow it and attract amazing talent is all tied to the team you build. You can be bad at a lot of other things inside your shop and still be profitable if you have the right people in place.

So hire slowly and well — your business literally depends on it.