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UMGC Career Connection
Top Interview Questions from Today’s Hiring Managers

Jennifer Tomasovic
By Jennifer Tomasovic

In the last fiscal year, the UMGC Employer Services team has helped hundreds of employers identify talented UMGC students and alumni to fill thousands of open job positions. Whether virtual, phone, panel or in-person, the importance of the interview is still a critical part in today’s hiring process. The process is designed to test your knowledge and skill sets in a specific area. However, in a very short period of time, the employer is trying to assess if you are the right fit for a specific position and in their organizational culture.

The UMGC Employer Services team asked three recruiters “what” types of questions they like to ask during interviews and why. The results are below:

Betsy Montanez, University Partnership Manager FDM Group

Favorite interview questions:

  •  How have you managed your time during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  •  What are your strengths and how have you been able to utilize them in your roles?

Montanez likes the first question because it helps her assess how people are managing their time, especially now in this COVID-19 environment. Is the candidate still actively applying to jobs, are they taking an online course, are they joining a professional organization? Or, are they sitting at home and catching up on the latest binge-worthy series? Asking this question helps her understand a little more on the type of person and the core of their personality by using a strengths-based approach within her recruitment strategy.

The second question allows Montanez to see what the candidate considers as his or her strengths. The question also allows her to see how people manage their time. In addition to finding a candidate that is great in their role, Montanez is a huge believer in tapping into employee's strengths and helping them excel at what they are good at.

Ticona Fillah, University Relations Recruiter General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT)

Favorite interview questions:

  • Describe your post-education dream job?
  • Why are you interested in working for our company?

Fillah likes these questions because she wants to ensure there is alignment between the candidate's career goals and her company. A candidate that is able to articulate what their dream job entails is someone who has a vision for the type of work they want to pursue. The second question allows Fillah to assess if the candidate has done any research on her company before the interview. A good job candidate will do his or her homework not only on the position, but will also look to find information on their company. This information can include her company’s mission, vision, culture, and possibly include recent news announcements that have been released via press release or news media.

Tiffany Gourdine, Interim HR Manager GCubed, Enterprises, Inc.

Favorite interview question:

  •  What motivates you in your job search?

With this question, Gourdine is looking to see what candidates are looking for in their next role. It can be anything from a challenge, to working remotely, looking for a team environment, etc. This gives her some perspective regarding the right fit not just with the open position, but a fit within her company’s culture too.

Interview questions can tell hiring managers quite a bit about a potential candidate. To best prepare and help put your best foot forward – either virtually or in-person – check out interview tools and resources in CareerQuest.