Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How to Hire Like Target Using These Interview Questions

One of the best–and most time-effective–ways to get better at something (baking, playing hockey, international art thievery) is to take some tips from the pros. Hiring is no exception. Formulating good interview questions is no easy task, and so you should save yourself some time and effort by taking a leaf out of some other companies’ books. In our new Spark Hire series, So You Want to Hire Like… we’ll take a look at the hiring practices of companies with successful track records in talent acquisition, specifically those with stellar interview strategies.

We’ll begin this week with a company whose hiring process was recently said to be more difficult than getting into Harvard. So you want to hire like… Target?

One of the things that Target does, and many other companies do, very well is take every open position seriously. Whether the interview questions are for management or part-time help, Target puts the same amount of vigor into the hiring process.

“Vigor” doesn’t necessarily translate into “hours mired in consideration.” Sources claim that Target also has hiring down to a science. Target interviews might consist of 3 parts: an assessment test, interview questions with current employees, and a drug test/background check. Target reportedly uses interview questions to look for employees who are friendly and upbeat, with a “can-do attitude.” Target also looks for employees who are knowledgeable and conscious of their brand. Some sample interview questions might include:

  • What can you do for Target?
  • Please tell me about some of the products/services that Target offers, and your feelings about them.
  • How can you relate the goals you have for yourself to the goals of Target?

Target is also a big proponent of the behavioral interview, with interview questions that target past employee conduct to see how a candidate will react in a given situation. Sample behavioral interview questions might include:

  • Name a situation where you had to defend your position.
  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.

Through this combination of interview questions focusing on attitude, brand awareness, and behavior, Target has earned the status of hiring superstar. So you want to hire like Target? Treat every opening with the importance it deserves, and shoot for a well-rounded flight of interview questions. Insert “right on Target” pun here.

What do you think of Target’s hiring practices and interview questions? Share in the comments.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by robholland

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.