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Question hour: DB India’s Lall shares her favourite interview questions

Mini

Interviewing is a two way conversation – for the interviewer to assess role and culture fit and for the interviewee to also assess their interest in the organization, the role and the culture, When I interview I look for what the person stands for, the kind of diversity of thought they bring, how they handle adversity with a “can-do” attitude.

Question hour: DB India’s Lall shares her favourite interview questions
My first favorite question is – “ I have been through your resume and there are some great accomplishments there, I would like to hear more from you as you take me through your education and work experience” . I always find more depth in this answer than that you can gain from the resume. People talk about why they chose the fields of studies that they did – they talk about their experience in details that are not covered in the resume. They also cover why they left a particular organization. The answer provides many insights in addition the role fit.
My second favorite question is – “Tell me about one or two biggest achievements of your life and the challenges you overcame to achieve these” . The answer to this question can be very useful as you hear about what the person values and how they handle difficult and challenging situations to achieve goals. People tend to cover the technical, operational and people challenges they faced and that narrative can help understand the candidate better.
I once got asked “If you had the opportunity to ask only one question in an interview and decide on that basis whether to hire the candidate or not, what would that question be? I am quoting my answer verbatim- If I have limited time, I would ask the person to tell me about his/her biggest failure. I would ask them to quote instances from their lives and the reason why they see them as failures and what they would have done differently if they had a chance to improve their mistakes. This helps me understand whether the person is courageous enough to accept that they've had a failure or committed a mistake and that they are aware and introspective in terms of making a change and improving themselves. It would act as a barometer of sorts to help gauge their resilience and the willingness to learn from mistakes.
I have to add that I enjoy the process of interviewing – it is an opportunity for me to get to know one more person better and helps me get to hear about different and new perspectives.
The author, Madhavi Lall, is MD and Head of Human Resources, Deutsche Bank India. 
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