Great job interview questions

As someone who questions people for a living, I love questions and I love to ask human resource people, recruiters and others who interview job applicants for their favorite interview questions.

On Tuesday, I posed that question to two Karens, Karen Rafferty, director of nurse education at Temple University Hospital, and Karen Scheier, a clinical nurse specialist. Both interview candidates for Temple's "new to practice" nursing program that helps newbie nurses adjust to the rigors of acute care nursing at a major hospital. I had interviewed them for a story that appeared in Wednesday's Inquirer. (You can click here to read my related blog post about Temple's comprehensive orientation process for new nurses.)

Here's Karen Rafferty's favorite question: "Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond to meet someone's needs."

"You get to see what someone's definition of `above and beyond' means," she said. It also shows what they consider to be the normal level of performance, which is just as revealing, she said.

Karen Scheier likes: "How do you deal with an overly demanding patient?" She alters that for people new to nursing with, "How do you deal with an overly demanding client, or customer, or manager or colleague?"

Scheier said the question shows so much -- it reveals time management and communication skills, both important in nursing, and it also provides an insight into how the applicant defines and differentiates between normal and excessive demand.

Anybody else have a great question?