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Five Interview Questions You Should Be Asking

June 25, 2014

Brian Tracy once said, “The smartest business decision you can make is to hire qualified people. Bringing the right people on board saves you thousands, and your business will run smoothly and efficiently.” Obviously, hiring qualified people is a priority of every organization. The question is how exactly can you tell if a person is qualified?

We would argue that a qualified person doesn’t just understand the role you are looking to fill, but has a sound understanding of the business. They have the ability to see the “big picture” and make good business decisions for the company as a whole, rather than having a narrow focus on what’s best for their function or department. In other words, they have business acumen.

While it may be hard to gain a comprehensive understanding of an applicant’s business acumen, here are 5 questions that will at least give you an idea about how much they “get” business. And if you are a job seeker, you may want to know the answer to these questions as well.

  1. What does profit margin tell you, and how do you improve it?

  2. Name some companies that likely have high profit margins and why that would be the case.

  3. Name some companies that likely have low profit margins and why that would be the case.

  4. What is the difference between profit and cash flow?

  5. What usually impacts a company’s profit more in the short run – increasing sales or lowering costs?