2021 AprilYour Words

Your Words Responses

What is your favorite interview question to ask? Why?

Tell me what attracts you to this organization and how do those characteristics fit with your own values? Because I believe this gets to how an employee or student fits within the system, their own values, and their motivations.

Don Tyson, Professor of Nursing, MSN Programs Director at EMU

Often applicants have many of the same qualifications. Why should we choose you, of all candidates, to help us serve our mission?

Dawn Veh, Executive Director at Mennonite Friendship Communities

You’ve lost your keys. How does that make you feel and how do you go about finding them?

Missy Schrock, Executive Director at Center for Healing and Hope

Why do you want to work here?

Bob Aschliman, President at Aschliman & Co CPAs

When interviewing for a community based counseling position, I want to be able to assess how candidates might react to the unexpected and sometimes uncomfortable situations they may encounter in a client’s home or in the community. At the end of the interview, I let them know I saved the most challenging questions for the end and ask…”what is the color of the number 7?” “If 7 is (insert their answer) then what is the color of the number 3?”. Obviously, there is no correct answer but it I feel able to assess how they might react to something unexpected and slightly odd. Full disclosure, I learned the question from a Clinical Director who thoroughly enjoyed adding humor to the work place.

Kerry Beck, Clinical Supervisor/Therapist at Shalom Counseling and Mediation

If you were a piece of furniture, what would it be and why?

I ask this question as it reflects what’s important to the person. For example, if a person wants to be a television, you know they choose to be the center of attention; if a kitchen/dining room table, then they are most likely a collaborator who likes to surround themselves with meaningful conversations/relationships. No wrong answers, but very interesting to hear.

Deanna Beins, Administrator at Menno Haven

Is it more important to you that people like you or that they respect you? (Those who want to be liked will compromise almost anything to make people happy. Those who seek respect will do what is right, even when it is unpopular.)

Richard O’Hara, Director of Spiritual Ministries at Frederick Living

What pushes your buttons and how do you manage those reactions/feelings?

Bob Redcay, Dir. of HR at Friendship Community

Tell me about a time when you went over and above for a patient or resident. What did you do and what was the end result? Why I like this question – This is a great question to get candidates talking about their view of what “over and above” actually means to them. It will reveal people who struggle with boundaries and do not have awareness of appropriate boundaries. A few candidates answered this by sharing something they did that was unethical or a poor practice. However, they considered it “going above and beyond” and did not have good awareness of the need for boundaries in mental health treatment.

Nicole D Twigg, Director of Human Resources at Brook Lane Health Services

What are your wellness practices? It gives a glimpse of the balance someone has, it helps me know what’s important to them, and it often shines a light as to their level of adventure/risk.

Michelle Rassler, Executive Director at Landis Communities

We often talk a lot about what we do, but I would like to know more about why you do what you do?

Allen Rutter, Executive Director at Shalom Ministries

If you had to be an egg, what kind of egg would you be and why?

This question, in my opinion, allows for the candidate to think quickly, be confident in their answer and maybe a little light-hearted. These qualities may not be perfect for each role but in front line caregivers they are important qualities. It usually allows a chance to see a little bit of color from nervous candidates as well.

Lauren Thomson, Clinical Director at Frederick Living

“Please tell me about yourself.” Good broad opening first question before getting into specifics, and it’s insightful and fascinating to hear the person describe themself.

Jeff Evans, CEO Cross at Keys Village

I like to end with: “Give me 3 words your friends and family use to describe you.”

Jennifer McKenna, Enhanced Living Administrator at Messiah Lifeways

Why is a manhole cover round?

J Brian Nealon, CEO at Wesley Health Care Center

I give background on our CORE Values: Trust, Teamwork, Dignity, Integrity, Quality, Compassion, and Community. Then I ask which is more important: Compassion or Quality?

Susan A Howard, Director Human Resources at Fairmount Homes

“Tell me about a time when you encountered a mess at work and you fixed it.” I like this question, because it gives the candidate a chance to talk about solving a problem and taking ownership of a project. Proactive candidates will have stories to tell.

Steve Keener, Executive Director at Jubilee Association of Maryland

What did you play as a child when no one was telling you what to do? This indicates their motivational pattern. If playing dolls, were they nurturing or organizing the play household? If they were playing ball, were they getting the team together? Playing the game? Focused on stats? This gives insight on what they love to do and feel guilty accepting a paycheck because they are having so much fun.

Anne Krabill Hershberger, Goshen College Associate Professor of Nursing Emerita, Retired

Define leadership in abstract terms – unrelated to a particular job.

I’m interested in how a person thinks and that they do indeed think rather than how well they understand and apply the latest management theory.

Carl Ginder, Board Member for Paxton Ministries

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